The fact that the United States hasn’t already enacted progressive climate legislation is a major failure, writes Henry Waxman in The Atlantic. The current US economy thrives on dirty energy that harms our planet. It needs to be completely reformed to cut out these major issues. Efforts like the Green New Deal are a step in the right direction of achieving this. This movement isn’t just good for the climate but can boost America’s economy by giving it an edge in solar energy technology, for example. Renewable energy sources are clearly smart and sustainable long-term investments. Legislation and regulation are needed to enact this change.
While climate change is a real issue, overbearing regulation is not the best way to combat it, asserts John Bassarro of The New York Times. Taxes on carbon emissions and fuel, for example, are far too hard on the global middle class. From Washington State to France, the people have rejected taxes that would have made their costs go up. Arizonians and Coloradans rejected similar regulations that promote clean energy. America should focus on innovation, advancing clean technology so that it becomes more affordable for all. It is simply too expensive for the US to forcibly end its dependence on fossil fuels and coal overnight.