HR 7173, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2018, is one bill you will want to understand. It was introduced with two Republican and three Democratic sponsors. There will be billions of words spoken for and against it. We can be certain they will not all be true. This is your chance to understand it before the heat starts flying.

Oil is cheap now. When it doubles, we will have no choice but to pay it just as we always have. The economy can never respond as fast as the price can rise. But we can raise it slowly and predictably without economic shocks. We can control the rise and put the money in our own pockets.

HR 7173 will collect a fee at the wellhead, at the mine or at the port based on carbon content of fuel. This money will be returned to families in monthly checks to pay for the higher cost of energy. Around 80 percent of people will come out ahead. The first year it will be $15 per ton, which will make about 15 cents a gallon of gas. It will rise by a slow, steady $10 a ton per year, less than the price change from a flicker of Middle East news.

Detroit will know there will be a market for economy cars like the Cruze. Solar, wind and nuclear power will be a steadily more attractive alternative. This will keep oil prices down and create jobs, while lowering pollution.

DAVID RIECK

Janesville

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