Fossil fuel energy prices are down right now due to the recession suppressing demand, but the mid- and long-term trend is up. Coal, oil, natural gas — all up. If we do nothing, energy will keep getting more expensive for Americans, and it will impact the poor disproportionately.

The progressive proposal is to price carbon, strengthen efficiency regulations, and invest in green energy and infrastructure. This will produce a short-term rise in energy prices followed by a mid- and long-term stabilization and reduction as renewables and efficiency scale up.

Conservatives react with outrage to the notion of policy that will produce an increase in energy prices, of any duration.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

But … what’s their alternative? Energy prices are going up regardless. What’s their solution to that problem?

I sincerely don’t understand. Someone explain it to me.

Reader support helps sustain our work. Donate today to keep our climate news free.