A carbon tax is “the ‘number one thing’ that will help curb global emissions and rising temperatures,” according to Utah Senator Mitt Romney in a Washington Post webinar last month. A carbon tax is a “massive incentive for the private sector to innovate,” Romney said, according to Deseret News.

Pushback was swift. Romney “has advocated for a carbon tax for many years,” one letter writer observed in Deseret News. “The only outcome of a carbon tax will be increased costs … fuel prices will increase from their already high levels” and “electricity costs will only increase.” California electricity costs, he continued, “are among the highest in the U.S.” due in part to “a carbon tax.”

Within a week a clear, succinct explanation of what a carbon tax will actually do appeared in another letter. The writer begins by acknowledging the first letter’s claim that a carbon tax will raise prices of gasoline and electricity and increase costs of “goods produced with fossil fuels.” In spite of all this, the second letter responds, “a well-designed carbon tax would be a boon, not a burden, to the economic well-being of most Americans. If the money is used for a monthly dividend that everyone shares equally, then people who use the most fossil fuels pay, while everyone else wins.”

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