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Dear Decaturish: Congress should take meaningful action on climate change

Metro ATL

Dear Decaturish: Congress should take meaningful action on climate change

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Dear Decaturish,

In a recent post for The New Yorker, Bill McKibben writes about parts of the Biden Administration’s infrastructure plan directed at fighting climate change.

“The question of whether it’s ‘enough’ is, of course, the right one—and the answer is no. Summer sea-ice coverage in the Arctic has declined by fifty per cent since the nineteen-eighties, and there were a record thirty named tropical storms last year, with one of them, off the New England coast, nudging up against smoke coming from the wildfires on the other side of the country, in California. We should be investing every penny we can in green projects, and even then we would still face an ongoing rise in temperature. That’s why movements need to keep pushing hard to build support for climate action.”

One national group of volunteers that agrees completely is the Citizens’ Climate Lobby, which has 15 chapters all over the state of Georgia. CCL believes that the climate crisis requires us to act boldly and quickly.  Practical solutions must include both a price on carbon and protections for lower income households that would be hurt by the change. This is the reason we strongly support HR 2307, The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act. As voters in the 4th Congressional District, we are thrilled that our own Congressman, Hank Johnson, has again co-sponsored this bill.

Hank Johnson is showing true leadership in co-sponsoring this bill. He recognizes that monumental problems require bold solutions, and that effective solutions can have bipartisan appeal. The Atlanta chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby has met with Rep. Johnson’s office over 20 times in the last 10 years. He has had phone calls and constituent letters about climate change and the need for bipartisan solutions. Rep. Johnson has responded by demonstrating his deep commitment to the future of our planet.

The Energy innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (energyinnovationact.org):

– Gets America to Net Zero carbon by 2050. By putting a well-defined fee on extracted fossil fuels that increases year-by-year, the Energy Innovation Act uses market forces to incentivize the best alternatives to greenhouse gas emitters, while providing business with predictable conditions. As it does so, it will also improve health and save lives by reducing the pollution that Americans breathe.  

– Puts money in your pockets.  All net funds raised will be returned through a monthly dividend, boosting the economy with millions of jobs.  

– Provides abundant, affordable clean energy. Under this policy fossil fuels become more expensive to reflect the true cost of using them. Businesses compete to provide clean energy solutions, resulting in an expected pollution reduction of 30% in the first five years.

– Acts fairly. Since the dividend is returned on a per capita basis, households with a lower than average carbon footprint (typical of lower income households) will actually come out ahead. 

Since its introduction, the Energy Innovation Act has garnered supportive reactions from economic think tanks, advocacy groups, faith groups and citizens. Here are statements from the Environmental Defense Fund, World Resources Institute, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Alliance for Market Solutions, and more.  Local governments like the DeKalb County Commission and the City of Pine Lake have also endorsed the Carbon Fee and Dividend strategy.

We’re ready for Congress to work together and take action. We deeply appreciate Rep. Johnson for responding to our concerns and cosponsoring The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act again. (He cosponsored the similar bill, H.R. 763, in the 116th Congress.) We urge other Georgia Members of Congress to join Rep. Johnson as cosponsors of this bill.

Paul Friederich

4th District Liaison, CCL

Henry Slack

Georgia State Coordinator, CCL