To The Daily Sun,
April 22, 2019, marks the 39th anniversary of the Earth Day movement started by Wisconsin Sen. Gaylord Nelson in response to an oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. After nearly four decades and countless environmental disasters, citizens across America will gather once again on Earth Day to celebrate advances in the restoration of our air, land, and water, and to show unity for additional measures to preserve a livable climate for future generations.
One grassroots organization working to promote the goal of a livable climate into the future is the Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL.) Since January 2019, volunteers with CCL have conducted more than 100 outreach events in their local communities and held more than 250 meetings with their respective members of Congress, asking them to support a bipartisan climate solution known as the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (HR 763.) Members of the new NH Lakes Region chapter of CCL have hosted a Climate Advocate Training Workshop in Laconia, have been actively training to become knowledgeable about HR 763, and have been reaching out to our New Hampshire members of Congress to encourage support of the bill.
The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act would create a $15 per metric ton of carbon dioxide fee on carbon producers. Carbon is the main pollutant contributing to global warming. That fee would then increase by $10 per year. In addition, it would create a tariff for “carbon-intensive imported goods” coming from countries without their own carbon pricing system. The revenues collected will be rebated back to American taxpayers.
Thousands of economists across the political spectrum have said the most effective step we can take to bring down the emissions causing climate change is to put a robust price on carbon. If revenue from the carbon tax is returned to households, they say, our economy will actually benefit. The Energy Innovation Act does just that. This policy will drive down America’s carbon pollution while unleashing American technology innovation and ingenuity. The bill receives support because it is:
● Effective: It will reduce U.S. emissions at least 40 percent in the first 12 years and targets 90 percent reductions by 2050.
● Good for people: It will improve health and save lives. Additionally, the carbon dividend puts money directly into people’s pockets.
● Good for the economy: It will create 2.1 million new jobs.
● Bipartisan: Republicans and Democrats are both on board as cosponsors.
● Revenue neutral: The government keeps none of the money, so the size of the government will not grow.
Following the outpouring of support for the first Earth Day, Republicans and Democrats in Congress came together to enact policies that protected the environment and made our lives better. Likewise, Republicans and Democrats must now come together to enact effective policies to prevent our climate from unraveling beyond the point of no return. The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act offers the opportunity for that much needed bipartisan collaboration.
Given the impact of climate change we are seeing here in New Hampshire with extreme storms, a shrinking ski season, and a growing tick population, we hope that Rep. Kuster and Rep. Pappas will join the 30 members of Congress who already cosponsor HR 763. We also hope that senators Shaheen and Hassan will support similar legislation in the Senate.
To learn more about the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (HR 763), visit the Citizens’ Climate Lobby website, https://citzensclimatelobby.org, or contact local chapter leader Aimee Ruiter at LakesRegion.NH@CitizensClimateLobby.org.
Mark Reynolds, Executive Director, Citizens’ Climate Lobby
Martha Kruse, volunteer, NH Lakes Region Chapter, Citizens’ Climate Lobby