LETTER: Bipartisan climate legislation is possible

To the Editor:

 

Sweeping, bipartisan climate legislation: those are four words you don’t hear together very often. They are the reality. On Tuesday, Nov. 27, three Republicans and three Democrats introduced the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act. It puts a steadily rising fee on carbon pollution and gives all the money back to Americans through a monthly dividend. As low carbon energy sources become cheaper relative to fossil fuels, utilities, consumers, and investors make the switch. According to the recent IPCC report, emissions will need to fall 39 percent below 2010 levels by 2030. This legislation would decrease emissions by over 45 percent by 2030. Carbon dividends are fair. Low and middle income people buy fewer goods, fly less, and generally contribute to fewer emissions. The equal dividend, changing only based on a household’s size, is progressive. Carbon dividends protect the bottom two-thirds of Americans from any increases in energy costs. 

This bipartisan solution protects our health, economy, and future. With a president who refuses to accept his own administration’s report that climate change will decrease GDP by 10 percent, climate change can feel hopeless. Have hope. Five members of Congress are leading the way. They know climate change cannot be a partisan issue and have a solution that is effective and fair, and that matches the size and urgency of the problem.

 

Peter Jarka-Sellers

St. Paul

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