If 2012 was the year that America woke up to the reality of climate change – devastating drought and wildfires, the havoc of Hurricane Sandy – then 2013 must be the year our nation swings into action with a policy that reduces our greenhouse gas emissions. Congress needs to enact legislation that places a steadily-rising fee on carbon-based fuels – coal, oil and gas – that will speed the transition to clean sources of energy from solar, wind, water and other renewables.
Moving Congress to take action, of course, requires political will. Our representatives must hear from us – their constituents – that climate change is problem that should be given top priority. The best way to communicate this message is with a personal letter.
Write a personal letter to your U.S. representative.
- Introduce yourself, sharing something about you (your job, your children, your grandchildren, your faith community).
- Share your concern about climate change and why the issue is important to you. Make it personal.
- Ask them to introduce or support legislation that will:
- Put a steadily-rising fee on carbon-based fuels at the first point of sale.
- Return revenue to households to offset higher energy costs.
- Impose tariffs on goods from nations that do not have similar carbon pricing in order to protect American businesses
- Conclude your letter and ask for a reply.
Don’t know who your member of Congress is? You can find out here:
Rep. [NAME HERE]
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
A predictable, steadily rising fee on carbon sends a price signal to investors that clean energy will be more profitable than fossil fuels in the future, creating the economic incentive for a shift to renewables.
As the private sector steps in to invest in solar, wind, geothermal and other clean energy, our government can gradually phase out subsidies for ALL forms of energy.
A number of conservatives have expressed support for a revenue-neutral carbon tax, including Art Laffer, President Reagan’s economic advisor, and economist Greg Mankiw, advisor to President George W. Bush and presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
Exxon, Shell and BP have recently expressed support for a clear and predictable price on carbon that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The International Energy Agency has warned that we have a window of 5 years to start reducing greenhouse gas emissions before we lock in the infrastructure that allows CO2 to reach unmanageable levels.
The assumption that we must choose between the economy and a safe climate is false. A carbon fee that returns revenue to households will actually stimulate the economy and spur job growth in the clean tech sector.