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Citizen lobbyists converge on Congress to press for carbon tax
JUNE 17, 2013 – Concerned that future generations will inherit a harsh and unforgiving world because of climate change, hundreds of volunteers from across the U.S. and Canada will converge on Washington, D.C., next week to press Congress to enact effective legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“We’re already seeing the impact of chaotic weather caused by climate change throughout our country,” said Mark Reynolds, executive director of Citizens Climate Lobby. “From crop-killing drought to devastating wildfires to storms like Sandy, we are already feeling the effects of weather that is ‘juiced’ by global warming. We’ve had a little over one degree of warming. Imagine what will happen if we allow six or seven degrees of warming.”
More than 350 “citizen lobbyists” are expected to attend the Citizens Climate Lobby 4th International Conference, June 23-25. Renowned climate scientist Dr. James Hansen, who recently retired from NASA to devote more time to advocacy on the climate issue, will be the keynote speaker at the conference.
Volunteers will spend the final day of the conference visiting congressional offices to enroll support for a revenue-neutral carbon tax that gives proceeds back to households. Such an approach is backed by a number of conservatives, including former Secretary of State George Shultz and Art Laffer, economic advisor to President Reagan.
“We want members of Congress to get behind this solution. It uses the power of the free market to transition us away from fossil fuels and toward clean sources of energy like solar and wind,” said Reynolds. “Republicans, in particular, should be eager to embrace this solution as an alternative to increased regulation.”
Last month, the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide – the principal greenhouse gas – exceeded 400 parts per million for the first time in 3 million years. If CO2 emissions are not brought down soon, that concentration will exceed 450 ppm within two or three decades, at which point it will be difficult, if not impossible, to contain global warming to levels that are adaptable.
The conference is being held Sunday and Monday (June 23 and 24) at the Liaison Capitol Hill, located at 415 New Jersey Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20001. 202-638-1616.