FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Over 300 Citizens Climate Lobby volunteers gathered on the steps of the U.S.
Capitol Building during the 2013 lobby day. That number will double this year.
600 citizen advocates to converge on
Congress to lobby for a carbon tax
WASHINGTON, DC, JUNE 17, 2014 – More than 600 volunteer advocates will converge on Washington, DC, this weekend with the objective of delivering this message to Congress next Tuesday: Pass a carbon tax that returns revenue to households, and we can lower heat-trapping emissions while adding jobs to the economy.
“We won’t be standing on street corners waving signs to deliver this message,” said Mark Reynolds, executive director of Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL). “Our volunteers will be doing what the coal and oil lobbyists do – meeting face-to-face with members of Congress and their staff. The big difference is that they’re coming as constituents, representing all the people back in their communities who are concerned about the future impact of global warming.”
Beginning Sunday, CCL volunteers will meet at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC, for the 5th Citizens Climate Lobby International Conference (June 22-24). The keynote speaker for the conference is former South Carolina Congressman Bob Inglis, who left Congress in 2011 to establish the Energy and Enterprise Initiative, a think tank whose mission is to build support among conservatives for a revenue-neutral carbon tax.
Following two days of plenaries and workshops, CCL volunteers will go to Capital Hill for scheduled meetings with House and Senate offices.
“Our aim is to meet with every office on the Hill,” Reynolds said, “and we’re getting very close to doing that.”
The conference comes just weeks after CCL released a new study from Regional Economic Models, Inc. (REMI), that examined the impact of a steadily-rising fee on the carbon-dioxide content of fossil fuels – increasing by $10 a ton of CO2 each year – that returns all revenue to households in equal shares. The study found that after 10 years greenhouse gas emissions fell 33 percent. At the same time, because revenue from the fee is recycled back to people most likely to spend it, 2.1 million jobs were added to the economy.
“We think this changes the whole conversation surrounding climate solutions. Until now, detractors have said that pricing carbon would kill jobs. This assumption, specious as it was all along, should now be put to rest,” Reynolds said.
CCL volunteers will be lobbying at a time when attention is focused on the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rules for reducing CO2 emissions from power plants. The new rules have drawn strong opposition from Republicans in Congress who vow to fight their implementation.
“That’s a fight they’re destined to lose,” Reynolds said, “as the EPA is currently batting 1.000 in decisions with the Supreme Court. The bottom line is that inaction on global warming is not an option. If Republicans are looking to avoid regulations, they need to get behind alternative solutions. Conservatives favor the market-based approach of a revenue-neutral carbon tax. We have the study to show such an approach can get the job done and improve our economy.”
“That’s what they’ll be hearing from our volunteers.”
After a full day of lobbying on Capitol Hill, the CCL conference concludes with a reception Tuesday evening at the Omni Shoreham featuring an address from Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), currently the leading voice in the Senate for action on climate change.
Contact: Steve Valk, 404.769.7461, firstname.lastname@example.org