San Antonio editorial touts CCL’s Carbon Fee and Dividend proposal
Of all the media actions that our volunteers undertake – letters to the editor, op-eds, etc. – the most powerful is to meet with editorial boards at newspapers, urging them to write editorials about CCL’s Carbon Fee and Dividend proposal. Since editorials are the official view of a newspaper, they carry tremendous weight with our decision-makers in Washington.
As with our meetings with members of Congress, when volunteers talk to editorial boards, good things usually happen.
That was certainly the case two weeks ago when CCL regional coordinator Ricky Bradley, who came to San Antonio to launch a new CCL chapter, led a delegation of new volunteers – Rozina Kanchwala and Maggie Morningstar-Harris – to meet with the San Antonio Express-News. After briefing the board about the REMI report, which shows CCL’s proposal can cut emissions in half in 20 years while adding 2.8 million jobs to the economy – they talked about CCL’s recent activities on Capitol Hill, which included a day of lobbying and briefings for the REMI study in the House and Senate.
They asked if the Express-News would be willing to write an editorial about CCL’s proposal. Ricky appealed to the responsibility that newspapers have for being the “fourth branch of government” vital to a functioning democracy. After all, we have a situation where one of our branches – the legislative – has failed in its responsibility to protect our nation from the risk of global warming, and it’s up to newspapers, as that fourth branch of government, to light a fire under them and get them moving on solutions like this.
At the meeting, the board did not commit to writing an editorial, but invited the San Antonio group to submit an op-ed, which they did several days later.
Ten days passed without a word from the newspaper. Then, on Sunday morning, my early alert system – a.k.a. D.R. Tucker – tweeted the editorial in the San Antonio Express-News: A novel way to put a price on carbon. Apparently, after mulling it over, the board agreed that CCL’s solution was worth calling attention to. Here’s an excerpt:
“A tax on carbon is not a matter of if. In fact, you can argue that, after the Supreme Court’s decision upholding restrictions on carbon emissions, we are beyond if. When is actually now.
“That being the case, this tax, or fee, should be crafted to deliver a net plus for the economy. The Citizens’ Climate Lobby — a nonprofit, nonpartisan, volunteer-driven group formed to address public policy on climate change — says it has such a plan. The group says this plan does not focus on tackling global warming.
“It is instead pitching a “fee and dividend” model that attempts to put the real cost of usage into oil, gas and coal, and return proceeds directly to the American people. It is intended to be “revenue neutral.” In other words, this isn’t just more money into government treasuries.”
The full editorial is available online: http://www.mysanantonio.com/opinion/editorials/article/A-novel-way-to-put-price-on-carbon-5923233.php
The icing on the cake, though, is that the paper also published Rozina’s op-ed, How we hold up our end in China deal.
As we get closer to introducing bipartisan legislation, editorials and op-eds like the ones published today are going to make all the difference.
Steve Valk is Communications Director for Citizens Climate Lobby.