Guest view: Could carbon pricing help solve the climate crisis?

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The summer of 2020 will always be remembered as the season of the largest, most destructive wildfires in the history of California. Our Golden State lost over 4 million acres that were ravaged by more than 8,200 fires. Thirty-one lives were lost, along with millions of dollars’ worth of property. While most scientists agree that climate changes are causing this disaster, coming up with a fix still remains a mystery.

An answer may lie in something called carbon pricing. This is a market-based solution that puts a price on carbon and drives the transition to cleaner energy sources. One plan known as The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (H.R. 2307) is getting a lot of attention. This bill, sponsored by Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL-22), promises to reduce America’s carbon pollution to net zero by 2050. It puts a fee on carbon pollution, creating a level playing field for clean energy. 

The money collected from carbon emitting companies goes to Americans in the form of a monthly ‘carbon cash back ‘payment so that everyone can afford the transition.

Support for carbon pricing runs high among groups outside of Congress such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a coalition of 20 national faith organizations, as well as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Even the American Petroleum Institute, the top lobbying group for gas and oil, favors putting a price on carbon dioxide emissions. This group’s support is a reversal of the lobby’s long-standing opposition to such an approach.

In our own South Bay community, the Silicon Valley South Chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby, a branch of a national organization, is actively involved in advocating for climate change on all levels of government. The organization builds upon shared values rather than partisan divides, and empowers its supporters to work in keeping with the concerns of their local communities in support of the adoption of fair, effective and sustainable climate change solutions. The organization stands behind the adoption of the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act.

On April 22, the Silicon Valley South Chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby and the Morgan Hill Chapter of the American Association of University Women are celebrating Earth Day by spreading the word on the research regarding the viability of carbon fees to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions (and subsequent climate change) caused by the excessive use of fossil fuels. 

This Earth Day presentation will focus on how carbon pricing works and the results of this practice on countries, states and cities that already have some form of it in place. Attendees will learn how this proposal will bring national carbon emissions down to tolerable levels without hurting American business, and what they can do to help make such a proposal reality.

To join in the conversation, register at:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/carbon-fee-and-dividend-a-solution-to-the-climate-crisis-tickets-148918119103

Margaret McCann and Margo Hinnenkamp represent the AAUW Morgan Hill chapter and the Silicon Valley Chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby. 

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