Congress should pass legislation to greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions
Oct 03, 2019 at 2:47 PM
“It is encouraging that a Towson University poll found that 69% of Marylanders understand that humans are causing climate change. We must now move from understanding to action. It’s time for bold but economically sensible measures that lead to net zero emissions over only 30 years," Donald F. Beosch wrote in a recent op-ed (“Bold, sensible actions needed to push Md. to net zero emissions,” Sept. 30).
We need such bold action not only in Maryland, but for the entire country. There is such a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives right now that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions dramatically — 40% in just 12 years and 90% by 2050. It currently has 66 cosponsors from 21 states, including 16 members of the Congressional Black Caucus, three representatives from Maryland (Dutch Ruppersberger, Jamin Ben “Jamie”Raskin and David Trone) and Republican Francis Rooney of Florida.
The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, H.R.763, is also economically sensible. It will create 2.1 million new jobs without raising taxes on individuals or costing the government money. A steadily rising fee on fossil fuels like coal oil and gas will be rebated to households as a monthly dividend for people to spend as they wish. Economists overwhelmingly support putting such a price on carbon fuels as the most efficient way to mitigate climate change. As we burn less fossil fuel, the air we breathe will be cleaner and people will be healthier. There will be less asthma, less cardiovascular disease and 295,000 lives will be saved.
And what about the bay? The Chesapeake Climate Action Network supports this bill. By reducing greenhouse gas emissions drastically, it will limit sea level rise to the lower projections outlined.
Dr. Boesch writes, “We cannot leave this to our grandchildren to tackle later because by then the meltdown of polar ice could not be slowed.” I have a grandchild. I don’t think it’s conscionable to leave her generation to deal with the consequences of our inaction. We know what’s likely to happen to our planet, and we know there’s legislation we could pass to prevent the worst consequences. Will you please join me in contacting your Congressman and asking him to cosponsor the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act or thanking him for doing so already?
Cheryl Arney, Ellicott City
The writer is a volunteer with Citizens’ Climate Lobby.