It seems every day the news provides stark testimony that our climate is warming, threatening our communities and environment. There are various opinions on the cause. However, within the community that expanded our understanding of our world and created the many technical advancements to improve our life in it, there is little doubt. The rapid increase of carbon in our environment is the main culprit and that rapid increase is caused by humans. Therefore, reducing the amount of human caused carbon dioxide is the best first step to slowing climate change. According to research, if adopted the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (EICDA, H.R. 763) currently before Congress would be an effective, good for people, good for the economy, revenue neutral way to reduce our carbon output substantially.

One can find a tremendous amount of research documenting both the rise in the earth’s temperature and its causes. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s web site has a several reports covering extreme weather events as a result of climate change. NASA also provides compelling commentary and evidence. We know this: we are experiencing this and now we need to focus on a solution.

If passed, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (EICDA) would implement a carbon fee on fossil fuels such as oil and coal before the sale of that product. The fee starts low and grows over time. At the border, imported fossil fuels and carbon-intensive products would also pay the carbon fee. American companies that export carbon-intensive products would receive a refund. All of the proceeds collected are distributed back to the American people benefiting the lower and middle class. The research indicates that America’s emissions will drop by at least 40% in the first 12 years and create 2.1 million new jobs.

This bi-partisan bill is gaining wide support with 80 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives. Organizations such as the Presbyterian Church – USA, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Conservatives for Responsible Stewardship are getting behind it. Former Secretary of State, George Shultz states “The urgency to reduce emissions is now painfully obvious. I fully support the bipartisan Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act”. Over 605 businesses, 96 faith groups, 96 local governments, 164 nonprofits, and five tribe entities have voiced their support of EICDA.

A recent study shows a majority of Americans support Congress taking action on climate change, including more than half of Republicans. Solving climate change is too urgent to be delayed because of partisan politics.

Time is of the essence. We simply cannot afford to wait. This bi-partisan, revenue neutral, good for people, good for the economy bill is the best available solution in today’s political climate. If you agree, we need action now. Please urge your members of Congress to support H.R. 763; the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act. For more information please visit energyinnovationact.org. Thank you!

Kirk Peterson,

Pocatello