We’re All in This Together
Climate Solutions Beyond Your Backyard
Lobbying (Virtually) for Carbon Reduction
By Don Parent
Forty years have passed since I studied the mechanics of climate change in a ridiculously difficult engineering class. It was clear back then, and it is even more certain today, that continued fossil-fuel based greenhouse gas emissions progressively alter Earth’s climate.
Since that time, I have learned that the downsides of a warming climate will be significant and irreversible for hundreds of years. We are already seeing firsthand evidence of changes to our fisheries and to our coastline.
But on the bright side, Maine would benefit economically from carbon reduction efforts.
The increased use of wood in construction would benefit our forest products industry while sequestering carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Maine’s leadership in offshore wind development would enable us to export green electrical power to our neighboring northeast states. And improving thermal insulation in our older housing stock would provide critically needed jobs. And that’s just a start.
A recent Pew poll indicates that two thirds of Americans believe the federal government is not doing enough to reduce the effects of climate change.
On June 16th, members of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) continued our biannual June lobbying tradition by holding online meetings with Maine’s congressional delegation to discuss a novel plan to turn this around.
Meetings were held with Senator King, Congresswoman Pingree, and with members of Senator Susan Collins’ and Representative Jared Golden’s staff to discuss the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (H.R.763). The Act would put a price on carbon and return the proceeds to consumers, neutralizing its downside cost impact. Studies have consistently shown that this approach would be very effective in driving down emissions.
Twenty-one CCL Maine volunteers participated in these virtual meetings, with three high school students and five small business owners taking part. In previous lobbying, CCL Maine volunteers met with all four of our national lawmakers, including Congressman Golden, in Washington, D.C. Nationally, Citizens Climate Lobby has more than 180,000 volunteers and maintains relationships with virtually every office in the US Congress.
The inexorable, and essentially irreversible, rise in carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere and its growing impact on our world demands a change. Maine’s congressional delegation has a reputation for environmental leadership. We need their leadership on climate change legislation now more than ever.
Don Parent is a climate-concerned mechanical engineer, entrepreneur, and business owner, and a member of Citizens’ Climate Lobby.