Guest column: Citizens can fight climate change | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Guest column: Citizens can fight climate change

Robbin Anderson
Guest Column

Today I am reaching out to those of you who believe climate change is real. I am addressing citizens, like myself, who want to help work toward a solution.

Several months ago, while feeling pretty hopeless about what I could do to make any positive impact on global warming, I found Citizen's Climate Lobby (CCL) online. This is a grassroots, non-profit, non-partisan organization founded in 2007. Since then it has grown to more than 400 chapters, primarily in the United States, but also abroad.

The mission of Citizen's Climate Lobby is to instill the political will needed for passage of a "carbon fee and dividend" policy. Carbon fee and dividend would place a fee on fossil fuels. The proposed initial fee is $15 per ton of the CO2 equivalent emissions of fossil fuels.

Basing the fee on the amount of CO2 released establishes the true cost of burning these fuels. The more CO2 released, the higher the fee.

Costs would then be passed onto consumers with higher prices for gas, oil, etc. The beauty of this policy is that 100 percent of the fees, minus administrative costs, would be returned to households in monthly dividend checks. Most households would break even or receive more than they pay in higher costs.

The rising costs of fossil fuels would then stimulate the economy to develop alternate sources of energy, thereby decreasing demand for fossil fuels. (A more detailed description can be found on the website, citizensclimatelobby.org).

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Citizen's Climate Lobby believes that people have the power to influence changes in government. While working with congressional members, CCL successfully established the Climate Solution Caucus. This is a bipartisan group in the House of Representatives that met for the first time in April 2016. Today it has 52 members, 26 Republicans and 26 Democrats. During 2016, CCL members met with congressional leaders 1,388 times, wrote 40,046 letters to members of Congress, wrote 2,850 articles/media pieces, and were involved in 2,306 outreach events.

Citizen's Climate Lobby is a well developed grassroots organization with the ultimate goal of implementing a carbon fee and dividend system. Joining is free; donations are optional.

The website provides a wealth of information that is worth taking a look at. There are active chapters in Reno, South Tahoe, and North Tahoe.

Robbin Anderson is a member of the Reno Citizen's Climate Lobby.

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