Put a price on carbon already; Proud of council for supporting HR 763 (Opinion) | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Put a price on carbon already; Proud of council for supporting HR 763 (Opinion)

Sara Letton
Guest column
Hundreds gathered for the Global Climate Strike.
Laney Griffo / Tahoe Daily Tribune

We participated in the recent climate strike and were moved and inspired by the large crew of South Tahoe students that hiked the four miles from the high school to Lakeview Commons with a clear and unified demand for climate action.

It is also encouraging to live in a city that has resolved to transition its entire electrical grid to clean energy by 2032, and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80% below baseline by 2040.

While the city’s 100% Renewable Committee, Liberty Utilities, and others around the basin work to ensure the city’s resolution is implemented,

We are proud to report city took more action Tuesday at its council meeting and joined other municipalities around the United States in passing a resolution supporting comprehensive national climate policy in the form of a revenue-neutral carbon fee and dividend.

The 2019 Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (H.R. 763) is the most recent example of bipartisan legislation that would put a fee on fossil fuels like coal, oil, and gas and then distribute the money collected by the fee in equal shares each month to the American people. Independent researchers estimate that implementation of the act would reduce America’s emissions by at least 40% in the first 12 years as well as create 2.1 million new jobs.

Our mountain town’s endorsement is another message to our locals, visitors, and political representatives that South Lake Tahoe recognizes the myriad threats climate change poses to the basin’s forests, animals, lake, snow level and general way of life. We can do our part to seek and support policies to reduce the fossil fuel consumption lying at the root of our problems.

While individuals can take actions to reduce their carbon footprints, it will not be enough to affect the scale of impact that is necessary in the coming decade. Community-level, collective action is necessary to produce the level of effectiveness in mitigating carbon emissions in the most meaningful timeframe. So is state and federal action. Effort now is much more valuable than effort later because of feedback loops and irreversible potential effects.

City council voted 4-1 in favor of supporting the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (H.R. 763). We would like to congratulate the council on taking this meaningful, community level action.

If any of the readers are ready to take action locally, please reach out via Facebook at “100% Renewable Tahoe.”

Sincerely,

100% Renewable Committee of South Lake Tahoe