Rejoice — we’ve finally got something to be happy about on the national news.

On Oct. 24, the federal government of our friends in Canada, concerned about climate change, adopted a carbon fee and dividend plan. It will assess a fee on carbon fuels — that’s coal, oil and natural gas — with all revenues returned to households equitably.

Then, on Nov. 27 a bipartisan group of three Democrats and three Republicans introduced a bill to the U.S. House called the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act. As in Canada, it prices carbon emissions, with revenue from the fee returned as a “carbon dividend” to households.

Not only that, on Dec. 17, the same bill with only one change was introduced into the Senate by Jeff Flake, Republican of Arizona, and Christopher Coons, Democrat of Delaware. Both bills will be reintroduced for debate in Congress in 2019.

Many said such a bipartisan introduction would be impossible. But thanks to respectful discussions by Citizens Climate Lobby volunteers across the continent, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act provides the beginnings of a solution — not just adaptation — to the coming climate crisis that has brought us so much bad news lately.

What’s more, it will effectively reduce pollution 40 percent by 2030 and be good for people’s health by producing cleaner air. The dividend will be good for the economy, with 2 million or more jobs forecast. It will also be revenue neutral for the government.

It’s time for cheering. Write your members of Congress — they need to hear from you.

JeanAnn Pollard Garrett


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