President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address failed to mention how climate change is affecting the country. That’s not to say everyone in Washington is avoiding the issue, however. On January 29, a bill was introduced by Rep. Don Beyer in the House and by Sen. Chris Van Hollen in the Senate known as the “Healthy Climate and Family Security Act.”

The aim is to curb carbon emissions through the auctioning of carbon pollution credits to fossil fuel companies that sell in the U.S. and returning all the proceeds from the auction to American households each quarter. This dividend of funds would ensure families are protected against rising energy costs associated with moving away from fossil fuels.

Citizens Climate Lobby has been advocating for similar legislation known as carbon fee and dividend. The primary difference between this and what was proposed is that a carbon fee would be imposed upstream at the mine, well or port of entry and would increase each year. Both propositions would increase the market demand for clean, fossil free energy sources while decreasing the dependency on fossil fuels.

The important takeaway though is that both aim to return the dividend to American families which is something both parties should agree is important as we work to combat climate change. The State of the Union may be improving per President Trump, but the state of climate change needs to be improved as well.

Introducing legislation that will curb carbon emissions is an important first step and will ensure the US becomes a world leader in clean energy.


Dallastown Borough

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