In the Portland Press Herald’s June 19 editorial, you pointed out that for some in Maine, we are now well past the climate change debate (“Our View: With lobsters and climate, there’s not a debate“). With last week’s vote by the Portland City Council endorsing carbon fee and dividend, our city has now taken an important step – we are now part of the move from climate debate to climate action.

As a member of the Portland chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby, I recently joined other Mainers and 1,300 CCL colleagues from across the U.S. to lobby the offices of virtually every one of our members of Congress in D.C. We met some very bright and concerned people – Republican, Democratic, independent – who get it. Climate change is real. It’s serious. And we can fix it.

The solution is carbon fee and dividend. A market-based approach, carbon fee and dividend puts a price on carbon where it comes out of the ground or into the country, and then returns all of that to American families. Independent studies show it will save thousands of lives, create 2.8 million jobs and help return confidence in the future of a livable planet for us and our children. What we learned in D.C. is that for effective climate action in Washington what is most needed now is a demonstration of political will.

This is why the Portland City Council’s vote endorsing carbon fee and dividend last Monday night is a really big deal. Our city is now moving from climate debate to climate action, helping to demonstrate the political will to get it done. All of us concerned with the future of Maine should applaud this step, and Portland should welcome the company of other Maine cities and towns ready to demonstrate their commitment to climate action.

Edward Pontius

co-chair, Portland Chapter, Citizens’ Climate Lobby

Portland