There was important news last week about congressional Republicans dealing with a tax on carbon for the benefit of our nation. No, it was not the story the Press Herald published July 20 about the meaningless Scalise resolution. That nonbinding resolution had already been passed in 2014 and 2016, with fewer sponsors each time.

The real news came from a story the Press Herald did not publish. On July 24, for the first time in almost a decade, House Republicans offered a bill to address the greenhouse gas emissions that are driving the climate change that we’re all experiencing.

In cosponsoring the bill, Carlos Curbelo said, “Elected officials owe it to every American, and especially to younger generations who are understandably concerned about the future, to work on a comprehensive solution to mitigate and adapt to climate change.” Curbelo represents the Florida Keys, where high tides are forcing the raising of streets, which Portland is also contemplating.

He and the other Republican cosponsor, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, are both members of the bipartisan House Climate Solutions Caucus. The rapidly growing caucus now has 86 members, half Democrats, half Republicans.

Citizens Climate Lobby, a local and national organization of which I’m a member, actively supports the growth of this caucus. We favor a different version of a price on carbon, an alternative that returns all net proceeds to all Americans. It’s called Carbon Fee and Dividend and would grow our economy, create jobs, reduce premature deaths from carbon pollution, and, for working folks, offset temporarily higher energy costs.

More bills addressing carbon’s costs to all of us are expected after the November elections. Maine’s members of Congress – King, Collins, Poliquin and Pingree – need to hear from all of us supporting climate action, now, not later.

Peter Monro


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