Thank you for reporting on the likelihood of more “extreme heat” days in Maine’s future (July 16). This is increasingly on everybody’s minds, regardless of political views.

If you’re like my family, you do what you can on a personal level – for example, we took no flights of any kind for eight years, because flying is the single most carbon-intensive action a person can take.

This year we decided to take a long trip to Europe. Trans-Atlantic flights emit carbon, which can be offset by 22 trees planted by a carbon offset program like Plant-for-the-Planet, or over 200 trees if you plant them yourself.

But this decision is like paying monthly for a curbside composting service. Or buying electricity through green power. Or purchasing a plug-in hybrid. It puts all the ethical and financial responsibility on the consumer, and many people are not able to make these choices.

That’s why it’s critical that we pass the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, a bipartisan bill placing a fee on carbon pollution, which funds a monthly dividend to everyone living in the U.S. The price on carbon would rise yearly so that by the 10th year, the average American family will have more than $3,400 extra in the bank at the end of the year. Best of all, it will limit warming to our Paris goals.

Over 3,500 economists have endorsed the bill so far. Former NASA scientist James Hansen says, “This bill gives us the chance to fight it seriously and on a big scale. I encourage everyone to support the bipartisan Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act.” Rep. Chellie Pingree is a co-sponsor of the bill, but we need Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins and Rep. Jared Golden to sponsor it as well. Please take five minutes to call them.

Annie Antonacos


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