David Emery makes an excellent case for holding fossil fuel companies financially responsible for the damage caused by putting corporate profits ahead of corporate responsibility and destabilizing a climate essential to the survival of our current human population (June 5). It’s shocking to find out that these same companies received $1 billion in financing from COVID relief legislation.

Multi-state lawsuits to recoup damages from fossil fuel companies are one tool to reduce their influence and the use of fossil fuels. Such an approach could be complemented by any one of the carbon pricing bills currently introduced in Congress.

One of these bills, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (H.R. 2307), would impose a steadily rising fee on all fossil fuels at their source and return the money collected in equal shares to all American households. The bill is simple, comprehensive, and effective, and is projected to reduce carbon emissions by 30 percent its first five years, while protecting US jobs and manufacturers with border adjustments and farmers with agricultural exemptions.

Rep. Chellie Pingree is one of 59 cosponsors of this legislation in the US House of Representatives. As a state whose economy is particularly vulnerable to climate change we need all our congressional representatives to take the lead in pushing forward effective climate legislation. The COVID pandemic has shown us what happens when we fail to prepare for clearly predictable future events.

Philippa Solomon

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