In the days following publication of the guest editorial, “Big oil rejects this rollback,” the monstrous force of Hurricane Dorian came down on the Bahamas, leaving a humanitarian disaster in its wake, and over 40 dead. Although spared loss of life, Carolina coastline communities need months to recover from the damage caused by the weakened storm.
Here in West Virginia, many are still recovering from the devastating 2016 floods. We know the ongoing climate crisis is a direct outcome of heat-trapping carbon and methane emissions spewing into the air. Undermining regulations designed to protect public health is simply immoral, given the urgency. Even industry opposes rollbacks. An essential tool to address the urgency of the crisis is carbon pricing, a market-based solution with bipartisan support.
In July, four carbon pricing bills were introduced in Congress. A fifth, HR 763, The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, will put a fee on carbon pollution and return all revenue to individual households equally. Citizens’ Climate Lobby West Virginia proposes amending this bill to return less than 1 percent to coalfield workers directly impacted by the anticipated accelerating decline in coal mining, amounting to $12 billion dollars back to coal states in the first 10 years, including for job creation.
An inspired and inspiring Swedish teen, Greta Thunberg, is in the U.S. for climate strikes week. We need to set aside partisan battling and come together to address this unprecedented threat to our nation, our planet and our children’s futures.