Peace Is Possible
12 August 2018
The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.
In wisdom You made everything; the earth is full of Your creatures…. Let them praise the name of the Lord, for His name alone is exalted; His splendor is above the earth and the heavens.
Psalm 104:24; 148:13
California is Burning
This summer’s news reports of devastating fires in California and across the West, unusually heavy rainfall and flooding in other parts of the US, and uncommon tornadoes in New England provide anecdotal evidence of what scientists have been warning for many years — that increased carbon in the atmosphere from fossil fuel burning is trapping heat close to Earth’s surface, warming the oceans, increasing weather extremes, and altering the climate.
Similar weather events in Europe and around the world add to the mounting confirmation of global climate disruption that likely will lead to water and other resource conflicts, human dislocations, and instability.The organization 350.org (named for the maximum level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere considered safe –350 parts per million) reports that atmospheric CO2 was measured at 407 ppm in Hawaii in December 2017, the highest level ever found. Until the Industrial Revolution hit its stride in the 18th century, the atmosphere typically contained around 280 ppm of CO2.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the five hottest global years on record are 2016, 2015, 2017, 2014, and 2010. Projections have 2018 bumping 2010 down to sixth. ClimateCentral.org reports that the five warmest years in the global record have all come since 2010; the ten hottest in recorded history have all occurred since 1998; and the twenty warmest years on record have all come since 1995. Despite this growing evidence of global climate crisis, the US government in 2017 withdrew from the 2016 Paris Climate Agreement that commits 195 nations to work together to reduce fossil fuel use and CO2 emissions.
It is remarkable, then, that in late July 2018, Rep. Carlos Curbelo (FL), along with Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (PA), introduced H.R. 6463, the MARKET CHOICE Act (Modernizing America with Rebuilding to Kick-start the Economy of the Twenty-first Century with a Historic Infrastructure- Centered Expansion Act). This is the first Republican-led effort in almost a decade to seriously address climate change.
The MARKET CHOICE Act is a carbon tax which places a fee ($24 per metric ton, paid at the point of production – coal mine, refinery, etc.) on the burning of fossil fuels in order to increase the demand for cleaner energy sources. This bill would replace the gasoline tax with a price on carbon dioxide. It is expected to generate over $100 billion in additional revenue per year over the next decade, to be used to fund the Highway Trust Fund, energy assistance for low-income communities, climate adaptation, and clean energy research and development. The bill does not overturn the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. Instead, it places a 12-year moratorium on select regu- lations covering GHG emissions from stationary sources. Ultimately, the goal of a price on carbon is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. FCNL believes pricing carbon is one essential
tool to address climate change.
The MARKET CHOICE Act is projected to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 30-40 percent below 2005 levels by 2030, exceeding the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. This bill is an important milestone in congressional efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, address climate change, and protect vulnerable communities in a bipartisan fashion. FCNL has worked for years to cultivate meaningful bipartisan dialogue in Congress on climate change solutions. There still are questions whether the revenue is allocated the best way and what consequences there might be
for limiting EPA authority.
The MARKET CHOICE Act alone will not solve the climate crisis, but it is a pivotal step towards meaningful action.
Sen. Joe Donnelly
720 Hart Senate Off. Bldg.
Washington, DC 20510
Sen. Todd Young
400 Russell Senate Off. Bldg.
Washington, DC 20510
Rep. Luke Messer
1230 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Rep. Messer, Sen. _____________:
I am writing to urge your support for H.R. 6463, the MARKET CHOICE Act, and other similar policies which put a price on carbon emissions as a means of lowering the amount of greenhouse gas America generates.
As clearly shown by the American West this summer, climate change harms our health, our economy, our national security and our future. Climate change has been a partisan issue for far too long. The administration and Congress have fiddled while the world burns. Congress urgently must pass policies that will reduce US greenhouse gas emissions now to protect the climate and vulnerable communities.
Pricing carbon is one essential mechanism needed to address climate change. I urge you to support H.R. 6463 and other policies that put a price on carbon, reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, and protect our planetary home. It’s the only one we have.