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Citizens’ Climate Lobby offers positive climate change action

Citizens’ Climate Lobby offers positive climate change action

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In the face of COVID-19, the coming election, and civil demonstrations all over the country, it can sometimes feel as though we are living in a divided world, where every issue we face demands we choose a side based on party lines. When it comes to climate change, however, some citizens are putting politics aside to work together and create a more livable world for our future generations.

Go Green Galloway is a volunteer organization dedicated to reducing the carbon footprint of Galloway through the promotion of energy efficiency and conservation, environmental education and the implementation of sustainable practices. We always welcome new volunteer members. Contact us at gogreengalloway12@gmail.com or call Mary at 609-742-7076. Also be sure to like our Facebook page.

Based in Galloway Township, the Atlantic County Chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby comprises Republicans and Democrats who share a common goal: putting a price on carbon. As CCL volunteers, they are members of a nonprofit, nonpartisan grassroots advocacy organization focused on a national legislative solution to climate change, specifically one called carbon-fee-and-dividend. Carbon-fee-and-dividend is a market-based approach that scientists and economists agree will drive down America’s carbon pollution and bring climate change under control, while unleashing American technology innovation and ingenuity.

The idea behind carbon-fee-and-dividend is to lower the use of fossil fuels by gradually raising their price commensurate to their true cost to society. All revenue raised from the carbon fee is returned to households evenly in the form of a monthly check (or dividend), which will be enough to fully compensate for higher energy costs. Most households, including low-income, minority, and elderly populations, would gain financially. Citizens have the freedom to choose how to spend (or save) that extra money; whether it goes towards solar panels, insulating their homes, or the family grocery bill. To maintain competitiveness, a border adjustment fee would be added for all imports of goods from countries who lack an adequate price on carbon.

In 2019, this concept was brought to fruition by Congress in the form of H.R. 763, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act. The bill is currently in committee with 82 cosponsors and counting, and has received endorsements from over 700 businesses, 119 local governments, 187 nonprofits and 6 tribal entities across the country.

George Schultz, formerly having served as both U.S. secretary of State and secretary of the Treasury, said of H.R. 763; “Its predictability mitigates price uncertainty, and its full dividend return makes it politically durable — both essential to markets investing in the next great industrial revolution. This bill prices carbon in an efficient, effective and equitable way that will enhance our national security, help level the playing field in world trade, and redeem America’s leadership role, all without growing the size of the government.”

To build support for H.R. 763 and other climate bills, CCL volunteers collect constituent letters to send to Congress, write newspaper editorials, lobby Congress and meet with local influencers, including labor unions, businesses and community leaders. In June, the Atlantic County chapter met with U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew via conference call to discuss the impacts of climate change to South Jersey and different ways to address it.

In this age of increasing polarization, CCL volunteers find solace in putting politics aside to work together for a common cause.

“My favorite thing about CCL is the bipartisanship. Climate change does not care who you vote for or what party you belong to, and we have a moral imperative to leave this world better off for our children. It is truly refreshing to be a part of this group and work with people all across the political spectrum”, said Carly Griffiths, Galloway resident and CCL Atlantic County group leader. Taking action sooner rather than later will be crucial to our local tourism, real estate, fishing and agriculture industries, as well as the health and safety of our residents in South Jersey.

To learn more or get involved with Citizens’ Climate Lobby, visit www.cclusa.org or email atlanticcounty@citizensclimatelobby.org.

Go Green Galloway is a volunteer organization dedicated to reducing the carbon footprint of Galloway through the promotion of energy efficiency and conservation, environmental education and the implementation of sustainable practices. We always welcome new volunteer members. Contact us at gogreengalloway12@gmail.com or call Mary at 609-742-7076. Also be sure to like our Facebook page.

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