Three Mass. Representatives Co-sponsor Climate Bill

The following Contribution is from Gary Rucinski at Citizens Climate Lobby:

CONTACT: GARY RUCINSKI: gary@rucinskis

While most members of Congress sit and ignore warnings from the scientific community about worsening climate change, three Massachusetts congressmen have demonstrated their commitment to a livable world by co-sponsoring the Save Our Climate Act, said Gary Rucinski, founder of the Boston chapter of Citizens Climate Lobby.

In the past month, Representatives Jim McGovern, John Olver and Michael Capuano – all Democrats – have signed on to H.R. 3242, introduced by Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA). The bill would place a steadily-rising fee on carbon-based fuels – coal, oil and gas – which would motivate an economy-wide shift from fossil fuels to clean energy. Revenue from the carbon fee would be returned as equal shares to the public in order to protect consumers from rising energy costs stemming from the fee.

“It only stands to reason that congressmen from Massachusetts – the cradle of our democracy – would step forward to declare our independence from the tyranny of fossil fuels,” said Rucinski. “Citizens Climate Lobby in Boston is proud of the stand our representatives have taken to reduce the greenhouse gases that are heating up our planet.”

Stark’s legislation, which has 18 co-sponsors, awaits action in the House Ways and Means Committee.

“Climate change is a serious environmental challenge,” said Rep. Capuano. “We must work to address it and better understand it so that our environment and our economy will not be negatively impacted. I am supporting the Save Our Climate Act because it will give us some of the tools we need to take on climate change.”

Man Overlooking Coast: Photograph by Ana Ortega

Michael Mershon from Rep. McGovern’s office laid out the reasons for the congressman’s co-sponsorship of H.R. 3242: “Jim McGovern strongly believes we must protect our air, water, and natural resources for the benefit and enjoyment of future generations of Americans. He also believes that our economic security depends on reducing our dependence on foreign oil, improving energy efficiency, and creating new, green jobs here at home.”

Rep. Olver pointed to the revenue-neutral approach of the Save Our Climate Act, which would “return money to overburdened taxpayers.  Additionally, it empowers our green energy technology sector – one of our country’s brightest prospects for re-asserting our leadership in the global economy.”

“That’s the real beauty of this bill,” said CCL’s Rucinski. “It motivates the private sector, rather than the government, to be the primary driver of the green economy. And that’s how it should be.”

Citizens Climate Lobby is an independent, nonpartisan organization dedicated to creating the political will for a sustainable climate. It supports the fee-and-dividend policy endorsed by NASA climate scientist Dr. James Hansen as a means of reducing the multiple risks of climate change. For more on CCL and fee-and-dividend, visit: citizensclimatelobby.org.

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