Our leaders must adopt the pragmatic climate solution. Tell them you support carbon pricing and HR 763.

By Jacob A. Miller
Special to Gannett Kansas
Jacob A. Miller

There is no shortage of research, editorials and op-eds on the climate crisis and its effects. I assume that you are saturated with its detail, alarm and have already made up your mind.

But no matter what you know or where you stand, all of us have no choice but to pursue the same outlook: hope. But where to find it?

We find hope in the search for it. Real hope requires urgent and consistent participation, and so I’ll reiterate the politician’s mantra: Don’t let a good crisis go to waste. And now, with COVID-19 and climate change, we have two of them.

The exhausting election ought not make our political engagement complacent. Because have no doubt, a climate plan is coming. The only question is what will make it through divided Congress.

The Biden administration cautiously works toward a climate plan for a “clean energy revolution and environmental justice” that seeks to juggle various demands from environmental groups seated around the Administration’s table. Unlike the loathed Green New Deal, carbon pricing is not prescriptive, government regulation.

We must continue to call on our national representatives to support The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (HR 763). Don’t listen to me, listen to the experts: 3,500 expert economists worldwide — and 15 in Kansas — support the idea of a carbon tax.

HR 763 is not a tax but a fee. A fee does not grow the size of government; instead, the fee would be distributed back to citizens in the form of a dividend, overwhelmingly helping those poorer families and working families that need it the most. The money would not come from government handouts, but from pricing pollution, a majority of which comes from a handful of corporations.

Especially given climate change’s pernicious impact on agriculture, our Kansas leaders should support market-driven efforts to curb climate change. Sens. Jerry Moran and Roger Marshall repeatedly express their enthusiasm for conservation efforts. Rep. Tracey Mann (KS-01) said last September, “We need to highlight climate solutions that are produced by agriculture, while our producers feed and clothe the country.”

Yet once again, politics has Trumped policy. No one has formally supported a carbon fee-and-dividend bill.

Want a dose of hope besides emailing or calling? Join me in lobbying them face-to-face. I will be spearheading a Citizens’ Climate Lobby Zoom meeting with Rep. Mann’s staff within the next two weeks.

If you are interested in joining, please email me at jam199540@gmail.com. It’s quick to learn and requires minimal time. If you cannot do the end of June, we lobby each leader 3-4 times a year.

If you are at all concerned about climate change, need hope, and want to do something but don’t know what, this is that something.

Jacob A. Miller is a sixth-generation Kansan and resident of Manhattan.