Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

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December 6, 2018

The newly released National Climate Assessment highlights the growing and extreme dangers of climate change in every region of the U.S.

This week, a bipartisan bill – the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act - was introduced by three Republicans and three Democrats (Whitman County Gazette, 11/29/18.) The bill is a recognition that climate change is a human issue, no matter party or region, and that it’s critical to act now.

The Act provides a template for the market itself to significantly bring down climate emissions while stimulating the economy and protecting consumers, businesses and farmers. This is a win-win-win plan for the people, business and the environment.

For our region, this Act would open up many economic opportunities for non-fossil fuel energy innovation, generation and jobs. Why not have our area be the hub of research on batteries to store solar, wind and hydro energy long-term? Why not increase individual, county and regional revenues through more solar and wind generation? These opportunities and more mean well-paying jobs for our region. The Act’s monetary dividend to individuals means increased household incomes for most people, especially low income households.

There will be more benefits, including a decrease in wildfires that are already costing so much in terms of health, property and natural resources across our region and the nation. Provisions for agriculture include fuel exemptions and rebates for carbon capture and storage that will keep agriculture healthy and encourage innovation. More information about the Act is at https://energyinnovationact.org/.

Palouse Citizens’ Climate Lobby urges our representatives, Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Russ Fulcher, to carefully consider this Act. They can step up and be leaders for the people of eastern Washington and northern Idaho on this issue. It’s time to take that critical step.

--Judy Meuth, Pullman


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