The following article was composed by members of the Modesto Citizens’ Climate Lobby
February 2, the Modesto City Council passed a resolution in support of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) national revenue-neutral carbon fee and dividend policy (www.citizensclimatelobby.org). The resolution, introduced by the Modesto CCL chapter, is the first of its kind in California’s Central Valley. It instructs Modesto’s Mayor to write Congressman Jeff Denham, asking him to support the measure on a national level.
The measure features a steadily increasing fee at the point of fossil fuel extraction and a rebate each month to every American household. It has three major benefits:
- Renewable energy becomes increasingly cheaper relative to carbon-based energy, thus stimulating more private investment in renewable energy and a rapid reduction of carbon dioxide.
- For two-thirds of American households, the rebate will outweigh cost increases from the fee on carbon.
- The Stanislaus county economy will benefit as monthly rebates are spent locally.
Reducing fuel emissions will also improve Stanislaus County’s air quality, currently 4th worst in the nation. Nationwide, according to an independent 2014 study by Regional Economic Modeling, Inc. (REMI), the revenue-neutral carbon fee and dividend program will produce over 2.8 million jobs and add $70-90 billion to the GDP over 20 years.
“The science of human-caused global warming is clear,” said Jerry Jackman, chair of the local CCL chapter. “This resolution shows Modesto’s leaders endorsing a practical path to lessen the many harmful effects of carbon pollution.”
Two dozen supporters showed up Tuesday night to support the measure, including three Modesto Junior College students and several Modesto CCL members. Alexandra Golikov, Jody Strait, and Joseph Suratt presented to the city council. Others from the CCL who presented or answered questions from council members were MJC professors Bill Anelli and Elizabeth McInnes, retired MJC professor of microbiology, Dr. Richard Anderson, Kathy Conrotto, Des Orsinelli, and chair Jerry Jackman.
The presentations addressed the negative impacts of climate change on our agricultural economy, local asthma problems, and our “frozen reservoir,” the Sierra snowpack. They demonstrated, per the REMI study, how the measure’s “win-win” approach rapidly reduces CO2 more quickly than alternatives such as carbon cap and trade programs by using the free-market instead of government regulations or government control.
The resolution was decided 4-3 with council members Tony Madrigal, Kristi Ah You, Jenny Kenoyer, and Mayor Garrad Marsh voting in favor.
The CCL advisory board includes former Secretary of State George Shultz, of the Hoover Institute, James Hansen, formerly lead NASA climate scientist, Rear Admiral (ret.) David Titley, and Texas Tech atmospheric scientist Katharine Hayhoe.
The CCL’s free market proposal is part of a growing trend toward bipartisan cooperation on climate change. Recently, a bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus was formed, co-chaired by Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) and Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL). In 2015 eleven Republicans signed on to Rep. Chris Gibson’s (R-NY) resolution (H. Res 424) calling for action on climate change.
About Citizens’ Climate Lobby: Citizens’ Climate Lobby is a non-profit, non-partisan, grassroots advocacy organization with 264 chapters focused on national policies to address climate change. In order to generate the political will necessary for passage of our Carbon Fee and Dividend proposal we train and support volunteers to engage elected officials, the media and the public.