Letter: Carbon Dividend Act is a good, bipartisan place to start negotiating ‘meaningful change’

FILE - In this Dec. 10, 2018 photo, smokestacks near an oil refinery are seen in front of the Utah State Capitol as an inversion settles over Salt Lake City. A new study released Monday, March 11, 2019, says African-Americans and Hispanics breathe in far more deadly air pollution than they are responsible for making. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

It is a new day when a letter written to President Biden from 17 Republican freshmen states, “We hope we can rise above the partisan fray to negotiate meaningful change for Americans across the nation and maintain the United States’ standing as the best country in the world.” (NPR Jan. 20) As Rep. Burgess Owen’s constituent, I am encouraged to see him as a signator.

Many Americans are more than ready to walk away from the divisive rhetoric of the past and now expect their Members of Congress to meet at the negotiating table with members from across the aisle. One critical conversation on the table is that of our climate. Climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe’s words succinctly explain the context in which this conversation should take place: “A thermometer isn’t Democrat or Republican. It doesn’t give us a different number depending on how we vote. And climate change isn’t a liberal or conservative issue. It is a human issue.”

The bipartisan Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act [https://energyinnovationact.org] is a good place to start. A market-based solution, it prices carbon pollution and returns net revenues to American families. It creates jobs, is good for the economy and, by rapidly reducing green-house gases it will protect our common home from ongoing climate damage.

Thank you, Rep. Owens, for promising to work with our president. As one in the majority of Utahans who believe in the reality of climate change, I look forward to the progress you will make as you “negotiate for meaningful change.” We would ask that the human issue of climate change be addressed so that we become the “best country in the world” to lead on creating a safe and healthy common home.

Karen Jackson, Salt Lake City

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