Letter: The Carbon Dividend Act would be a victory for people, the economy and the natural world

FILE -- Steam billows from the coal-powered Huntington Power Plant in Huntington, Utah, Feb. 7, 2019. About half of the premature deaths caused by poor air quality are linked to pollutants that blow in from other states, a new study found. (Brandon Thibodeaux/The New York Times)

Faith communities have an important voice in climate policy dialogue. After all, climate change is not just a political issue, but a spiritual one as well. At their most basic level, our collective acts of climate destruction are symptoms of spiritual ills such as greed, apathy, and estrangement from the natural world. To give this earth a fighting chance, we will simultaneously need to change our policies and change ourselves. We cannot do this without the help of faith communities.

This is why I was encouraged by the news of twenty prominent faith-based organizations endorsing carbon pricing. This coalition also provided guiding principles for policymakers, among which were stewardship and human dignity. The recently reintroduced Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (EICDA) is grounded in these same principles. By introducing a nationwide fee on carbon, the EICDA could reduce our carbon emissions by 30% in five years and bring us to net zero by 2050 (2). Additionally, the EICDA includes economy-protecting measures such as taxes on carbon-intensive imports and dividend payments to US families. The EICDA would be a victory for people, the economy and the natural world.

Now is the perfect time to contact your members of Congress and express support of the bill. Let’s reaffirm the message of stewardship: the earth is a gift to be cherished, not taken for granted.

Josh Epperly, Salt Lake City

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