Stefanik must do something about climate change

To the editor:

If Rep. Elise Stefanik is wary of the price tag of the proposed Green New Deal (Adirondack Daily Enterprise, March 27), I suggest she consider another piece of legislation as a starting point — H.R. 763, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act.

This revenue-neutral bill would put a steadily increasing fee on fossil fuel emissions, prompting individuals and businesses to shift to less-polluting alternatives. The funds from the fee would be returned to citizens as dividends to help defray their additional costs and prevent a political backlash.

H.R. 763 calls for a reduction in carbon emissions of 90 percent by 2050. While it may not be enough to solve the problem alone, it is powerful tool that begins to account for the true cost of burning fossil fuels and harnesses market forces to help solve the problem.

If Rep. Stefanik is concerned about protecting the economy and not burdening taxpayers, failing to act on climate change is the worst course of action.

In the Adirondacks, our winter sports industry is at risk. Other parts of the country will also suffer economically. A federal report issued last fall estimated that climate change could reduce GDP by as much as 10 percent a year by the end of the century.

If we fail to act, we can also expect to pay bigger chunks of taxpayer money repairing the damage from extreme weather and shoring up infrastructure that’s no longer adequate.

Doing nothing on climate change is no longer an option.

Cathy E. Brown

Saranac Lake