Take a quick action for the climate on June 20!

On June 21, 800 Citizens’ Climate Lobby volunteers from across the country will be heading to Capitol Hill to ask Congress for legislation to tackle climate change.

Here is a quick and easy action you can take to help amplify their voice: Make a pledge to call your members of Congress on June 20 and let them know you would like them to make climate change a top priority.

We all have good intentions, but there are so many issues demanding our attention!  Make it easier on yourself by entering your email on this pledge form. You will get an email reminder in the morning of June 20 with instructions for how to call and what to say.  Your email address will not be collected, saved or shared — it will only be used to send one reminder.

A large number of calls to each congressional office would make a big impression.  Can we count on your help?

Broad Support for Pricing Carbon

Often when CCL volunteers meet with an elected official to advocate for Carbon Fee and Dividend, we are asked who else supports it.  Fortunately, we are able to respond that there is a lot of support, both for Carbon Fee and Dividend in particular, and for pricing carbon in general.  Below is a sampling of the broad support for pricing carbon and for acting on climate change.

Local endorsers of CCL’s Carbon Fee and Dividend

  • Ann Arbor Mayor Christopher Taylor
  • Washtenaw County Commissioner Yousef Rabhi
  • Mark Clevey, Vice Chair, Ann Arbor Energy Commission
  • Ann Arbor Energy Commission
  • Jonathan Levine, Professor of Architecture and Urban Planning
  • SUR Energy, LLC
  • Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association

A few of the national / prominent organizations and municipalities endorsing CCL’s Carbon Fee and Dividend

  • Mars, Inc.
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Santa Fe, NM
  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • Philadelphia, PA

Prominent individuals who endorse CCL’s Carbon Fee and Dividend (all members of the CCL Advisory Board)

  • Former Secretary of State George Shultz
  • Dr. James Hansen, former Director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies
  • David W. Titley, professor of meteorology at Pennsylvania State University, NOAA’s chief operating officer from 2012-2013, former chief oceanographer of the U.S. Navy
  • Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, Director Climate Science Center, Texas Tech University
  • Don Cheadle, actor, humanitarian
  • Dr. Shi-Ling Hsu,Associate Dean for Environmental Programs at the Florida State University College of Law. He teaches and writes in the areas of environmental and natural resource law, climate change, law and economics, and property.

Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company has a detailed sustainability report which includes the company’s views on climate change policy.  Their statement reads, in part:

We believe we need a comprehensive, market-based approach to reducing GHG emissions if the U.S. is going to reduce emissions at the lowest cost per ton. An economy-wide program would provide flexibility to regulated entities while allowing market mechanisms to determine where GHG reductions can be achieved at the lowest cost … Thoughtful and comprehensive national energy and climate policy that provides a price signal is needed to support the billions of dollars being invested in low-carbon and fuel-efficient vehicle technologies.

Thirty-two notable individuals call on Paris climate negotiators to tax carbon

On the eve of the of the UN climate summit, a letter urging negotiators to implement carbon taxes was signed by 32 prominent individuals, including four Nobel Laureates, three former U.S. cabinet secretaries who served under four Presidents (from both major political parties), two former vice-chairs of the Federal Reserve System’s board of governors, and three distinguished faculty members from Harvard University’s economics department.  The letter and list of signers is available here.

ExxonMobil

ExxonMobil’s Statement on COP 21, includes the following explanation:

ExxonMobil believes that effective policies to address climate change will put a price on greenhouse gas emissions and will:

  • Ensure a uniform and predictable cost of greenhouse gas emissions across the economy;
  • Let market prices drive the selection of solutions;
  • Minimize regulatory complexity and administrative costs while maximizing transparency;
  • Promote global participation; and
  • Provide flexibility for future adjustments in response to scientific developments and the economic consequences of climate policies.

ExxonMobil has for many years held the view that a revenue-neutral carbon tax is the best option to fulfill these key principles. Instead of subsidies and mandates that distort markets, stifle innovation, and needlessly raise energy costs, a carbon tax could help create the conditions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a way that spurs new efficiencies and technologies.

Six oil majors ask for carbon pricing in open letter to UN

In an open letter to France’s Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius, and Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), six major European oil companies — BG Group, BP, Eni, Royal Dutch Shell, Statoil and Total — call for a price on carbon. The full letter can be read here.

Our companies are already taking a number of actions to help limit emissions … For us to do more, we need governments across the world to provide us with clear, stable, long-term, ambitious policy frameworks. We believe that a price on carbon should be a key element of these frameworks.

Open letter from 79 CEOs to world leaders urging climate action and carbon price

An open letter signed by 79 CEOs of companies from 20 economic sectors, called on governments to take bold action to address climate change, and suggested that effective policy must include carbon pricing.  CEOs from Dow Chemical, Microsoft, PepsiCo, Nestlé, and IKEA are among the signers.  The full letter is available here.

We believe that effective climate policies have to include explicit or implicit prices on carbon achieved via market mechanisms or coherent legislative measures according to national preferences, which will trigger low-carbon investment and transform current emission patterns at a significant scale.

Climate Declaration

The Ceres.org Climate Declaration states, “Tackling climate change is one of America’s greatest economic opportunities of the 21st century (and it’s simply the right thing to do).”  The declaration has been signed by over 1000 companies, and the list continues to grow.  View the current list here.  Prominent Michigan signers include General Motors, Kellogg’s, and Crystal Mountain.

Members of Congress

While we do not have a list of members of Congress who support Carbon Fee and Dividend, there are many representatives and senators who have stated support for addressing climate change.  First, several bills have been introduced, all by Democrats, which call for a price on carbon.  Here are the bill names and sponsors:

  • H.R. 972, McDermott
  • H.R. 1027, Van Hollen
  • H.R. 2202, Delaney
  • S. 1548, Whitehouse, Schatz
  • H.R 3104, Larson
  • S. 2399, Sanders

H.Res. 424, the Gibson Resolution, states that human caused climate change is happening, and Congress must act.  All of the co-sponsors are Republicans:

  • Rep. Chris Gibson (NY-19)
  • Rep. Ryan Costello (PA-06)
  • Rep. Carlos Curbelo (FL-26)
  • Rep. Bob Dold (IL-10)
  • Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-8)
  • Rep. Richard Hanna (NY-22)
  • Rep. Patrick Meehan (PA-7)
  • Rep. David Reichert (WA-7)
  • Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27)
  • Rep. Elise Stefanik (NY-21)
  • Rep. Frank LoBiondo (NJ-02)
  • Rep. Tom Reed (NY-23)
  • Rep. David Jolly (FL-13)

The purpose of the bi-partisan Climate Solutions Caucus is to “explore policy options that address the impacts, causes, and challenges of our changing climate.”  A representative may only join the caucus if they pair up with a colleague from the other party.  Here are the members so far:

  • Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL)
  • Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL)
  • Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)
  • Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-FL)
  • Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-CA)
  • Rep. Chris Gibson (R-NY)
  • Rep. Ryan Costello (R-PA)
  • Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-PA)
  • Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA)
  • Rep. John Delaney (D-MD)
  • Rep. Bob Dold (R-IL)
  • Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA)

CCL Volunteer Running for Office

StevenKwasnySteven Kwasny, a 28-year-old Eastern Michigan University student, and member of the Ann Arbor chapter of CCL, recently announced his campaign for state House in the 53rd district.

Kwasny believes that one of the biggest problems with government is money, and thus, campaign finance reform is a major focus of his campaign.  Kwasny says that campaign contributions “prohibit the common good from prevailing” and he will refuse any donations to his campaign.

According to MLive, Kwasny’s platform also includes:

protecting the environment, increasing citizen participation in the democratic process, and restoring the community’s faith in state government.

As a state lawmaker, Kwasny said he would work on decreasing maximum campaign contribution limits, making voter registration automatic, creating a “democracy on demand” app that would allow constituents to better interact with their representative, and upholding progressive values.

Kwasny made his announcement on Monday, April 11 on the campus of Washtenaw Community College.

WCC Climate Summit

On March 24, the Washtenaw Community College Political Science Club sponsored a Climate Change Summit.  It began with a brief introduction to some of the key concepts of climate change, presented by club vice president, Joe Chapman.  Joe’s presentation was followed by a panel discussion.  Due to a last minute conflict, scheduled speaker Representative Adam Zemke was unable to participate and Citizens’ Climate Lobby was invited to fill his spot.  Other panelists were Mariah Urueta of Food and Water Watch, Henry Griffin of Michigan League of Conservation Voters, and Emily Woodcock of Clean Water Action.  Panelists were asked questions on a variety of topics related to climate change and the environment, such as, What inspired you to become involved in environmental work?, What obstacles have you had to overcome in your work?, and How do you respond to climate skeptics?

Kudos to the WCC Political Science club for putting together a very thoughtful and informative event.joe2 joe3 joe

WEMU Covers Carbon Fee & Dividend

On the Wednesday, March 2 edition of WEMU’s Issues of the Environment program, host David Fair interviewed Stephen Raiman, a member of the Ann Arbor Energy Commission, to discuss CCL’s Carbon Fee and Dividend proposal.  The Energy Commission passed a resolution endorsing Carbon Fee and Dividend and has recommended that Ann Arbor City Council also support the proposal.

According to Raiman, Carbon Fee and Dividend is, “an all-in-one solution…putting a price on carbon is one action that can really solve the issue.”  Listen to the complete interview here.

February Guest Speaker

UNICEFOur February guest on the national conference call is Jeffrey O’Malley, Director of the Division of Data, Research and Policy for UNICEF.  He is responsible for shaping research and evidence priorities, ensuring that evidence in turn shapes UNICEF policies and strategies. Mr. O’Malley joins our February call to discuss UNICEF’s report, Unless We Act Now, about the impact of climate change on children.

City of Ann Arbor Energy Commission endorses carbon fee and dividend proposal

On Tuesday, January 12th the City of Ann Arbor Energy Commission voted nine to one to endorse the carbon fee and dividend proposal of Citizens’ Climate Lobby!

According to Commissioner Stephen Raiman, who introduced the resolution in support of CCL’s proposal, “Carbon pollution is expensive for society, and the market should reflect that. The Citizens’ Climate Lobby has a fair and realistic plan for reducing GHG emissions.  Their Carbon Fee and Dividend plan is consistent with the goals of the Energy Commission, and with the values of the people of Ann Arbor.

The Energy Commission recommends that the Ann Arbor City Council also endorse the Fee and Dividend proposal.  This will be brought up at a future City Council meeting.

Ann Arbor CCL is pleased that the Energy Commission recognizes Carbon Fee and Dividend as a promising plan to quickly reduce GHG emissions while benefiting the economy, and is very grateful for their support and encouragement.  Building broad support is key to passing such legislation, and the Energy Commission’s endorsement demonstrates that leaders in our community are with us.ccl_resolution_as_passed

January Guest Speaker

Hahrie HanOur guest speaker at our January meeting is Hahrie Han. Han is the Anton Vonk Associate Professor of Environmental Politics in the Department of Political Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She specializes in the politics of environmental and social policy, focusing particularly on the role that civic associations play in mobilizing participation in politics and policy advocacy.

Hahrie is also the author of the book, How Organizations Develop Activists.

The January meeting takes place at the First Unitarian Universalist Congregation (4001 Ann Arbor-Saline Rd) from 12:45 – 2:45 pm.  All are welcome!

December Guest Speaker

Retired Navy Rear Admiral David Titley

Admiral David TitleyOur guest for the December call is Dr. David Titley, a professor of practice in meteorology at Pennsylvania State University and the founding director of their Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk. He was also NOAA’s chief operating officer from 2012-2013. Before assuming these positions, he was a rear admiral and the chief oceanographer of the U.S. Navy, in which he served for 32 years.

While serving in the Pentagon, Dr. Titley initiated and led the US Navy’s Task Force on Climate Change.