WASHINGTON, Sept. 17, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The introduction of a House resolution on climate change from Rep. Chris Gibson (R-NY) and ten other Republicans provides an opportunity to hit the "reset" button on an issue that has become polarizing in recent years, touching off a dialogue that can lead to effective solutions to curb greenhouse gas emissions, Citizens' Climate Lobby said Thursday.
The resolution, introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives Thursday, acknowledges that climate change "has had noticeable, negative impacts that are expected to worsen in every region of the United States and its territories." The resolution states that the House should commit "to working constructively, using our tradition of American ingenuity, innovation, and exceptionalism, to create and support economically viable, and broadly supported private and public solutions."
Citizens' Climate Lobby Executive Director Mark Reynolds said, "The resolution creates a stepping stone that allows congressional Republicans to engage in the issue and come to the table with conservative solutions to climate change, such as a revenue-neutral carbon fee."
Though the resolution is non-binding, its significance is huge in that it turns down the heat on the climate issue and opens the space for a meaningful dialogue. It comes one week before the visit of Pope Francis, who made a plea for this type of conversation in his encyclical back in June:
"I urgently appeal, then, for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet. We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all."
The Pope's sentiment was echoed in a statement from Rep. Gibson after introducing the resolution: "All too often, the conversation about appropriate and balanced environmental stewardship gets caught up in partisan politics. Yet, this conversation is key to the preservation of our great country for generations to come."
Citizens' Climate Lobby, a nonpartisan organization with 250 chapters in the U.S., has been advocating for a steadily-rising fee on fossil fuels and returning revenue from the fee to all households. This solution would appear to align with the principles laid out in the Gibson resolution, which calls for prudent "stewardship of our economy and our environment:"
"Any efforts to mitigate the risks of, prepare for, or otherwise address our changing climate and its effects should not constrain the United States economy, especially in regards to global competitiveness."
Regional Economic Models, Inc. (REMI), conducted a study on CCL's proposal, calculating an annual increase of $10 per ton on the carbon dioxide content of fossil fuels. REMI found that emissions would be reduced 52 percent below 1990 levels after 20 years. The study also found that the policy would add 2.8 million jobs during that time, chiefly because of the economic stimulus of recycling the carbon fee revenue back into the economy.
In addition to Rep. Gibson, the other Republican sponsors of the resolution are Pennsylvania representatives Ryan Costello, Mike Fitzpatrick, and Patrick Meehan, New York representatives Richard Hanna and Elise Stefanik, Florida representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Carlos Curbelo, David Reichert from Washington state, Bob Dold from Illinois, and Frank LoBiondo from New Jersey.
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Source:Citizens Climate Lobby