The local Citizens Climate Lobby group had 5 persons attend the recent annual Virginia conference to discuss coordinated actions of the several Virginia chapters and to get an update on progress in the Congress. The CCL national organization is optimistic about getting legislation passed in this session for a number of reasons:
1. A single party controls both the house and Senate; this will facilitate legislation movement out of committee;
2. Businesses and insurance companies worldwide oppose exiting the Paris agreement on emissions reduction;
3. The heads of all countries of the world support taking action to reduce emissions to mitigate climate change, they will all make this a topic of discussion when they meet the new President;
4. The younger generation understands the risks of climate change and is desperate for Congress to start working and take action;
5. Prices of renewables are reducing significantly, e.g. the price of wind generated electricity in Texas is less per kwh than oil or gas from the new fracking finds;
6. Congress, especially the Senate is expected to act rationally and constrain actions that adversely impact the environment;
7. The U.S. public is increasingly aware of the reality of climate change and will be pushing for action;
8. The actions already started in the Congress such as the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus were unaffected by the election and will continue to provide a forum for discussion;
9. There has been a surge in new members of CCL which combined with existing CCL member persistence will be effective in increasing the will of Congress to put a price on carbon.
The purpose of CCL is to achieve a stable, livable climate for our grandchildren and great grandchildren. This is not a political movement. We believe the best tool available is to put a price on carbon where the fossil fuels enter the economy – mines, wells, import terminals – increasing the price steadily each year to encourage fossil fuel energy users to take actions that reduce dependency on fossil fuels, and take the revenues and return them as a dividend to each individual household. We call it Carbon Fee and Dividend (CF&D). Studies show it to be effective in reducing emissions, increasing jobs, increasing GDP, and eliminates the economic impact of CF&D on the lower quintile of the population.