Big Climate Action Opportunity

Ask Montana Sen. Jon Tester to put carbon pricing in the reconciliation bill

By Robin Paone

I carefully read the article “Gianforte Ends Montana’s Climate Change Coalition Membership” published in the Beacon on July 11. I did find some points of agreement. Additional mandates to reduce emissions puts the cost on states to enforce. Also, mandates letting China off the hook since they only apply to the U.S. But I do wish our governor had stayed in the coalition to work with our neighbors on solutions.

Each day our local news here in Montana is filled with stories about wildfires, bad air, drought, heat waves, and imperiled fisheries, all made worse by our warming climate caused by fossil fuel emissions. I’m excited to share a big opportunity to start to turn things around.

The budget reconciliation process has started in Congress with a goal to halve emissions within 10 years. To reach that target the budget bill must include the essential tool most effective in reducing emissions: A price on carbon.

Today’s new generation of carbon pricing protects American families economically by giving emissions fees from fossil fuel producers back to households, aka Carbon Cash Back. It does not grow government.

An important component of a carbon price is a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism. CBAM applies to imports from nations that do not have an equivalent carbon price. This protects American businesses and will keep China in check. The current budget proposal includes a carbon border tax. But, to comply with World Trade Organization rules, the U.S. CBAM will require a domestic carbon price.

Ask Montana Sen. Jon Tester to put carbon pricing in the reconciliation bill. Show him support with calls and letters. His office staff is very friendly, but you can also leave a message after hours. A helpful action page is here: cclusa.org/senate. Let’s do this!

Robin Paone

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