Congressman Katko is to be commended for his leadership in the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, focusing on legislation to rebuild America's crumbling infrastructure. This type of expenditure is an investment in economic vitality for the future.
We need his leadership on another pressing issue as well. This has been a stunning year of climate disasters, from Hurricane Harvey to the California fires and mudslides. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration just published a report saying 2017 set a record for climate disaster expenditures: $306 billion! This crushed the previous record of $215 billion set in 2005. These are mind-boggling costs that will accelerate as the climate continues to warm over the coming years. We need strong measures to shift away from burning fossil fuels, the greatest contributor to climate change.
A national nonprofit called Citizens' Climate Lobby has a revenue-neutral plan called Carbon Fee and Dividend, which places a steadily increasing fee on carbon, then returns the entire fee to individual households in the form of a monthly dividend. Studies show this incentivizes a shift toward renewable energies, and also serves as a mild stimulus to the economy. There are other carbon fee plans being floated these days, and momentum is building for this type of strong investment in climate solutions. We can and should do all we can to protect our air and water, our coastal cities, and the promise of a livable world for future generations.
Congressman Katko, please consider sponsoring revenue-neutral carbon fee legislation this year.