Thank you for your Dec. 2 editorial, "Time for Katko to act on climate change." You rightly point out that the constituents of this district expect action on climate and expect it in a way that protects the economic interests of both businesses and individuals.
You also rightly point out that the opportunity to do that is here, now. The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act taxes fossil fuels, sending an important pricing signal to shift away from carbon emissions. This policy will cut emissions 40 percent in 12 years. When implemented together with other state, individual and corporate actions, we could achieve the 50 percent emissions reductions needed to preserve a livable world.
But won't this harm our economy?
Inaction on climate would be the greatest harm to our economy. As projected by the recent National Climate Assessment, if climate change is allowed to continue unabated it will cost our country 10 percent of GDP by the end of the century. Instead, and as The Citizen's editorial alluded to, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act will actually grow our economy and jobs. It will create 2.1 million additional jobs over the next 10 years, thanks to growth in the clean energy economy and by recycling the money back into the economy through dividend checks.
Prominent businesses in the central New York area have recognized the serious threat posed by climate change and the economic benefits of carbon dividends and as a result they have endorsed the carbon dividend concept. We should join them in encouraging Representative Katko to become a cosponsor of HR7173, and in so doing, become a leader in preserving a livable planet and a stronger central New York economy.