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Rep. John Katko should join his Republican U.S. House of Representatives colleague Francis Rooney of Florida and others in co-sponsoring the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act to combat climate change. Increasingly erratic weather is wreaking havoc on our economy with cost estimates in the hundreds of billions of dollars.

Mr. Katko is uniquely positioned as someone in his party who says he wants to find bipartisan compromise on key issues. The Energy Innovation Act is a market-based solutions that protects our countries business interests, as well as its health. The Act would create a low but steadily rising fee on fossil fuels with all net funds returned to American families. This would help cover the resulting bump in energy costs. The fee would create a signal to Wall Street to invest in renewable energy rather than the fig leaf of a steady drip of appropriations from Congress. It's the best first step forward on climate change, with estimates of a 40 percent reduction in harmful emissions in 10 years.

Mr. Katko has previously signed a Republican Climate Resolution saying Congress needs to act on climate in ways that won’t harm the economy. One study showed that a carbon fee returning net funds with monthly checks to all U.S. residents, would expand our economy by $1.375 trillion, create 2.8 million jobs and lower emissions by 90 percent over 20 years. Economists of all political stripes agree this is the best first step to tackling climate change.

The Citizen editorial staff has asked Mr. Katko to endorse this bill. Businesses and the public need to ask Mr. Katko to do so as well. He won't act unless the public lets him know this is a priority. Let him know now is the time and not after more years of economic damage that will make the extreme weather harder to deal with and reverse.

Sunny Aslam


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