by Kristi Weir
At the request of the Earth and Climate Action Ministry (ECAM), the East Shore Unitarian Church Board of Directors voted in June to endorse the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (HB763), now being considered in the U.S. House of Representatives. If passed, this act would place a carbon fee on fossil-based fuels. All revenues from the carbon fees would be returned in equal shares every month to the American people.
Currently 68 faith communities across the country have signed on as supporters of the EICDA. The UUA and 17 UU congregations are included in this list, with ESUC being added in July.
This legislation will accomplish a lot:
- It will reduce carbon pollution. The rising price of fossil-based fuels will encourage the use of renewable energy resources, increase energy efficiency, and encourage the development of new technologies. It will slow our planet’s warming!
- It will create jobs and advance climate justice: Since most people will receive more in carbon dividends than they pay in increased costs for fuel, they will have more money to spend. It is estimated this policy will create 2.1 million jobs over 10 years.
- It will improve public health: Less carbon pollution means healthier people and less spent on environmental and health effects of fossil fuels.
This carbon fee and dividend policy was developed by, and is the primary focus, of Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL) a non-profit, nonpartisan grassroots advocacy organization. Many CAM members at ESUC are also members of CCL. CCL has 400 chapters across the United States. In order to generate the political will necessary for passage of the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (EICDA), CCL trains and supports volunteers to build relationships with elected officials, the media, businesses, community leaders, NGOs, and faith communities.
Within CCL, there is a UU Faith Action Team, within which CAM/ESUC member Kristi Weir is very active. One of the missions of UU Faith Action Team is to educate UU friends about CCL and the benefits of carbon fee and dividend policy and to point out that such a policy is consistent with UU principles, such as “take good care of the earth”. UU Faith Action team also works with UUA leadership to support and promote the EICDA.