While racial relations and COVID-19 have captured well-deserved media attention, the recent Numbers fire south of Gardnerville has reminded us that fuel aridity in our wildlands continues to worsen due to a warming climate. A group of advocates from the Carson City and Reno Chapter of Citizens’ Climate Education (CCE) participated in a virtual climate conference and lobbying event last month.
The June event, attended nationally by 4,685 climate advocates, offered keynote addresses, breakout sessions, and deep-dive seminars. Several Nevadans held phone or Zoom meetings with staffers from the offices of Rep. Mark Amodei, Sen. Jacky Rosen and Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto to push Congress for climate change solutions, such as a price on carbon pollution.
They sought support for the bipartisan Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (HR 763), which will put a fee on fossil fuel-generated carbon dioxide and methane emissions. It will drive down carbon pollution because energy companies and Americans will choose cleaner, cheaper energy options. The money from the fee will be returned directly to the American people as a monthly dividend. Most American households will end up with more money from the dividend than the increase in fuel prices. The bill has 80 House co-sponsors.
"We appreciate that all three members of Congress serving Northern Nevada made time for members of their staff to meet with CCE volunteers and supporters. Sen. Jacky Rosen recently joined the Bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus and we are encouraged to see her make climate action a priority," said Michael Collins, Nevada State Coordinator for Citizens’ Climate Education and a member of the Reno Chapter. “We hope to see Rep. Amodei support HR 763. This policy will benefit our economy, our health, and our futures here in Nevada.” Michael said.
“In Northern Nevada, we’re still very concerned about climate change, even during this pandemic and other issues our country is grappling with,” said Chas Macquarie, a leader of the Carson City Chapter. “We’re ready for Congress to take action, and we’re working to make that happen.”
They are not alone in this sentiment. New polling from Yale and George Mason Universities confirms that Americans’ understanding of climate change and concern about it remain at record highs. To learn more about Citizens Climate Education, see citizensclimateeducation.org.
John Cobourn is a Carson Valley resident and retired educator with the UNR Extension.