The research firm Rhodium Group reported on Jan. 8 that U.S. carbon dioxide emissions rose sharply by 3.4 percent in 2018. That report was very troubling, because last October the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned us that we have less than 12 years to take significant climate action or we will face very damaging consequences.
Fortunately, we do have solutions.
1. Oregon's Clean Energy Jobs bill, to be voted on and passed in the upcoming 2019 Oregon legislative session. Clean Energy Jobs is a policy to put a limit and price on climate pollution from the largest polluters in the state.
It will secure greenhouse gas reductions and reinvestment into communities across Oregon to create clean energy jobs and a thriving economy, especially in communities that need it most.
I recently asked my legislators, Rep. Diego Hernandez and Sen. Shemia Fagan, to support a strong Clean Energy Jobs bill with no industry giveaways, strong interim goals, and grounded in equity for low-income Oregonians. Please contact your legislators with the same goals for this bill.
2. Ask your members of Congress, Rep. Earl Blumenauer, Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, Rep. Greg Walden and Washington U.S. Rep. Jamie Herrera Beutler, to support the recently introduced bipartisan Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (HR 7173).
This congressional bill would be effective at reducing carbon pollution by over 40 percent in 12 years.
It's good for people by improving health and saving lives by reducing pollution that Americans breathe. Best of all, it's good for the economy, creating 2.1 million additional jobs over the next 10 years.
Pro-Israel bill not appropriate now
I can't believe with the government shutdown that the first bill the Senate introduced this year was the one to combat BDS (Boycotting, Divestment or Sanctions against Israel), by Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida.
Some 800,000 federal workers weren't being paid while the Senate was playing political games. Instead of addressing the business of this country, it's addressing the concerns of a foreign country.
Sen. Mitch McConnell forced a second vote within 24 hours after the bill's first defeat, (Jan. 8, then Jan. 10), and is now trying for a third vote to pass this unconstitutional bill.
This bill also seeks to fund Israel with $38 billion. Just think of all the issues our country and communities could address with that kind of money — things from infrastructure, jobs and education to homeless children. I think we need to take care of our country's needs first. If Israel were really a friend to this country, it would not be asking us for more and more money, considering all the problems our country needs to address and fix.
To make matters worse, the House just passed a bill, HR 221, by a vote of 411-1 to force the president to name an anti-Semitism envoy to monitor criticism of Israel. When is the House going to write a bill to monitor criticism of Germany or Mexico or any other country or religion? We always hear about separation of church and state, I think this also implies separation of synagogue and state.
These bills are dangerous to our republic by violating our First Amendment rights of free speech and the right to boycott. Please contact your senators — Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden — and tell them not to support these bills.