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Letter to the Editor: Climate concern rising among legislative priorities

To the editor:

Concern about the threat of catastrophic climate change is rising across the U.S.

At the federal level, national security tops all other concerns. Rising seas require that threatened military ports like Newport, Virginia be adapted so ships can be provisioned and personnel can report for duty. New military equipment technology is being developed across disciplines. As climate refugees destabilize foreign governments, supply lines must be redesigned in case of bottlenecks and delays.

Our coastal states take action as stronger storms and tides, inland forest fires and drought threaten people and crops. Here in the Seventh Congressional District, we've seen rising temperatures, earlier springs (creating longer growing seasons), longer droughts and torrential rains dropping as much as 14 inches in just a few hours.

Congress is beginning to acknowledge the threat and recognize that we can and must act before an overheated climate threatens our way of life. On a June trip to the Capitol, members of the Citizens Climate Lobby found more elected officials willing to listen and look for solutions. While few are willing to move ahead in an election year, a majority want to take action. Indeed, 84 matched Republicans and Democrats have joined the Climate Solutions Caucus.

Congress must find solutions that build the economy, create jobs, save lives, reduce CO2 emissions and use the mighty power of the marketplace instead of relying on burdensome, time-consuming regulations to cut fossil fuel use.

The Citizens Climate Lobby believes that solution is a federal fee on emissions, paid by the oil, coal and natural gas producers, with the entire fee revenue returned as a monthly dividend to the American people. The dividend and the movement of capital to the new energy economy will create millions of new jobs and new opportunities for all.

Jeanne Johnson

Citizens Climate Lobby

Alexandria, MN