I write in response to recent news about the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives. This group of representatives, equally matched with both Republicans and Democrats, now has 78 members. I note that our representative, Pat Tiberi, joined the caucus when he was in Congress. They have been active, reminding the House that the scientific consensus on climate is clear, and new data and analyses continue to point to how our actions are changing the environment.
It is somewhat easier for us here in Ohio to confuse our variable weather with the patterns of global change. But don’t be fooled, our climate is changing here, too, and in ways that will adversely affect Ohioans. The prospect of continued expansion of formerly southern disease vectors threaten us with Zika, Dengue, Chikungunya and others. Carbon dioxide, methane, fine particulates, and other components of air pollution are health threats for Ohioans. Changing patterns of spring rainfall intensity are not just causing local flooding, they are flushing more nutrients into Lake Erie, exacerbating the problem of algal blooms.
The good news is that clean energy alternatives are moving forward at an accelerating pace. Here in Ohio, wind and solar energy installations are growing faster than ever and creating jobs right here. The future for even more clean energy jobs is very bright.
I believe that our Delaware community is well-placed to take a leadership role in this energy revolution. We can encourage our legislative leaders to follow the lead of their Climate Solutions Caucus colleagues and advocate for putting a true price on carbon pollution, one that reflects the damage it does. By using a carbon fee and dividend plan, supported by the Citizens Climate Lobby, we can advocate for a market-based, revenue-neutral approach that will provide an incentive to change quickly without top-down regulation or growing government. There is a proposal before the Delaware City Council to endorse these ideas; I encourage our local leaders to demonstrate their leadership. It is vital to act now.