Officials with the Delaware County chapter of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby are lauding U.S. Rep. Pat Tiberi following his decision to join the bipartisan House Climate Solutions Caucus.
“We urgently need bipartisanship to confront the threat of a warming planet, so Rep. Tiberi’s step forward into the Climate Solutions Caucus is impressive,” said Michael Schaal, the Delaware CCL chapter’s liaison to Tiberi’s office.
Currently, half of the Caucus’s 60 members are Republicans, half Democrats. Representatives may join only when paired with someone from the opposing party. Tiberi, R-Genoa Township, joined with his friend and colleague Rep. John Larson from Connecticut, who also serves on the Ways and Means Committee.
“It seems like every election cycle the climate change debate turns into partisan bickering,” said Tiberi. “The House Climate Solutions Caucus’s goal is to raise the bar and focus on meaningful climate and energy solutions that are effective, pro-jobs and bipartisan.”
Rich Bradley of the local chapter told The Gazette that the group met with Tiberi in May at his office and discussed the national CCL’s proposal for a “carbon fee and dividend” — a steadily rising fee on carbon with revenues returned to households.
“Tiberi said he was intrigued,” said Bradley, and wanted to hear input about it “from all sides.”
The CCL chapter convened a varied group of six business representatives who met with Tiberi at the Delaware Chamber of Commerce in July. Jay Butera, a national CCL leader, and Jerry Taylor, the head of the libertarian Niskanen Center in Washington, also attended, said Alice Frazier of CCL.
“There was open and thoughtful discussion; good questions were asked and informed responses were given,” she said. “At the end, Mr. Tiberi suggested a follow-up meeting with Butera and Taylor in Washington.”
That meeting had not yet occurred when CCL learned from Tiberi’s office that Tiberi had joined the Climate Solutions Caucus.
“We were delighted,” said CCL’s John Krieger. “He acted more quickly than we expected. It is clear that he takes climate seriously and sees the urgency of congressional action.”
Marianne Gabel of CCL said the group will continue to meet with Tiberi and his staff, as they have been doing, in discussions about a carbon fee and dividend as the fairest and most effective way of reducing carbon emissions.
“That’s the key to a livable future,” she said.
Other House members from Ohio who have joined the Climate Solutions Caucus are Republican David Joyce and Democrat Marcy Kaptur.
For information about the Citizens’ Climate Lobby, visit citizensclimatelobby.org.