|The October newsletter comes to you at an exciting time for climate action. Below you will read about developments in Congress, what you can do to bolster CCL’s efforts to put a price on carbon, and how to learn more through conferences and presentations. Please join us for our monthly meeting on October 19 at a new time, 5:30 pm (details below).|
By Dick Jones
There are clear signs that the U.S. Senate Finance Committee is considering the inclusion of a price on carbon in the federal budget.
Details remain to be finalized, but national media is widely reporting that Senate lawmakers are crafting legislation for a fee on carbon emissions that would start at $15 per ton and increase over time. A good portion of the revenue would be given to households to cover increased energy costs.
This carbon price is one of many climate-focused policies in the budget package, which Senate Democrats are designing with an eye toward President Biden’s goal of cutting carbon emissions in half by 2030.
In a national lobbying push this summer, CCL volunteers generated more than 52,000 calls and emails to Senate offices asking for a carbon price in the budget. In Pennsylvania, almost 1,800 contacts were made to our elected officials in September alone. We are grateful to all in the State College CCL Chapter who added their voices to this effort. Thank you!
“CCL has advocated for a price on carbon for over a decade, and our supporters are ecstatic that this essential tool may be included in the federal budget,” said Madeleine Para, President of CCL. “This is a moment to savor for our volunteers who have worked so tirelessly lobbying their members of Congress to enact a carbon price.”
Senators are also looking to include other climate measures in the budget package, such as a fee on methane and tax credits for clean energy and electric vehicles and the Clean Electricity Payment Plan. While CCL has focused our advocacy on a carbon price, we are also happy to see this suite of policies emerging that will work together to reduce emissions quickly and stabilize our climate.
The chart below shows that during the last three months CCL volunteers from Pennsylvania responded enthusiastically to the request that they call or write their elected officials asking them to include a price on carbon in the legislation being considered.
CCL is asking us to continue contacting our elected representatives. Here is a link for an easy way to email President Biden.
State College Monthly Meeting — Please note new time
In order to accommodate participation both in person and via Zoom, we are changing the time for our meetings. We will start at 5:30 pm and end at 6:30 pm. We hope this will make it possible for more people to join us in this hybrid meeting.
This is an important time to be involved with Citizens’ Climate Lobby, as Dick’s update made clear. We have come a long way in our efforts to make pricing carbon part of the national conversation, but we need to make a final push to make this a reality. Won’t you join us in this work? We need your innovative ideas and your circle of friends to create a mass movement pushing for climate legislation.
Monthly Meeting info:
Tuesday, October 19 from 5:30 to 6:30 pm
St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Room 325
208 West Foster Ave., State College
Click here for directions and parking information
For zoom information contact PAStateCollege@citizensclimatelobby.org
|News from our chapter:|
We were well represented in the media during the past month.
Dick Jones wrote a letter to the editor that was published in the Centre Daily Times and also in the Lock Haven Express in which he encouraged Sen. Casey to include a price on carbon in the reconciliation bill being written by Congress.
“Climate Change and Political Will,” a subject that resonated with the recent headlines out of Washington, was the subject of this month’s OpEd in the Centre Daily Times. Written by Mark Neely, it was published on September 13.
To publicize our upcoming forestry panel (see below) Dick Jones sent a press release to newspapers throughout central Pennsylvania. The notice was published in the Lock Haven Express and in the Altoona Mirror.
John Swisher offered a timely warning that “High Temperatures are Deadly” in his letter to the editor that appeared in the Centre Daily Times on Sept. 16.
|While many of our members called and sent emails to Sen. Bob Casey, one of our members had the distinct privilege of actually lobbying the senator in person. Diane Mills talked to him about pricing carbon as he paid a visit to the Clinton County Democratic Committee in Lock Haven on Sept. 8. Thank you, Diane.|
|Mike Edwards and Helen Kenion represented our chapter at Lion Bash on Sept. 9. This event in downtown State College, which introduces Penn State students to the opportunities in the community, gave Mike and Helen a chance to discuss carbon pricing with many people in attendance. |
Won’t you write a letter to our local newspapers? The debate over climate change legislation is continuing in Congress, and CCL still wants us to keep the subject of carbon pricing in the news. Please contact Dick Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need any help in sending your letter.
“Exploring Forest Carbon: Management, Markets and Policy.”
Carbon storage and what it means for Pennsylvania’s forested land will be the theme of a panel discussion, open to the public, to be held online at noon, Tuesday, October 12. The free event is sponsored by the State College and Susquehanna Valley chapters of Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL).
The panelists are Kevin Yoder, forester for the Family Forest Carbon Program; Ellen Shultzabarger, Pennsylvania State Forester, and director of the state’s Bureau of Forestry; and Matt Gabler, executive director of the Pennsylvania Forest Products Association. You can register for this free event here.
|Conversation with Katharine Hayhoe|
Katharine Hayhoe, a professor at Texas Tech University, has written a new book that was released on Sept. 21. It is entitled Saving Us: A Climate Scientist’s Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World (the link is to Amazon). The Bloomsburg, PA CCL chapter arranged a special virtual book club conversation with Katharine on October 28th at 6:30 p.m., and they have invited all PA CCL volunteers. To ensure the book lands on your desk in time to read it before 10/28, use the link above or for bulk purchase/book club discounts, you can also pre-order it here. Register for this free event at: https://katharine_hayhoe_book_club.eventbrite.com
|News from Citizens’ Climate Lobby|
Climate change will not be solved by individual action. In her contribution to a collection of essays entitled All We Can Save, Leah Stokes, a professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara, wrote “”No one can unilaterally choose to live in a low-carbon economy.” If we aspire to maintain a liveable world, we must act together. And Citizens’ Climate Lobby brings together people whose dedication has already accomplished a great deal.
Remember, there are no dues at CCL. You will not be inundated with requests for money. On the contrary, CCL does not seek your money. It seeks your active engagement as a volunteer. CCL will encourage you and provide ways for your actions to be effective in promoting climate action.
If you have not officially joined CCL, please do so now at https://citizensclimatelobby.org/ Just click on the green button to join. By registering for the Community pages you will gain access to many resources. If you need any help with doing this, please contact Sylvia Neely at PAStateCollege@citizensclimatelobby.org. Don’t forget to invite your friends to join as well.
CCL holds national member meetings in June and November. Registration for the November virtual conference is now open. It will be on Saturday afternoon, Nov. 13, with optional seminars on Sunday afternoon, Nov. 14. If you are new to CCL, you can attend the foundational Climate Advocate Training Workshop on Sunday afternoon. For more information and to register, click here.
On the September call, CCL executive director Mark Reynolds reported on how effective the CCL campaign had been to promote carbon pricing in Congress. The guest speaker was Aaron Cosbey, a Canadian expert on the subject of border carbon adjustments. We will be hearing more about border carbon adjustments in the news as the United States will have to figure out how to protect our industries from the carbon tariffs that many of our most important trading partners are implementing. His talk is certainly worth listening to.
Phone and Text Banking
CCL has placed a higher priority on contacting Democratic members of Congress as the negotiations over the reconciliation bill continue. Those of us with Republican representatives can help out by calling and texting CCL volunteers in other states and urging them to call their Democratic members of Congress. This article explains how it is done and how you can join the effort.
| Community News|
–The Centre Region Climate Action and Adaptation Plan has been drafted and during the month of October they will be seeking municipal and public comment. The draft CAAP can be found here: https://www.crcog.net/caap
You are encouraged to use the form on that website to make comments on the CAAP. You may also like to attend one of the township meetings that will be held in October.
— As part of a series of seminars focusing on fire in earth systems sponsored by the Penn State EESI Earth Talks, David Bowman of the University of Tasmania will discuss “Viewing the 2019-2020 Australian bushfire crisis through a pyrogeographic lens.” The time is Monday, October 4, at 4 pm via Zoom
–On Wednesday, October 6 at noon, the Energy and Environmental Economics and Policy Initiative Speaker Series will host Ellen Bruno of the University of California, Berkeley. Her presentation, “Long-Run Industry Impacts of Pricing Externalities: Groundwater and Agricultural Land Use,” will be offered via Zoom
—Centre County Solar and EV Charger Co-op
Residents and businesses in Centre County can join the co-op to install solar panels on their property and/or install electric vehicle chargers. The deadline to join the co-op is January 31, 2022. Members that join are not obligated to move forward with a solar or EV charging purchase. Learn more about the Solar United Neighbors Co-op in Centre County here.