The Nov. 30 articles in The Daily Astorian, "A dire picture of climate change in the Northwest" and "Pro-Con: Is carbon tax the right way to fight climate change?" got me thinking about economic uncertainties in the face of regional changing ocean and forest conditions.
This uncertainty leaves local natural resource — and tourism — industries vulnerable as emissions exacerbate negative impacts. How, in our divisive political climate, can we work together to address these risks?
While adaptation efforts, such as the work by the shellfish industry and the Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan are necessary, we need to unite to implement predictable market-based solutions to reduce emissions nationwide.
Recently, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, co-sponsored by members from both parties, was introduced in Congress. The policy aims to capture the true cost of emissions, including the increasing impacts to our natural resources and economy.
By pricing carbon incrementally every year, America's emissions will be reduced by 40 percent within 12 years. Generated fees will be allocated to all Americans on a monthly basis, and will create 1.2 million jobs in the clean energy economy.
I urge U.S. Reps. Suzanne Bonamici and Jamie Herrera Beutler, who have worked hard to protect our ocean resources and rural economies, to support the bill. It's time to set aside our partisan differences and work together to start addressing this very real threat for the good of our local economy and our nation.