Much of President Trump’s State of the Union address centered on national security. Though the president never mentioned the threat posed by climate change, his administration’s intelligence community has alerted him. The “Worldwide Threat Assessment” states,  “Global environmental and ecological degradation, as well as climate change, are likely to fuel competition for resources, economic distress and social discontent through 2019 and beyond.” Food and water shortages are destabilizing national governments and creating climate refugees. U.S. military infrastructure is threatened by rising seas and catastrophic storm flooding.

Also not mentioned, were the environmental security issues within this country. There are public health challenges that are exacerbated by climate change.  Heat waves, diminished air quality, diseases carried by insects and ticks, and water quality challenges due to floods, drought and heavy runoff are impacting health.

In discussions about climate change, people often focus on political differences. However, there are bipartisan efforts to reduce the greenhouse gasses that are causing rapid climate change. A market-based approach that appeals to both Republicans and Democrats, the 2019 Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, puts a fee on carbon pollution with the revenue returned to U.S. households. A border adjustment will keep U.S. companies competitive with countries that do not have a carbon tax. This revenue-neutral policy is effective, good for people (health benefits and a dividend to households) and good for the economy by stimulating growth through innovation and increased consumer spending.

Rep. Jared Golden should support HR 763.

Roberta Brezinski, Durham

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