Put aside politics for climate

To the editor,

It was recently reported that the U.S. Department of Agriculture will grant $20.2 million to wildfire recovery projects in La Plata and other Colorado counties. We are grateful for this and other actions to address worsening wildfires.

The main cause of increased wildfires has been rising temperatures leading to earlier snowmelt, which in turn leads to drier conditions. Projections indicate that for every 1.8°F further rise in temperature there could be quadruple the area burned each year in the western U.S.

Fortunately, there is a ray of hope from the U.S. Congress with the introduction of the “Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act,” (H.R. 7173) which would place a steadily rising fee on carbon pollution and return all revenue to households equally. The bill, (a) is a market-based approach with bipartisan support, (b) will drive down carbon pollution while putting money in people’s pockets, (c) is good for business and will create jobs.

Besides the 70 percent of U.S. citizens (72 percent in Colorado) who believe global warming is happening (Yale University), only 21 percent currently approve of how Congress is doing its job (Gallup). I urge Congressman Tipton to join the bipartisan sponsorship of this bill and respond to the desires of his constituents for more cooperation in Congress and positive action on the climate crisis. It’s time to set aside partisan differences and, for the good of our nation and the world, start addressing the threat of climate change by enacting the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act in the next Congress.

– Andrew Zeiler, Durango