Legislation would help improve health

DEAR EDITOR:

Thank you for your June 24 article titled “Medical groups warn climate change is a “health emergency.” This article cited 74 medical and public health groups, including the American Medical Association and the American Heart Association, with their consensual commitments to combat climate change including some form of carbon pricing to curb harmful carbon emissions. The groups also called for a timeline for reduction of fossil fuel extraction in the U.S. The medical groups in the article were united in saying the U.S. should meet and strengthen the U.S. commitments to the Paris Agreement on climate. They were united in saying “the health and safety and well-being of millions of people in the U.S. have already been harmed by human-caused climate change, and health risks in the future are dire without urgent action to fight climate change.”

There is proposed legislation before the House Ways and Means committee now that can make a big impact on the reduction of pollution due to the consumption of fossil fuels in our country. It is HR 763, Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2019. The legislation has 50 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives. HR763 would enact a fee on carbon emission-producing products. The fees collected on carbon emissions would be allocated back to all Americans via a monthly dividend to spend any way they choose. The government will not keep any of the fees collected. Economists and scientists support the bill as simple, comprehensive and effective. It is estimated this policy will reduce America’s emissions by at least 40 percent in the first 12 years.

The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act will improve health and save lives by reducing the pollution in the air Americans breathe. The health care costs associated with pollution related diseases will also be reduced.

The bill is also good for the economy with estimates of 2.1 million new jobs created through economic growth in local communities across the country and spurring of renewable energy sources.

I have joined with others in the Mahoning Valley to promote the passing HR763 in the recently formed Mahoning Valley Citizens Climate Lobby chapter because I believe that the shift to clean energy is good for our families and our future. You can find the group on Facebook at CCL Youngstown.

KAREN ZEHR

Warren

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