Letter To Senator Collins (sent 4/24)

I wrote a letter to Senator Collins, and figured I should share it with you guys. It is, predictably, climate change related, focusing on carbon pricing and why we should use it.

Dear Senator Collins,

I’m sure you know about climate change. I’m sure you’ve heard about it’s horrors- maybe you have even experienced some of them yourself. And I’m sure that you are aware of a solution to combatting it- one of many- called carbon pricing.

There have been different views on carbon pricing over the years. At one point, it was the cause of conversation in Congress; a popular choice to stopping climate change. There was even a law passed in 1993, though not the all-encompassing law taxing all kinds of emissions, that the Clinton Administration first proposed. It was instead changed to a tax of about 13 cents per gallon of gasoline, diesel, and other motor fuels.

Here’s the question: If carbon pricing was that important at that time, why has nothing really happened with it yet? Partly, maybe, because of the seemingly endless reservoir of money  from the oil and energy companies, funding the fight against carbon pricing. Partly because of worries of how it would affect the economy.

Thing thing is, we have proof- living proof- that carbon taxing doesn’t affect an economy for the worse. That proof comes from Canada, Vancouver, to be precise. As an article in the New York Times, written on March 1st, 2016, states: “British Columbia’s economy did not collapse. In fact, the provincial economy grew faster than its neighbors’ even as its greenhouse gas emissions declined.” So, why don’t we make Maine a leader in carbon pricing for the US?

As a politician, you have the power to do something about this. The fact that you could work to make a change to save our planet is something that should be inspiring. It’s something that should make you want to put in the effort. Trust me when I say this- long term, people will thank you.

And that’s really a large point. Long term can be hard for people to understand. They want money, power, whatever right now. But when we are helping our planet, trying to reverse the changes that our actions have made, the only thing we can do right now is make a change for later benefit. That’s what people have to understand. If they look past the immediate, maybe we can stop this in time to save the future for our children.
So please, on behalf of everyone in my generation, and anyone after me that will have to live in a destroyed, carbon filled world, do something. Get behind carbon pricing. Make a push for our future. Even if the reward isn’t immediate, the generations after will thank you.

 

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