Climate change is an existential threat to our way of life. The science is absolutely clear on this issue, and it is apparent in the extreme weather conditions we see occurring all too often around the country and the world. We cannot afford to play politics with an issue of such grave importance, and in Congress I will work with leaders from across the political spectrum that are willing to find reasonable solutions to curbing our country’s carbon output as I have done in the state legislature where the first bill I successfully passed encouraged inclusion of hybrid vehicles in the state fleet and where I supported enacting Renewable Portfolio Standards, which require Pennsylvania’s energy companies to produce 18% of their energy through renewable technology.
There are many creative market-based solutions to solving climate change:
- Under a cap-and-trade system, we as a country would decide how much carbon we want to emit every year, and give companies the right to emit a certain amount of carbon based on those goals. Companies that emit less than their goal can trade their credits to companies that produce more. This system encourages innovation and competition.
- Another option is a carbon fee and dividend system which would place a predictable fee on businesses’ carbon emissions that would be revenue neutral for the federal government as it would be redistributed to American households in a yearly dividend. This system would both encourage reduction in carbon emissions while putting more money into middle class households and spurring the economy.
My commitment to protecting the environment and fighting climate change are among the reasons I have been recognized by environmental groups for my leadership on these issues. I am committed to continuing to work with other leaders in Congress to address this emminent crisis to our environment, our economy, and our way of life.