Menopausal Mother Nature

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Letter: Who would oppose global warming solutions? | Letters | – The Daily News Online

BDN editors indeed “fuel dissent” by incorrectly suggesting that CCIA legislation would hurt rural residents (“Fueling dissent: Legislation would increase gas taxes and heating costs,” May 6).

This bill, currently in committee in the NYS Senate, helps reduce carbon emissions through a fee on polluters. It is not a tax on consumers.

The editors correctly note that revenues from the fee would benefit New Yorkers through grants to communities to move to clean energy and invest in green infrastructure. They mention but apparently fail to comprehend that “one third of the money raised by the CCIA would be used to provide direct assistance to low-and moderate income families via transit vouchers, weatherization or LIHEAP credits, or direct cash benefits.”

Specifically, the lowest 50-60% in income would receive about $1,250 in the first year. Upstate New Yorkers up to 150% of the poverty line automatically receive a heating voucher so the credit does not threaten their eligibility for social programs. Others would receive a tax rebate. (Anyone can opt for the other forms of payment if they prefer.)

New York Renews notes “the program ensures that the lowest-earning 60% of New Yorkers will come out the same or ahead.” The fee should also prompt industries to use their immense capital base to retool for production of clean energy. The biggest hurt comes from doing nothing to reduce carbon pollution. Scientists agree that if we do not reach net zero carbon emissions in 30 years, increased global temperatures will endanger all life. Who would oppose a solution to that?

David Ruekberg

David Ruekberg is a poet, essayist, and retired high school English teacher. He is also a member of the Rochester chapter of Citizens Climate Lobby, an activist group which supports bipartisan legislation to combat climate change through the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act.