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Davis, California

Monday, April 22, 2024

Local advocate on climate change leaves for Washington


Citizens’ Climate Lobby continues to advocate for Carbon Fee and Dividend in Washington

On Nov. 10, Michael Russell, a member of Yolo County’s chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby, departed for Washington, D.C. Citizens’ Climate Lobby is a national organization celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.

Elisabeth Robbins, a co-leader for Yolo Citizens’ Climate Lobby, noted how dedicated the volunteers and people in the organization are to the environment.

“It’s a group of very enthusiastic and dedicated people who care deeply about the environment to find a solution,” Robbins said.

Robbins explained that there is a yearly conference in Washington which Russell will take part this year.

“Every June, they have a national conference in Washington for the opportunity to lobby for members to represent the district from all of our chapters,” Robbins said. “They will also talk to their constituents in other ways than they would talk to the press. We take all our reports from last spring, and our national staff analyzes them looking at the trends.“

The organization hopes to build and gain momentum concerning the environmental legislation it is advocating for such as Carbon Fee and Dividend in Washington. The plan is a national revenue-neutral system that would place a predictable price on carbon and be returned to households as a monthly energy dividend.

“This is a chance for us to get feedback about what Congress is actually saying about Carbon Fee and Dividend,” Robbins said. “I think we’re working for a longer term, but not necessarily, as there are a number of steps that need to happen and those are happening now. We’re not waiting until the time is perfect.”

Ammon Thompson, a volunteer for Citizens’ Climate Lobby, elaborated on how the organization is taking action to solve problems with climate change.

“I like this approach best because we’re not going to solve this problem in a partisan way,” Thompson said. “There are diverse people with diverse values in this country, and I think the solution that will work will appeal to both conservatives and liberals.”

While Russell is taking action by leaving to Washington, Thompson is continuing to advocate in Davis.

“Just talking to citizens by setting up tables at the Farmers Market here in Davis has been pretty good,” Thompson said. “There’s diverse ways we volunteers advocate for this type of policy. But the message is consistent no matter where in the country. We try to get organizations and citizens to put more and more pressure on our Congress to act.”

Terry Beggs, the other co-leader for Yolo Citizens’ Climate Lobby, explained what Russell will be doing when he visits members of Congress as a representative of Yolo County’s chapter.

“[Russell] will be visiting members of Congress in the House including John Garamendi’s office,” Beggs said. “We have an international conference in June, and we lobby. We gather concerns and explain how viable Carbon Fee and Dividend will be. Then we go back in November and see if they have more questions. It’s an education day, so we can follow up.”

While Citizens’ Climate Lobby is a large organization, each chapter still advocates for the same idea concerning Carbon Fee and Dividend.

“Every chapter addresses a problem with the same information because Citizens’ Climate Lobby is a national organization with the same direction advocating for Carbon Fee and Dividend, which is a market-based solution.” Beggs said. “We work toward the same goal.”

Beggs elaborated on climate change and its effects.

“My great concern is that climate change is a huge issue, and we have to address it,” Beggs said. “I don’t regard it as a political issue. It’s an issue that affects everybody no matter your political background and no matter who you are. It affects everybody worldwide. It’s a big enough issue that we can’t ignore it, and we need to take positive action on it, rather than just expressing that we are concerned. I like that this group is working towards a solution.”

Carbon Fee and Dividend remains a policy proposal. Beggs noted the importance of keeping members of Congress up-to-date and educated about the plan.

“We are developing relationships with our members of Congress,” Beggs said. “We also educate the public on Carbon Fee and Dividend, and a lot of it is education for the Congressmen and women regarding solutions and important information about what their constituents think. Even though this is not a problem of politics, it’s a problem that will have take some part with the government, and the government will have to take action as well as all of us.”


Written by: Stella Tran — city@theaggie.org


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