Group shows supervisors climate change resolution determination

When one Portola resident first became aware of climate change she thought the government would do something about it.

That was in the 1990s. By 2019, Robbin Anderson found her way to the Plumas County Board of Supervisors. She had grown tired of waiting. She’d learned that if change was going to happen she needed to get involved.

Anderson was before supervisors July 16, attempting to persuade them to do the right thing and adopt a resolution in supporting efforts to battle climate change. And she didn’t come alone. Supporters also filled the supervisors’ meeting room.

Anderson discussed what steps she’s taken in her efforts to do something about climate change. One was to join a federally recognized group. The second was to spearhead local support. And the third was to travel to Washington D.C. to lobby Congress to support a bill out of the Ways and Means Committee.

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Although Anderson said she didn’t expect approval that same day, she shared resolutions approved by the Truckee Town Council and the Oroville City Council.

These two communities join others in supporting the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act House of Representative 763 sponsored by Rep. Theodore E. Deutch.

The bill

The bill was introduced Jan. 24.

If passed, HR 763 would impose a fee on carbon content fuels. These fuels include crude oil, natural gas, coal and other products derived from fuels that emit greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

The fee is imposed on producers or importers of fuels “and is equal to the greenhouse gas content of the fuel multiplied by the carbon fee rate,” according to the Congressional Research Service.

The rate would begin at $15 and increased by $10 each year “and is subject to further adjustments based on the progress in meeting specified emissions reduction targets,” according to the bill. “The bill also imposes a specified fee on fluorinated greenhouse gases.”

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The fees would be deposited into a Carbon Dividend Trust Fund and used for administrative expenses and dividend payments to U.S. citizens and lawful residents. “The fees must be decommissioned when emissions levels and monthly dividend payments fall below specified levels,” according to the bill.

Everyone gets the same amount and children get half credit, Anderson said.

What the bill would do is encourage better market options to move toward clean energy electric cars, solar, wind and other options, Anderson listed. “Big oil knows it’s happening,” Anderson said. And they’re moving toward new solutions.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors met in Hawaii in June, according to Anderson. Twenty-five governors showed their support for climate change efforts.

Seventy-seven medical groups are also calling for action, she said. Fifty-four school boards have passed climate change resolutions, including some in our area, Anderson added.

Discussion

While person after person in the audience supported the Climate Change Lobby and the bill, Heather Kingdon of Indian Valley had another idea.

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Kingdon said this is simply another tax and she is against it. She called the information about the impacts of climate change, “fear mongering.”

Someone from the audience quickly pointed out that the bill includes specific exemptions including fuels used for agricultural or nonemitting purposes.

Other exemptions are for fuels used by the Armed Forces, rebates for facilities that capture and sequester carbon dioxide, and for border adjustment provisions that require certain fees or refunds for carbon-intensive products that are exported or imported.

Supervisor Michael Sanchez said there are two sides to every issue.

There was no indication that supervisors will entertain the adoption of a resolution at a future date.