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Another election season is over (finally!). Now is the time to unite as a nation, because our greatest successes are achieved when we act as one people. The past several years have revealed (or re-revealed) some great divisions. While our differences often seem irreconcilable, we can reunite our visions for this country by striving towards common goals. Regardless of who won the elections, we must all face the COVID pandemic, the economic crisis, and, most importantly, climate change.

Climate change is a real threat that does not care what side of the aisle we support. Even in our own beautiful state, we are seeing the effects of a changing climate: more frequent and dangerous wildfires, harsher droughts and floods, and more drastic temperature changes. If we do nothing, global warming is likely to reach 1.5 degrees Celsius by as soon as 2030, at which point we are likely to see irreversible consequences.

One of the most effective policies aimed at tackling climate change is a carbon fee and dividend policy. To be clear: this is not a carbon tax! While tax revenues go to government coffers, a carbon fee assigns a price on carbon emissions (to energy producers) and returns the collected revenue to all American households in the form of a dividend (to offset any rising costs to the consumer). This policy allows the free market to come up with reasonable alternatives to carbon emissions. It is a market-based, bipartisan solution to the climate change problem that creates new jobs and drives innovation.

A carbon fee and dividend policy, like the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (HR 763), can start us on the right track in facing climate change. We must act together, to fight for a better future, before it is too late.

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Joseph Hauck

Belgrade