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The Villages
Saturday, May 8, 2021

Correction on Rep. Webster’s position on climate

To the Editor:

In a letter I submitted to the Villages-News.com last week, I criticized U.S. Rep. Daniel Webster for ducking the climate change debate. Information from Representative Webster’s newsletter this week prompts me to acknowledge that my criticism no longer applies. In his newsletter Representative Webster highlighted his co-sponsorship of legislation — the Trillion Trees Act — which would devote federal funds over the next ten years to address climate change by planting more trees to take excess carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.
Representative Webster is justified in his position that climate change is a problem that requires action by the federal government. Furthermore, any effort that will reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere is a step in the right direction.
Still, as Representative Webster will hear during the debate within his committee, there are questions whether this particular climate legislation goes far enough and fast enough. Other politically conservative organizations — such as the US Chamber of Commerce and the American Petroleum Institute — instead support a market-based fee on carbon as a more effective option. This middle-of-the-road option is supported also by the Villages chapter of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby with the provision that fees are to be totally refunded back to US citizens each month in equal shares. This refund step ensures that those who use more carbon-intensive energy by having larger houses and by traveling more will pay more for their energy on a net basis; while those who use less energy will pay less on a net basis. All and all, it is gratifying that the debate is underway in Congress and everyone should let their representatives know where they stand.

Jay Jacobson
Village of Pine Ridge

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