To the Editor:

Most Maine towns feel the impacts and costs of climate change already as reported in this newspaper. Today, the local chapter of Citizens Climate Lobby announced that Rep. Chellie Pingree will co-sponsor the bipartisan Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (H.R. 763) to address these rising costs. The bill’s original sponsors are Rep. Francis Rooney, R-Florida, and Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Florida, supported by a total of 16 more co-sponsors.

This is great news. Thank-you Representative Pingree. After all, how many times will we have to replace Kennebunk’s seawall? How many of my neighbors will contract Lyme Disease? How bad will it get for our fisheries, including clams, oysters and lobsters, as warming and acidification of the Gulf of Maine proceeds? Severe weather swings and changing climate are impacting farming, forestry, fishing, and tourism - the pillars of Maine’s economy.

HR 763 is a bipartisan climate solution that puts a fee on carbon dioxide pollution, returns the money to American households as a “Carbon Dividend” with a monthly check to protect every household’s pocketbook. It will reduce greenhouse gas emissions 90 percent by 2050, create over two million new jobs, lower health care costs, and promote energy innovation.

Effective climate action requires overwhelming bipartisan Congressional support. I appeal to the rest of Maine’s Congressional delegation to support this bill. With the help of Sens. King and Collins, and Rep. Golden, plus the help of a majority of Congress, the U.S. will successfully help the global efforts to transition to a new carbon pollution free economy.

To quote Gov. Mills: “The transition will be a challenge...and a dare”.

Jay Kilbourn