The recent, frightening United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report makes clear that – for the future of humanity – inaction or half-hearted measures to combat the climate crisis will usher in a harrowing future. And the costs of responding will be enormous. Which raises the question: Who will pay, the public or the oil companies that caused the problem? Congress should make the climate polluters pay.
Scientists have predicted for decades that the burning of fossil fuels – oil, gas, and coal – was heating up the planet and would lead to the devastating consequences that we are now experiencing. And some of those scientists worked for the oil companies themselves. Instead of being a conscientious global citizen, the oil industry embarked on a decades-long campaign of deception that undermined environmental science. The industry went further, installing toadies throughout the political and civic worlds to parrot those lies. And it worked: Nothing of significance took place to avert the disasters that the world is now experiencing. So, what should be done?
Congress may respond. In the U.S. Senate, Senator Van Hollen of Maryland – joined by Vermont Senator Sanders, Massachusetts Senators Markey and Warren, and others – advanced a proposal to make these climate polluters pay $500 billion toward the infrastructure costs that the nation faces to address climate change. Following the Senate’s announcement, New York Congressional Representative Bowman pledged to advance a matching bill in the House of Representatives.
The Senators model their legislation on the nation’s toxic waste site clean-up "Superfund" law, which uses a "polluter must pay" model. The aim is to hold fossil fuel companies responsible for costs tied to the climate crisis, which is the fairest and most just way to proceed.
Please contact Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer today and tell him:
Any budget reconciliation plan approved by the Senate must require that the oil, gas, and coal industries pay additional assessments to help pay for the costs – damage to roads, mass transit systems, seaports, and frontline environmental justice communities – of mitigating and adapting to a climate crisis that the fossil fuel corporations caused. Make the climate polluters pay!
Also, in the U.S. House of Representatives, New York's Congressional delegation is leading the effort to make climate polluters pay for the nation's costs from global warming. They are urging Speaker Pelosi to support making the oil companies pick up the tab – not taxpayers.
Thank you for your help!