DFW Business Leaders to Congress: Act on Climate
By Ann Drumm and Larry Howe
Citizens’ Climate Lobby
North Texas business leaders, seeing the economic risks that climate change poses to our region, are pressing Congress for action. They want a price on CO2: a market signal that will create economic opportunities, reduce pollution, improve health, and strengthen security. This step is critical to mitigating climate risks and preserving our vibrant regional economy.
While many businesses have taken measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, long payback periods reduce the incentive to make some important investments. The existing market signal is driving progress, but not at the pace required to drive down the emissions curve fast enough. We need a stronger market signal.
Many North Texas business leaders agree that a price on CO2 is the right policy response, and they are communicating that support to Congress through a campaign coordinated by Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL). Your support can help persuade Congress to Act on Climate!
CCL’s market-based proposal has three elements: (1) a gradually rising, predictable, national fee on oil, gas and coal, based on their relative CO2 content; (2) return of the revenue generated by the fee to U.S. households on a per capita basis; and (3) a border adjustment to protect U.S. businesses and motivate other countries to price CO2.
Pricing CO2 serves sustainability goals, which is good for business. According to Garrett Boone, Container Store co-founder, the businesses that chart a pathway to sustainability will be the competitive winners in the years ahead. “Ray Anderson, CEO and founder of Interface, proved that a company's wholehearted commitment to sustainability - eliminating waste by maximizing efficiency, using renewable energy, recycling products, eliminating toxic materials, and employing design and technology based upon nature - is a prescription for business success, greater profitability and market share, improved employee morale, shareholder enthusiasm, and customer loyalty.”
By implementing this revenue-neutral fee, Congress can strengthen the incentive for businesses to take these steps. Pricing CO2 will create jobs for North Texans, increase GDP, improve our health and strengthen our national security.
Members of Congress need to hear that acting on climate is important to their constituents, so CCL’s North Texas volunteers are coordinating a Leaders’ Letter campaign and a Business Roundtable event next spring. The Roundtable will be a forum for private sector leaders to talk about the progress they have made toward sustainability in their operations, the importance of it to their business cultures, and the steps they are ready to take when the right market signal is in place.
The Leaders’ Letter to Congress asks North Texas members of the U.S. House to take specific actions on climate: (1) become a co-sponsor of H.Res.195, “Expressing the commitment of the House of Representatives to conservative environmental stewardship” (which currently has 23 Republican sponsors); (2) join the bipartisan House Climate Solutions Caucus (currently at 31 Republicans and 31 Democrats); and (3) help advance a bill to price greenhouse gas emissions.
Learn how your business can support this effort! Contact us at NTX-BCL@citizensclimatelobby.org.
Larry Howe and Ann Drumm are volunteers in Plano and Dallas for CCL, a nonpartisan grassroots organization with over 440 chapters.