Carbon fee, dividend would save 230,000 lives in 20-year period

To the editor:

April 22 is Earth Day, a very special day for me.

I have worked as a seasonal park ranger at Crater Lake National Park for the last 23 years.

I love to hike to the summit of the breathtaking mountains and admire the beautiful deep blue lake. I am a lifelong St. Louis resident and a 1987 Oakville High School graduate who has loved hiking in the woods and along the bluffs in Bee Tree Park since I was a child.

Unfortunately, I personally witnessed the impact of climate change at Crater Lake with a diminishing annual snowpack for decades, even a record low snowpack this winter. The 2012 extreme heat wave and drought in the Midwest showed St. Louis is not immune from the impacts of climate change.

The best solution I know to reduce the threat of climate change is the conservative free-market solution of a carbon fee and dividend proposed by Citizens’ Climate Lobby.

The 2014 Regional Economic Model Inc. report shows a carbon fee and dividend would save more than 230,000 lives over 20 years, while cutting dirty pollution in half and adding 2.8 million jobs to the U.S. economy, while protecting the poor and middle class.

This report shows we can grow our economy, cut the dirty coal pollution impacting our local health, and create millions of jobs by passing a carbon fee and dividend.

This is the best way Missouri Sens. Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill, and Rep. Ann Wagner can show bold leadership on Earth Day.