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Oberlin Council passes climate resolution

Oberlin Council passes climate resolution
OBERLIN — City Council voted unanimously Monday evening to approve a resolution calling on the U.S. Congress to accept climate solution legislation.

The resolution would call on Congress to pass “carbon fee and dividend” legislation that would give an economic incentive for people and companies to become more fuel-efficient.

The policy would charge a rising fee at sources such as oil wells, coal mines, etc. The proposed fee would begin at $15 per ton of carbon dioxide emission of fossil fuel and climb an additional $10 every year. However, the proposition also would return some of the revenue back to some middle- and low-income households.

Council President Bryan Burgess said the resolution also will be the first of its kind in Ohio. Because of that, Burgess said Council wanted to give three readings of the resolution as a way to give more time for public dialogue instead of passing it immediately.

“In writing the resolution this evening, (similar) resolutions from across the country were used as examples,” Burgess said when the resolution was introduced April 2. “The fact is that Oberlin’s resolution will be used as an example for other Ohio communities, so let’s make sure we get this right.”

The resolution includes:

  • Send a clear price signal to entrepreneurs and existing businesses to invest in a clean energy economy.
  • Protect lower- and middle-income households, as two-thirds of families, especially low- and middle-income families who are expected to break even or receive more in dividends than they would pay in higher living expenses.
  • Create jobs and economic growth, as the dividend puts money back into local economies while improving the health and productivity of citizens.
  • Discourage domestic businesses from relocating where they can emit more carbon dioxide and encourage other nations to adopt an equivalent price on carbon.

The resolution was introduced to Council by the Oberlin chapter of Citizen’s Climate Lobby. The lobby is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization of volunteers planning to “build the political will for climate solutions” according to its website.

John Sabin, leader of the organization, said the resolution is a big step toward getting the word out.

“I’m hoping the public is aware of what we’re doing. I hope this process is educational to the public,” he said.

Sabin also hopes the resolution’s passing will inspire other communities to do the same.

A copy of the resolution will be delivered to U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Urbana, whose district includes Elyria, Amherst and Oberlin; U.S. Sen. Rob Portman R-Cincinnati; U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown D-Cleveland; House Speaker Paul Ryan and Vice President Mike Pence.

Contact Bruce Walton at (440) 329-7123 or by email at Follow him on Facebook at @BWalton440 or on Twitter @BruceWalton.


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