Lakeside Lab hosts conference

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The North Wind Region of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) will be meeting at the Iowa Lakeside Laboratory March 17-19. The regional conference is open to the public. The bipartisan group has over 55,000 members nationwide and lobbies elected officials to adopt a carbon fee and dividend policy to combat the detrimental effects of burning fossil fuels thus transitioning to clean and renewable energy sources.

This is the fourth-annual North Wind Region conference, bringing together CCL volunteers from Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota to learn, share, strategize, energize and more. With national and global policy directors in attendance, the idea of carbon pricing will be discussed in detail along with connected issues including the Farm Bill, water quality issues and renewable energy’s impact on the economy.

Local photographer and conservationist, David Thoreson, has been instrumental in bringing the conference to the Iowa Great Lakes.

"The carbon fee is a market-driven approach to our future energy needs," Thoreson said. "I have been to Washington D.C. lobbying with CCL and have seen their bipartisan approach to solving problems. It’s a breath of fresh air in this heated political environment of 2017. We live in a region with tremendous renewable resource potential and yet we are under-represented in discussions. This conference gives us a voice."

Mark Reynolds, the Executive Director of the CCL, will be in the Iowa Great Lakes for the conference. Reynolds explained CCL’s approach: "Engaging with our government requires us to seek common ground between Republicans and Democrats. When we listen to each other, we find that the greatest concern about acting on climate change, whether through regulation or carbon pricing, is the impact it will have on our economy, the fear that jobs will be lost."

He added: "We can alleviate those fears and find common ground with a market-based solution that holds polluters accountable for the damage caused to our air, water and climate. Such a market-based solution needs to be revenue neutral, thereby preventing it from increasing the size of government. A steadily-rising fee on carbon, with all revenue returned to households, would bring down greenhouse gas emissions while boosting the economy."

The carbon tax plan recently introduced to the Trump administration by former Bush administration Secretary of State/Treasury James Baker, former Secretary of State George Schultz and former Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson is another demonstration of the growing support for bi-partisan action on carbon pricing.

Conference information and registration is currently open to the public at this website link: http://bit.ly/cclwind2017.

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