Milan is the latest municipality to sign on in support of to the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (EICDA), which places a steadily rising fee on fossil fuel emissions and hopes to drive down America’s carbon pollution.

During its Jan. 18 meeting, the Milan Town Board joined the Town of Red Hook, Village of Tivoli and Town and Village of Rhinebeck by signing on to the act.

“A town’s formal support of the EICDA demonstrates the will of a large group of constituents, which we know from conversation captures the attention of our members of Congress,” said Nick Colvin, a volunteer with Citizen’s Climate Lobby, a grassroots advocacy organization focused on national policies to address climate change. “The more that towns sign on in support, the greater conviction our representatives will bring to their support of the act in Congress.”

The EICDA places a steadily rising fee on fossil fuel emissions and returns the revenue to individuals on an equal basis, according to Colvin. The fee is intended to make clean energy and product alternatives the cheapest choices and spur private investment in clean technologies. The dividend will protect lower- and middle-income households during the transition, most of whom will receive a larger dividend than their increased costs.

According to the Citizen’s Climate Lobby, the EICDA would cause a “dramatic reduction in emissions over the first 10 years, and requires 90% reduction by 2050.” The claims for the first 10 years have been independently confirmed by Columbia University and others, they added.

“Passing a resolution of support for the EICDA sends a message to our representatives in the federal government that a large group of constituents support this legislation. It also reflects the values of Milan residents,” Colvin and other members of the group shared, adding that residents have supported town policies such as solarizing municipal buildings, support of Solarize Northern Dutchess, and most recently the development and installation of a 1.3-megawatt community solar facility.

Colvin added that with the new term of Congress just starting, local representatives will have to reintroduce the bill for the new session.

“You can help ask for meaningful, durable climate legislation by writing letters, making phone calls, sending texts, and talking to neighbors and friends,” the group shared. CCL will be hosting a free virtual conference for climate advocates on February 20 and 21.

More information about the group can be found online at https://citizensclimatelobby.org.

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