Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Save Our Sequoias Act is Controversial, But Would Be a Bipartisan Climate Win
Opinion
By Opinion
Published 9 months ago on
July 25, 2023

Share

Kudos to all of our local Members of Congress for coming together in support of the bipartisan Save Our Sequoias Act (H.R.2989). Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is the bill sponsor, joined by Republican cosponsors David Valadao, John Duarte, and Tim McClintock, and Democrat Jim Costa. Total California House support includes 13 Democrats and 12 Republicans.

Devin Carroll

Opinion

The S.O.S. Act seeks to protect the Giant Sequoias, following the unprecedented death by wildfire of 20% of these iconic trees in just two years. Wildfires have grown more destructive from a combination of changing climate and a history of misguided policies of fire suppression. S.O.S. would speed clearing out underbrush around the remaining Sequoia groves.

Citizens’ Climate Lobby supports this bill. CCL is a nationwide non-partisan organization dedicated to climate solutions. CCL especially applauds the bipartisan cooperation. Bills need to pass to do any good.

Some respected environmental organizations oppose S.O.S. They say redwoods are adapted to fires. Many seedlings have already germinated around the dead giants. S.O.S. might allow logging where it is not appropriate.

Fast Action is Critical

Other environmentalists counter that fast action is critical. The current rate of clearing will take 50 years to complete. Environmental reviews will be streamlined, not eliminated. Restorative thinning is not the same as logging.

We need the current Congress to pass bipartisan legislation that will build on the climate progress made in the last session. Under the Paris Agreement of 2015, the United States committed to a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, starting from 2005 levels. Models estimate that even with last year’s Inflation Reduction Act and the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, we will achieve only 28%.

CCL has four goals for policies that, if passed, would take us below our commitment, to about 60%.

Goal #1 is permitting reform. Our investments in clean power and power transmission will not help much if permitting for energy projects takes 10 years. Streamlining the process could reduce emissions by another 12%. But haphazard repeal of environmental review is not acceptable.  Good legislation should protect people’s health and safety, and encourage early input from local communities.

Compromise Will Produce More Clean Energy

Bipartisan legislation will include streamlined permitting for fossil fuel projects. This will alarm many environmentalists. But under present rules, fossil fuel permitting is often easier than for renewable energy. Interstate pipelines are easier to approve than electrical transmission. Drilling for natural gas is easier than drilling for geothermal energy. Plus, many more clean energy projects are already awaiting approval. So, this compromise seems worth it, since it will lead to many more clean energy projects than fossil fuel projects.

Goal #2 is Carbon Fee and Dividend. Charge oil, coal, and gas companies a fee when their fossil fuels leave the ground. Use the money to pay dividends to us, the people. Carbon fees are a policy favored by most economists, conservative and liberal. Models say they will give us another 12% reduction. A carbon fee would also allow America, under international rules, to impose a carbon border adjustment mechanism on goods coming from countries that don’t have  a market mechanism for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Europe already has a carbon border adjustment that American companies will pay, until we pass our own fee.

Goal #3 is promoting Healthy Forests, to increase carbon sequestration. The Save Our Sequoias Act is in this category.  Well-managed forests and more urban trees brings another 5% reduction.

Goal #4 is Electrification. Electrifying buildings, transportation, and other energy users could reduce emissions by 3%.

If we achieve all four of these goals, our emissions will be 60% less than in 2005, more than achieving our Paris commitment.

About the Author

Devin Carroll is a semi-retired Agricultural Pest Management Consultant.  He volunteers with Citizens’ Climate Lobby Fresno as the Lobby Team Leader and Youth Team Advisor.  He can be reached at fresno@citizensclimatelobby.org.

Make Your Voice Heard

GV Wire encourages vigorous debate from people and organizations on local, state, and national issues. Submit your op-ed to rreed@gvwire.com for consideration. 

RELATED TOPICS:

DON'T MISS

Surprising Ways and Places You Can Use SNAP EBT Food Benefits

DON'T MISS

Californians Worry About Crime, Setting up a Ballot Measure Showdown

DON'T MISS

The Pickle Flavor Frenzy and Its Rise in Food Trends

DON'T MISS

Kate Hudson Had a Lifetime to Make a Record. The Result is ‘Glorious,’ Out in May

DON'T MISS

Long-Lost First Model of USS Enterprise from ‘Star Trek’ Boldly Goes Home

DON'T MISS

California Leaders Take Sides in Monumental Supreme Court Case on Homelessness

DON'T MISS

Man Sets Himself on Fire Outside Trump Hush Money Trial Court

DON'T MISS

McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines Are So Unreliable They’re a Meme. They Might Also Be a Climate Solution.

DON'T MISS

Real Estate Experts Talk Fresno’s Economic Future. Are Tough Times Ahead?

DON'T MISS

Unlocking the Secrets to Fresno State’s Superb Baseball Season

UP NEXT

McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines Are So Unreliable They’re a Meme. They Might Also Be a Climate Solution.

UP NEXT

Get a 3D First Look at Merced’s High-Speed Rail Station Design

UP NEXT

Biden Administration Restricts Oil and Gas Leasing in 13 Million Acres of Alaska’s Petroleum Reserve

UP NEXT

Abandoned Pup LB Finds Hope and Healing. He’s Available for Adoption at Mell’s Mutts.

UP NEXT

$11M State Grant Will Help Fresno’s Emergency Shelter Beds, Mental Health Services

UP NEXT

Did City Council Finally Give New NW Fresno Costco a Green Light?

UP NEXT

Prop 47 Reformers Send Nearly a Million Signatures to Sacramento

UP NEXT

California Sets Long-Awaited Drinking Water Limit for ‘Erin Brockovich’ Contaminant

UP NEXT

Big Names in Rap, Christian Music, and Comedy Headline Must-See Weekend Entertainment

UP NEXT

Will State AG Rob Bonta Jump Into 2026 Race for CA Governor?

Kate Hudson Had a Lifetime to Make a Record. The Result is ‘Glorious,’ Out in May

2 days ago

Long-Lost First Model of USS Enterprise from ‘Star Trek’ Boldly Goes Home

2 days ago

California Leaders Take Sides in Monumental Supreme Court Case on Homelessness

2 days ago

Man Sets Himself on Fire Outside Trump Hush Money Trial Court

2 days ago

McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines Are So Unreliable They’re a Meme. They Might Also Be a Climate Solution.

2 days ago

Real Estate Experts Talk Fresno’s Economic Future. Are Tough Times Ahead?

2 days ago

Unlocking the Secrets to Fresno State’s Superb Baseball Season

2 days ago

‘This Is How to Improve Reading Proficiency. We Just Have To Execute It’: FUSD Board President

3 days ago

Does Dyer Support (or Endorse) Bredefeld for Supervisor?

3 days ago

Get a 3D First Look at Merced’s High-Speed Rail Station Design

3 days ago

Surprising Ways and Places You Can Use SNAP EBT Food Benefits

Did you know that SNAP EBT benefits used to be called food stamps and that recipients can use those benefits to get healthy food in places o...

22 hours ago

22 hours ago

Surprising Ways and Places You Can Use SNAP EBT Food Benefits

22 hours ago

Californians Worry About Crime, Setting up a Ballot Measure Showdown

2 days ago

The Pickle Flavor Frenzy and Its Rise in Food Trends

2 days ago

Kate Hudson Had a Lifetime to Make a Record. The Result is ‘Glorious,’ Out in May

2 days ago

Long-Lost First Model of USS Enterprise from ‘Star Trek’ Boldly Goes Home

2 days ago

California Leaders Take Sides in Monumental Supreme Court Case on Homelessness

2 days ago

Man Sets Himself on Fire Outside Trump Hush Money Trial Court

2 days ago

McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines Are So Unreliable They’re a Meme. They Might Also Be a Climate Solution.

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend