Weekly Briefing: CCL Lobbies Congress As Senate Mulls Carbon Pricing
November 24, 2021
Last week, CCL volunteers across the country were busy doing what they do best: lobbying Congress. CCLers met with congressional offices as the U.S. House passed its version of the Build Back Better Act, major legislation that includes a $555 billion investment in climate solutions. As attention turns to the Senate, CCL’s lobbying efforts are focused on getting carbon pricing included in the final version of the bill.
“There couldn’t be a better time for a grassroots lobbying push,” said Ben Pendergrass, CCL Senior Director for Government Affairs. “A price on carbon is still in play, and it’s important that Senate offices are hearing support from constituents.”
Volunteers are making the case that a price on carbon is needed in the budget reconciliation bill in order to reach the U.S. goal of cutting carbon emissions in half by 2030. A total of 335 meetings have been scheduled.
“I am in awe of our liaisons' care and attention to the relationships they have with members of Congress and their staff,” said Amy Bennett, CCL Director of Liaisons and Congressional Lobby Days. “We knew going in, things have been extremely busy on the Hill, so we might not be able to get all the requested meetings. In many ways we needed to be understanding of the dynamics at play. Yet we still had many meetings where members and staff were very interested in climate conversations about pricing carbon or our secondary asks.”
Many chapters posted photos on Twitter to show their appreciation for members of Congress and staff for meeting with them, as the Houston volunteers (shown above) did with Rep. Sylvia Garcia. You can check out some of those lobbying photos in CCL’s Twitter thread.
See Lobby Meeting Photos!
In other news this week:
- CCL responds to Build Back Better: Last Friday, the House passed its version of the Build Back Better Act, legislation that contains historic levels of climate investment. As expected, the House bill contains no provision to price carbon, which is still under consideration in the Senate. CCL Strategy Director Tony Sirna offers an update in this CCL Community post. CCL also posted a statement on passage of the House bill, which calls on the Senate to include carbon pricing in its version. You can retweet, like and reply to our tweet about the statement.
- CCL op-eds in West Virginia: In an op-ed published in Sen. Joe Manchin’s state, CCL Appalachia Regional Coordinator Jon Clark argued that a price on carbon would actually save coal miner jobs because it makes carbon capture and sequestration economically viable. Sen. Manchin has promoted the technology as a way that utilities could continue coal use and reduce emissions. Read Jon’s op-ed. Another op-ed was published this week by Jim Probst, the CCL West Virginia State Coordinator, calling on Manchin to live up to his promises. Read Jim’s op-ed here.
- Fellowships at CCE: Citizens’ Climate Education is offering Diversity and Inclusion fellowships for 2022. The position requires 10 hours of work per week, and the application deadline is Nov. 30. More details and how to apply here.
Take action this week
If you have a little time: Share this graphic about Senator Durbin
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), who is ranked number two in the Senate, recently spoke about his support for a carbon price. Sen. Durbin says that a price on carbon is the “only realistic way” to use the market in the lowering of greenhouse gas emissions. You can see and share his remarks here.
If you have more time: Take a break!
CCL volunteers work hard when times are normal. But with lobbying, our fall virtual conference, and the reconciliation process all occurring within the last few weeks and months, our volunteers deserve some much-needed rest. This Thanksgiving holiday, spend time with your loved ones, and know that CCL is so thankful for all of your hard work.
You can also connect with your nearest CCL chapter to take action in your community, or join one of CCL’s national online Action Teams to take action on specific topics like agriculture, health, faith, and more.
Browse CCL Community’s Event Calendar to find upcoming events, trainings, and calls you can join.
Featured Lever This Week
Grassroots: CCLers march in local parade
On Saturday, Oct. 16, Central Michigan University held its homecoming parade. Thirty CCL supporters, ages 14 to 91, marched in the parade in support of a carbon fee and dividend. They represented the Mt. Pleasant Citizens’ Climate Lobby chapter, which is led by Marie Koper.
These marchers passed out information on emailing President Biden about climate action. Marchers also held signs and banners calling for a carbon price and for a dividend to be returned to Americans.
Watch A Clip From the Parade
12/2: COP26: Updates and Recap — Join Citizens' Climate International's team, including Global Strategy Director Joseph Robertson, for an update and review on all that happened at COP26 and how it connects with CCL's work. For more information ahead of time see: CCI Welcomes COP26 Commitments. Join us!
Need training on the basics? Catch our next session of Core Volunteer Training, made for newer volunteers:
11/30: Communicating with Progressives — Join CCL for training on Communicating With Progressives about H.R. 2307. This training will also include CCL's ongoing plan for outreach to non-profit organizations at the national and local level and recommendations to talk about the bill with progressive groups. Join us!
To see other topics and past trainings, visit the Training Topics page of CCL Community.
This week on the CCL blog:
Volunteer Spotlight: CCL talks to Ohio volunteer Torrey McMillan and her loyal pup, Meadow. Read more.
Carbon pricing and inflation: CCL’s Research Team analyzes reports to determine the impact that a carbon price would have on inflation. Read more.
Citizens’ Climate Radio Ep. 66: Host Peterson Toscano highlights the importance of hospitality in helping victims of climate disasters. Listen now.