Dear Editor,

As we head into the holiday season of gift-giving, I think about the greatest gift I can give my four beautiful grandchildren. This year, that gift is, without a doubt, the possibility of a livable world.

The 4th National Climate Assessment, recently released by the Trump Administration, describes a world that is becoming less and less livable. It describes increasingly hotter temperatures and prolonged drought and downpour cycles in the Midwest. It describes an increase in pests, disease and soil erosion. It predicts a precipitous drop in corn and soy yields. And it describes a myriad of health challenges that we will face if we don’t do something to correct course and reduce the amount of heat-trapping gases in our atmosphere. This is not the world I want for my grandchildren, nor for yours.

Last week, however, several Members of Congress gave my grandchildren, and all of us, a wonderful holiday gift! Two Republican and three Democrats introduced the bipartisan Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, which would place a steadily rising fee on carbon pollution and return all revenue to households equally. This is a market-based approach favored widely by economists that will drive down carbon pollution while putting money in people’s pockets, which in turn is good for the economy. It gives me hope that we can indeed leave our children and grandchildren a livable world.

In well-representing the people of northern Missouri, our Congressman Sam Graves has committed to working towards reducing our nation’s greenhouse gas emissions while protecting the economy. His support of this bipartisan bill, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, would exemplify this commitment, and be a great gift to us all.

Sharon Bagatell,

Rutledge