February 8, 2019

Letters to the Editor

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Bipartisan carbon bill is an example in fight for the ‘care of our common home’

I was ecstatic to read Bishop Frank J. Dewane’s recent statement on the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (EICDA), a new bipartisan carbon pricing bill that was introduced into Congress on Jan. 24.

Bishop Dewane, who is chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, said that “This bipartisan bill is a hopeful sign that more and more, climate change is beginning to be seen as a crucial moral issue, one that concerns all people.”

As a lifelong Catholic who grew up attending Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Carmel, Ind., in the Diocese of Lafayette, and who has moved to the Archdiocese of Indianapolis during the last year, I am proud to see that the Catholic Church continues to fight for the “care of our common home” that Pope Francis exhorted in 2015.

When the pope published his encyclical, “Laudato Si’, on Care for Our Common Home,” in 2015, I was moved by his moral exhortation to protect those who are poor by protecting the land they rely on. I followed the Holy Father’s exhortation by changing my career path to the protection of the environment. I’ve supported this legislation for 18 months as our best path forward, and I’m so humbled to see the Church’s leadership standing alongside me.

EICDA, a bipartisan plan, will put a small, steadily increasing price on carbon to reduce greenhouse gas emissions over the next 30 years. It will work to ensure that the full economic, social and environmental costs of greenhouse gas emissions are paid by those who emit them. As Pope Francis said, failing to do this all but ensures that “businesses profit by calculating and paying only a fraction of the costs involved” (#195). Even better, this bill will overwhelmingly protect those who are poor by redistributing the money collected to every American citizen as a check in the mail.

I have nothing more to say but gratitude and praise for the moral voice of the Catholic Church. We, as the members of Christ’s body, have a long road ahead of us to continue protecting the poor. Let’s keep moving forward together.

- Christopher Anderson | Indianapolis

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