It was another successful day for Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) volunteers on the Oregon Stewardship Tour. Friday’s stop included an evening event in Burns (actually, Hines), Oregon.
Thursday night, Brian stayed with a couple who live in a remote area off the grid 25 miles from John Day. He loved seeing their solar panels, which reside next to their house and provide 100% of their electricity. After enjoying breakfast and lunch with his hosts and catching up on e-mails, Brian left in the early afternoon for an hour-and-a-half drive to Burns.
The Friday evening event was held in Hines, a town adjacent to Burns, at Hines City Hall. Russ Donnelly, who lives in Bend and is the official CCL liaison for U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, came to help out at the event.
We were unsure how many local residents would show up for this event. We were very happy with the turnout of 14 people on a Friday night! Even more exciting was the fact we had two people in the audience who were Harney County Commissioners. They were very eager to learn about our climate policy proposal.
Russ started off the evening by asking the audience what local climate change impacts they have seen. Russ received various answers, such as: decreasing winter snowpack and earlier snowmelt, increasing economic uncertainty, water shortages, increased forest fires, stress on native wildlife, longer growing season, warmer winters, and more invasive weeds.
Brian Ettling then gave his presentation about how climate change is impacting Crater Lake and his favorite solution for reducing the threat of climate change: Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s carbon fee and dividend. During and after Brian’s talk, the audience asked excellent questions, such as:
- What would be the administrative costs to maintain carbon fee and dividend if it passed Congress?
- Who is the main opposition to this proposal?
- Would carbon fee and dividend make it harder for folks to live in Burns by increasing their gasoline prices?
The audience was concerned because it could be quite expensive to live in Burns if a carbon fee and dividend was passed in Congress. They informed me that residents often have to drive 130 miles one-way to get supplies and run errands in Bend.
This group gave us lots of homework to find out more details of this policy and exactly how it would impact low-income people. We promised we would respond to their questions as quickly as we could and e-mail the answers back to them. We loved their enthusiasm and keen interest to learn as much as they could about our solution, even if they were asking very tough questions at times.
Brian and Russ now head west for public events in Prineville and Redmond over the weekend.