I am grateful that many individuals, businesses and local governments and nonprofit organizations in the Wisconsin Northwoods are becoming more efficient in our energy use in many ways for many different reasons. Doing so provides positive benefits for our families and communities.

I am also grateful that some state and local officials are looking to ways to support the growth of renewable energy in Wisconsin, such as Focus on Energy. Already, renewable resources power nearly one-tenth of Wisconsin’s net electricity generation.

Even so, our U.S. energy demands continue to increase, making us more—not less—reliable on fossil fuels. While the economic impact of fossil fuel use and extraction is a big part of our economy, I believe the social, political and environmental costs, in the short and long term, will harm more than add to our lives. Climate change impacts are just one of many negative impacts we are already experiencing

While many individual and local efforts are making a difference, I feel that our national efforts have fallen short. I think that the belief that climate change is not man-made is irrelevant. Our president and Congress should be seeking ways to grow renewable energy regardless.

As a country, we continue to hold tight to fossil fuel use. But we can provide for our increased energy demands with renewable energy. We have the technology and desire to grow our renewable energy economy and should be demanding more accessibility to these technologies.

The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (HR 763) will do just that. It will impose a fee on fossil fuels at their source of extraction. These fees go back to each household to help pay for energy use and provide incentives for using renewable energy. It will work to reduce our fossil fuel use and give us the individual freedom to make choices that are good for us, our communities and our country.

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