Group hopes to inform locals on global warming issue

Elizabeth Castillo

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A group in support of political action for climate change hopes to bring the discussion to Bakersfield.

Citizens’ Climate Lobby will hold a volunteer training and orientation workshop on March 21 to help residents of Bakersfield foster political will for climate change. The group’s focus is to eventually have Congress pass a revenue-neutral fee on industrial carbon emissions. According to Mark Tabbert, a co-founding member of the Orange County chapter of CCL, Congress will hold a briefing on a study of the economic potential of this fee.

Tabbert said that CCL hopes to have an effective chapter in every congressional district of California and having a chapter in Kevin McCarthy’s district is especially important. Cydney Henderson, the group leader of the Bakersfield CCL chapter, said that educating people about the issue of climate change is extremely important.

“Climate change affects us all,” she said. “A key aspect of the way that CCL operates is recognizing that people come to this issue from differing points of view and they might need information and clarifications to understand the seriousness and urgency of the issue.”

Although there are varying opinions on climate change, Tabbert is confident that Bakersfield has many residents willing to act on the issue. He said that he believes oil companies such as ExxonMobil, Shell and BP are aware of climate change and have similar opinions on action against it. According to Tabbert, climate change is a problem that is too large for individual action.

“Government needs to act, and America needs to lead on the issue,” he said.

The meeting on March 21 will empower attendees to drive a conversation on action in Washington. He said that he hopes attendees will leave inspired to act on climate change. He said that CCL has already made progress nationally and has met with Sen. Jim Inhofe and executives working for Charles and David Koch. Henderson is hopeful that Bakersfield residents will be supportive of CCL and understand the importance of moving toward alternative forms of energy.

“I understand that many families are dependent upon oil production for their livelihoods and that is not something that I take lightly,” she said. “But in the big picture, we are understanding ever more clearly that we must reduce our output of greenhouse gases to build a sustainable future for generations to come.”

The orientation workshop will be held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church at 2216 17th St. on March 21 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. To learn more about CCL, visit citizensclimatelobby.org.

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