The Adirondack Park protects one of the largest remaining intact forests of its type in the world.
Yellow Birch The Adirondack Park protects one of the largest remaining intact forests of its type in the world. © Blake Gordon

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STATEMENT FROM THE NATURE CONSERVANCY ON THE MARKET CHOICE ACT INTRODUCED BY REP. CARLOS CURBELO IN THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

The Nature Conservancy applauds Rep. Carlos Curbelo for sponsoring the MARKET CHOICE Act, which is being introduced in the House of Representatives today. The Act replaces the federal gas tax with a price on carbon -- $24 per metric ton with an annual increase of 2 percent plus inflation -- that unleashes the market to find the most efficient ways to reduce carbon pollution. The revenue from the legislation would fund current infrastructure repair and provide a surplus of roughly $11 billion per year that could be invested in modernizing and upgrading our infrastructure and provide over 100,000 jobs per year.

“We’re pleased to see a bill that achieves results for people, communities, the economy, and the environment," says Mark Tercek, CEO of The Nature Conservancy. “Our infrastructure

needs as a nation are significant, and the current federal gas tax isn’t covering the costs. The bill secures funding that will repair existing roads, bridges and railways and also make a significant contribution to addressing the challenges of climate change. By placing a price on carbon pollution and making critical investments in low-carbon technologies, the bill is an important first step in putting the U.S. on a path to a prosperous, clean energy future. It will also enable investments in natural and traditional infrastructure to help coastal communities address the impacts of a changing climate and help fund improvements on agricultural and forest lands to store carbon. All these investments also create jobs.”

“Although many will be attracted to the infrastructure and economic gains in this bill, the

climate benefits should not be ignored,” says Jason Albritton, Director of Climate and Energy Policy for The Nature Conservancy. “The bill is designed to ensure actual, measurable pollution reductions are achieved through the inclusion of measurable benchmarks and by retaining EPA regulatory authority as a backstop. While we will need to continue the discussion on how to achieve the long-term emission reductions called for by science, the bill offers real solutions that bring measurable results."

“We look forward to working with diverse stakeholders to advance this legislation and its

innovative ideas,” says Lynn Scarlett, The Nature Conservancy’s Co-chief of External Affairs. “Today is an important milestone in the growing bipartisan conversation about finding solutions to the challenges of our changing climate. We are grateful to Mr. Curbelo for his leadership on this.”

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 72 countries, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.