We demand Congress pass a law that levies an emergency management tax on extractive industries like fossil fuel producers and industrial chemical manufacturers, whose activities contribute far more to the acceleration of climate change than any other industry. American taxpayers shouldn't be expected to pick up the tab for disasters caused by these industries' business practices.
WHY WE NEED ACTION
This action is necessary due to both the Trump administration's drastic proposed $600 million in cuts to FEMA's state and local program grants (1), as well as the ongoing devastation in Houston -- arguably the global capital of extractive industry. Major oil and gas corporations like Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Anadarko, Kinder Morgan, and others that call Houston home are also some of the largest contributors of greenhouse gases in the world. In fact, a recent report from the Carbon Disclosure Project specifically named two Houston-based oil companies that are among the top 25 largest contributors of greenhouse gases, which are directly responsible for more than half of all carbon emissions between 1988 and 2016 (2).
National emergencies like the submerging of America's fourth-largest city should be a wake-up call to Congress. Exceedingly profitable companies that are chiefly responsible for the conditions that create climate change and crises like Hurricane Harvey need to be the ones who pay for their fallout.
1. Ron Nixon, New York Times: "Trump's Leader for FEMA Wins Praise, But Proposed Budget Cuts Don't"
2. Carbon Disclosure Project: "The Carbon Majors Database"