Last Friday in October! How did that happen? Time flies when you’re trying to save the world, I guess.

This week’s must read: The author of this Utility Drive op-ed, We’re already paying a carbon price—let’s invoice those responsible and collect the dividends instead, makes a key point: “Last year climate disasters cost Americans on average about $280 each — the worst year on record — and just about every part of the country experienced extreme weather,” Jacob Susman writes. “Even though the immediate impact of extreme weather is felt locally, all Americans pay for it in the form of higher taxes to cover emergency response and then the rebuilding of roads, schools, infrastructure — and attempting to put people’s lives back to the way they were before the devastation.”

This week’s must watch: Utah Senator Mitt Romney, a rising star to these EcoRight pages, discusses his perspectives on the current political landscape in this episode of Talks at GS. The climate portion of the conservation begins around the 24-minute mark. “I have my own view about the approaches that have the most merit,” he says of climate change solutions. “Every scientist I know says we’re causing [climate change], so let’s do whatever we can to see if we can’t fix it.”

Catch the full interview below.

Serendipitously, Bob Inglis took the EnCourage Tour to Utah this week, where he met with Weber State and BYU College Republicans, among others.

It’s always great to make new EcoRight friends!

Come together: Indiana Senator Mike Braun reached across the aisle to join Delaware Senator Chris Coons to formally launch the Senate Climate Solutions Caucus. The two had announced their intention to form a climate working group similar to a House counterpart earlier in September. In an op-ed placed in The Hill, the two founding members called their assembly “a bipartisan group of senators who, like the Americans we serve, believe Congress should play a central role in guiding America’s 21st century energy economy and addressing the challenge of a changing climate. Our caucus seeks to take the politics out of this important issue. Instead, members will commit to an honest dialogue, through which we can develop solutions that solidify American environmental leadership, promote American workers, and make meaningful progress on protecting our environment.” At a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing last week, Braun, a member of the committee, said climate change will be “a defining issue going forward…We just need to figure out how we do it in a way that we can pay for it, that everyone is engaged and also how we get the rest of the world involved in doing it, I think, with the conscientious effort and speed you’re going to see in this country.”

In this clip from NBC, both founding members talk about their impetus for forming this caucus, as well as sharing the criteria.

“I’m open to anything because I believe in science and markets and technology. You take those three things, I think that’s what’s going to drive us to solving the issue of climate change,” Braun said.

While the full roster of the caucus is unclear at this time, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chair Lisa Murkowski announced she’s a member. “I think we’ve got a lot to contribute to the conversation just in terms of what’s going on with technologies that are going to help make a difference,” she said in an interview with the Washington Examiner. And word on the street is that Romney has also joined.

Quote of the week: We introduced you to Florida state Sen. Tom Lee last week, and this week, he appeared on a radio interview (his segment starts 19 minutes in) in which he had these wise words: “With the advent of social media and the echo chambers that have developed around that social media, people pick sides a lot more today than they think about policy… And if we can get away from the conversation about, you know, was Al Gore right, or who took the lead on this, or are we really going to be here in 12 years, we can start focusing prospectively on what are we going to do about this.” The EcoRight agrees!

Help wanted: Check out these job openings with Americans for Carbon Dividends. Are you or someone you know interested in serving as a semester fellow, Alaska state engagement director, or Utah state engagement director? If so, send your cover letter and resume to hiring@afcd.org. Spread the word!

That’s it for me! Happy Halloween! ??????See you in November!