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Historiskt framsteg. Den 27 november 2018 la två republikaner och tre demokrater fram ett gemensamt lagförslag i USAs representanthus, nämligen att införa Avgift och Utdelning. Strax efteråt har nu ännu en republikan ställt sig bakom förslaget. Läs mer om detta här under.
With the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, Congress takes an unprecedented bipartisan step to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while creating American jobs, unleashing innovation, and improving public health.
Congress has found a simple, fair, and effective solution to get climate change in check. On November 27, Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), Rep. Francis Rooney (R-FL), Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL), Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and Rep. John Delaney (D-MD) introduced the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act. Since introduction, an additional Republican co-sponsor has joined the bill: Rep. Dave Trott (R-MI). This bipartisan bill in the House of Representatives will put a price on carbon emissions and return the revenue equally to people.
This bill will drive down America’s carbon pollution more than any prior national legislation or executive action. As it does so, it will also improve health and save lives by reducing the pollution that Americans breathe, boost the economy with millions of jobs, and stay revenue neutral.
“To call this legislation a breakthrough is an understatement,” said Citizens’ Climate Lobby Executive Director Mark Reynolds. “This bill is easily the most significant congressional move on climate change since 2009. And with bipartisan sponsorship, it has a real chance at passage.”
Climate scientists are clear that to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, society must dramatically reduce its carbon dioxide emissions. That message was delivered most recently in the fourth installment of the National Climate Assessment, as well as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s report (pdf) earlier this fall. The IPCC report specifically mentioned carbon pricing as a way forward to effectively reduce emissions and stabilize our climate. These Republicans and Democrats are now working together for the good of the country and for humanity to do just that.
Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s full press release is available here, and quotes from the bill sponsors are included in the last section of this document.
What others are saying about the bill
In addition to bipartisan congressional support, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act is already garnering supportive reactions from economic think tanks, advocacy groups, and citizens. Here’s a list of statements from:
As word continues to spread about this legislation, organizations nationwide and influential individuals will publicly endorse the bill online at www.energyinnovationact.org.
The bill has also been covered in the national news, including:
How the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act works
The fee: The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act will put a fee on all oil, gas and coal we use in the United States based on the greenhouse gas emissions they produce. It will make clean energy cheaper and more attractive than dirty, polluting energy, therefore driving down America’s emissions and slowing climate change. The fee starts low at $15 per ton of CO2 and grows steadily, increasing $10 per ton annually, giving businesses time to adjust and make smart investments for the future.
The dividend: The money from the fee will be allocated equally and directly to people as a monthly rebate. Most American households will end up with more money in their pockets to spend as they see fit, which helps low and middle income Americans. Former U.S. Treasury Economist Allen Lerman conducted a Dividend Delivery Study in 2017 to explore exactly how this type of dividend could be administered.
Border adjustment: To protect U.S. manufacturers and jobs, goods imported from countries that do not have an equivalent carbon price will pay a border carbon adjustment. Goods exported from the United States to such countries will receive a refund under this policy.
Regulatory adjustment: This policy prevents additional regulations on covered CO2 emissions, as long as emission targets are being met. If emission targets are not met after 10 years, then EPA regulatory authority over these emissions would be restored. Regulations based on other pollutants will not be affected, nor will regulations such as auto mileage standards, water quality and more.
Studies say fee & dividend is good for environment and economy
America is already feeling the impact of to climate change. Regarding recent wildfires out West, for example, climate scientist Michael Mann said, "We can conclude with a great deal of confidence now that climate change is making these events more extreme.”
In the Carolinas this fall, Hurricane Florence left an estimated $22 billion in damage, most of it from flooding caused by record rainfall. Climate change made Florence more destructive because warmer air holds and releases more water. Sea level rise, also attributable to global warming, increased the storm surge from Florence. Changes in the jet stream, which scientists attribute to a warmer Arctic, also caused Florence to linger for several days and deposit more rain. All of these impacts are costing the U.S. billions of dollars per year.
The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act’s price on carbon would shift these runaway costs onto the fossil fuel companies. Those companies, as well as our power and transportation sectors, will be motivated to find cleaner, cheaper ways to power our country, reducing emissions and stabilizing our climate. By returning the revenue to Americans in the form of a monthly dividend, our economy will benefit too.
A 2014 study done by Regional Economic Models, Inc., looked at a similar fee and dividend style proposal. The REMI study found that, after 10 years, this type of policy would reduce CO2 emissions 33 percent below 1990 levels. The study also found that 2.1 million jobs would be added over that time, primarily because of the economic stimulus of returning the revenue to households. A new evaluation of this exact bill, done by economist Noah Kaufman of Columbia University, indicates that the emissions reductions could be even higher: 45% below 2015 levels by 2030.
Polling shows majority support for revenue-neutral carbon pricing
In August 2018, the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication updated its Climate Opinion Maps with data that included responses to 14 new questions. One of those questions asked respondents if they “support taxing fossil fuel companies while equally reducing other taxes.” Nationwide, 68 percent said they would support this type of revenue-neutral carbon tax. Only 29 percent were opposed.
That support is strong throughout all parts of the country. Program Director Anthony Leiserowitz explained, “Majorities in all 50 states and all 435 Congressional Districts support requiring fossil fuel companies to pay a carbon tax and using the money to reduce other taxes (such as income tax) by an equal amount.”
Though the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act directs revenue toward a dividend rather than a tax swap, the polling is clear: America wants to put a price on carbon. With this bill, Congress is responding.
The Climate Solutions Caucus
Of the six current bill sponsors, all six of them are members of the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus in the House of Representatives. This group was established in February of 2016 by two Florida congressman: Republican Carlos Curbelo and Democrat Ted Deutch. They established the caucus with six initial members, three Republicans and three Democrats, intending to keep membership evenly bipartisan as the caucus grew.
In 2017, membership in the caucus exploded. The Climate Solutions Caucus swelled to 62 members, 31 Republicans and 31 Democrats. In 2018 before the midterm election, the caucus membership had risen all the way to 90. As the caucus reached this critical mass, their focus gradually shifted from recruitment to action, as they began to cast pro-climate votes, hold regular meetings about climate change, and even speak on the House floor about the issue.
Now, these Climate Solutions Caucus members have taken the largest step yet. With the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, they are not only speaking about the urgency of climate change and the need for bipartisan consensus, but acting accordingly.
Quotes from bill sponsors
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL): "This aggressive carbon pricing scheme introduced by members from both parties marks an important opportunity to begin to seriously address the immediate threat of climate change. The status quo is unsustainable; the time to act is right now."
Rep. Francis Rooney (R-FL): “To let the free market price out coal, we should consider value pricing carbon. A revenue-neutral carbon fee is an efficient, market- driven incentive to move toward natural gas and away from coal, and to support emerging alternate sources of energy.”
Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL): “Since organizing Florida’s first national climate change summit more than 10 years ago, it’s clear that reducing our carbon dependency is the key to winning this fight. The devastating findings released in last week’s report show that the clock is ticking and continued inaction would be catastrophic — for our environment, our economy, and people’s health. We are taking an historic step with the introduction of this bipartisan legislation; Congress must act with the urgency this crisis demands.”
To learn more about the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, visit energyinnovationact.org. To follow along with the conversation on social media,
browse the hashtag #PriceOnPollution.
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