USA: Landmark Bipartisan Carbon Fee Legislation Introduced

USA: Landmark Bipartisan Carbon Fee Legislation Introduced

(Originally released on November 27, 2018)

Reps. Deutch (D), Rooney (R), Delaney (D), Fitzpatrick (R), Crist (D) to introduce landmark bipartisan proposal to price carbon.

(Washington) Today, Congressman Ted Deutch (D-FL-22), Congressman Francis Rooney (R-FL-19), Congressman John K. Delaney (D-MD-06), Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-08), and Congressman Charlie Crist (D-FL-13) introduced bipartisan legislation to price carbon and return 100% of the net revenue as a rebate to American families.

The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (EICDA) will help reduce U.S. carbon pollution by 40% in 10 years, with 91% reduction target by 2050 (vs. 2015 levels). This would be achieved by pricing carbon at $15 per metric ton of CO2e and increasing the price by $10 every year. The Treasury Department would return 100% of the net revenue back to the American people, a policy highlighted by a Treasury Department report as helping lower- and middle-income families.

A one-pager on the legislation can be found here, and the text of the legislation can be found here.

A wide range of groups support the legislation, including: Citizens Climate Lobby, Climate Leadership Council, The Nature Conservancy, Alliance for Market Solutions, Environmental Defense Fund, RepublicEn, Conservation Hawks, Niskanen Center, National Wildlife Federation, National Audobon Society, Conserve America, and Applied Ecology for Tropical Resources Program Inc. - ECOTROPICS.

"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," said Congressman Deutch. "The status quo is unsustainable; the time to act is right now."

If we’re ever going to really mitigate climate change and prevent this looming catastrophe, it’s going to be with legislation like this – a big solution with bipartisan support. Incentives really matter and a carbon tax creates powerful market incentives in the private sector to reduce emissions in the short term and develop alternative energy sources in the long term. This is why I’ve authored my own carbon tax legislation and am proud to cosponsor this bill. The stakes are too high for us not to act and too high for us to be afraid to implement the solutions we know we need. This legislation is a blueprint for how we can combat climate change and bring people together around innovative policy solutions,” said Congressman Delaney.

"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 peoples’ health," said Congressman Crist. "We are taking an historic step with introduction of this bipartisan legislation; Congress must act with the urgency this crisis demands."

"This policy has the enthusiastic support of Citizens’ Climate Lobby and our more than 100,000 supporters across the country," said Danny Richter, CCL's VP for Government Affairs. "Those supporters are everyday Americans who are concerned about climate change and want to see Congress work together on a bipartisan solution like this one. We will continue working in districts across America to build support for this policy in this Congress and the next."

"The introduction of the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act provides a clear proof of concept that a conservative-inspired carbon dividends framework can attract bipartisan support," Climate Leadership Council Chairman and CEO Ted Halstead said. "It is no coincidence that the first bipartisan climate bill in nearly a decade is based on carbon dividends. A carbon dividends plan that returns all revenues to the American people is uniquely capable of appealing to all sides of the climate debate.

“This is an ambitious, bipartisan proposal that will help kickstart an essential debate over America’s response to climate change – a debate made all the more urgent by the stark findings of the National Climate Assessment,” said C2ES President Bob Perciasepe. “We and many companies we work with believe strongly that a price on carbon is a critical element of any comprehensive effort to decarbonize the U.S. economy. C2ES applauds Reps. Deutch, Crist, Delaney, Fitzpatrick, and Rooney for their leadership on this vital issue.”

An independent report from Columbia University's Carbon Tax Research Initiative at the Center on Global Energy Policy compared carbon fee proposals and found that the EICDA "would lead to larger emissions reductions, carbon tax revenues and impacts on energy markets by the late 2020s compared to the other carbon tax proposals," "would likely cause emissions to fall below the targets the plan lays out through at least 2030," "would rapidly decarbonize the US power sector," and "low- and middle-income households would receive more in rebates than they pay in taxes."

This press release was released originally by the Office of Congressman Ted Deutch. Minor adjustments have been made. See it here.

CPLC partner Citizens’ Climate Lobby was one of the key civil society organizes advocating for the introduction of the Energy Innovation and Dividend Act. You can access their website on the bill here and their website here.