Why is it so difficult to take real action on climate change? Because while the majority of Americans would accept the economic costs of stricter environmental regulations to fight climate change, the majority of Republicans believe the economic costs outweigh the benefits.
But didn't we send a man to the moon, invent the internet, and create the weekend? We can figure this out. We have smart solutions that can address climate change and deliver economic benefits to American families. We can’t wait to act any longer.
A recent Carbon Dividends proposal proposed by eight Republicans of the Climate Leadership Council has taken elements of Democratic and Republican proposals to find a realistic way forward. This approach would:
Place a carbon tax on CO2 emissions only, steadily increasing from $40/ton CO2. It is estimated that this would reduce U.S. emissions by 28% by 2025, compared to an emissions reduction of 16% if all Obama Administration policies were left in place.
Return all revenues raised directly to American families in the form of a dividends check. The U.S. Treasury Department estimates that an average family of four would receive a dividend of $2,000 in the first year, with 70% of Americans benefiting economically under the program. Other revenue uses could include energy efficiency incentives, transition support for affected economic sectors, and community innovation grants.
Protect American competitiveness by providing rebates to companies on items exported to countries without carbon pricing and adding fees to imports from countries without carbon pricing.
Analyze current carbon emissions regulations to identify those that are 100% redundant for possible adjustment or elimination if a proposal following these principles was enacted.
Learn more about how to start a carbon dividends campaign in your community:
See our petition asking our local representatives to publicly support this approach.
See our public statement of support for local leaders.
See impact data on how a carbon fee and dividends approach might affect the members of our congressional district, provided by the excellent folks at the Citizen's Climate Lobby.