Major Carbon Fee & Dividend Bill Reintroduced in House; Crist to Join Press Conference on Tuesday

Washington, DC - Today, U.S. Representatives Charlie Crist (FL-13), Ted Deutch (FL-22), Judy Chu (CA-27), Anna G. Eshoo (CA-18), and Scott Peters (CA-52), introduced the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Actlegislation to put a price on carbon and return 100% of the net revenue as a rebate to American families.

The EICDA will help reduce U.S. carbon pollution by up to 45% by 2030, with a net zero target by 2050. This would be achieved by pricing carbon at $15 per metric ton of CO2e and increasing the price by $10 every year.

On Tuesday, April 6 at 11:00 am ET, the sponsors of the legislation will hold a press conference with leaders from organizations that support the legislation. Click here to register for this virtual press conference.

Rep. Charlie Crist“Floridians feel the effects of climate change each and every day. With hotter temperatures, more flooding, increasingly dangerous hurricane seasons, and rising seas, the Sunshine State is Ground Zero for the climate crisis. This crisis demands action now. Carbon dependency is one of the biggest contributors to climate change, so I’m honored to work with my friend and Florida colleague, Representative Deutch, in reintroducing the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act. It’s past time that we make carbon polluters pay and give that money right back to the American people. A win-win!”

Rep. Ted Deutch, founding co-chair of the House Bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus
: “The pandemic may have temporarily interrupted the scale of global carbon emissions, but we need a robust plan that makes lasting changes to our energy sector. We're proposing a market-based solution to put a price on carbon and drive the transition to cleaner energy sources. Returning 100% of the net revenue back to American families will not only cover any increase in energy costs but also give extra support to those continuing to struggle financially from the pandemic. Congress must move forward with this popular and effective plan to curb rising emissions and address a major contributor to climate change.”

Rep. Judy Chu: “The cost of emitting greenhouse gases has always been high, and we have paid that price in more frequent storms, devastating wildfires, soaring temperatures, and rising seas. The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act would ensure that polluters pay a rising cost for their emissions, driving down greenhouse gas pollution and returning the proceeds to taxpayers every month. This important legislation will be a crucial tool in our country’s urgent fight against the climate crisis.”

Rep. Anna G. Eshoo: “I’m proud to cosponsor the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act to address the climate crisis, create jobs and boost our economy. This bipartisan legislation will make the U.S. carbon-free by 2050 and put money directly into the pockets of the American people. This is bold, economy-based climate action that will set America on a path to a greener, cleaner future.”

Rep. Scott Peters: “We can’t save the planet without making every single person an actor in this crusade; placing a price on carbon does that. And the carbon pricing bill we introduced today returns the revenue to American families. It's poised to reduce emissions, empower markets to transition to a low-carbon economy, and immediately work to slow climate change.”

Former Rep. Francis Rooney, the lead Republican sponsor of the legislation in the 116th Congress: “I am thankful to Congressman Deutch for reintroducing the carbon tax and dividend proposal which we worked on together the last few years. A tax on carbon is the most market- friendly and efficient means of value pricing the adverse impacts of burning carbon and of driving the energy markets towards cleaner fuels, beginning with natural gas and moving increasingly to renewables.”

In addition to the five lead sponsors, the 24 original cosponsors include Reps. Carbajal, Cardenas, Cartwright, Connolly, Correa, Craig (MN), Crow (CO), Evans (PA), Garamendi, Johnson (GA), Kilmer, Lee, Malinowski, Meng, Morelle, Moulton, Phillips (MN), Pingree, Raskin, Roybal-Allard, Scanlon, Schakowsky, Sherman, and Sires.

Background

According to the International Energy Agency, carbon dioxide emissions dropped by an estimated six percent globally in 2020, largely as a result of national policies to control the spread of COVID-19. However global emissions have quickly rebounded; emissions in December 2020 were two percent higher than in December 2019. "In the absence of more rapid policy intervention and behavioural changes, longer-term drivers of growth will continue to push up oil demand," the IEA stated in its Oil 2021 report.

This legislation would also help the millions of Americans struggling financially from the impacts of the pandemic by returning 100% of the net revenue back to the American people through a monthly dividend check. A Treasury Department report from 2017 analyzes the benefits of a dividend plan, particularly for lower-income Americans.

Carbon fee and dividend policies are supported by leaders in government and the private sector.

  • During Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen's confirmation process, she stated in a written response to the Senate Finance Committee that "We cannot solve the climate crisis without effective carbon pricing. The President supports an enforcement mechanism that requires polluters to bear the full cost of the carbon pollution they are emitting."
  • The House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis's 2020 report laid out the benefits of a carbon fee policy, stating that, "Until the market reflects the true cost of carbon pollution, the U.S. economy will remain biased toward fossil fuel combustion."
  • In Resources for the Future's testimony submitted to the select committee, it stressed that a carbon price would percolate "through the entire economy, providing an incentive for all decision makers in the economy to look for ways to reduce emissions, for example, by improving the boiler in a factory or buying a more efficient air conditioner at home."
  • A 2019 report prepared by Columbia University researchers analyzed the legislation and found that the policy could result in significant economy-wide net emissions reduction and would cause "the US economy to shift from carbon-intensive energy sources to low- and zero-carbon energy sources."
  • Recently, the American Petroleum Institute endorsed "an economywide price on carbon, the most impactful policy for emissions reductions."

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