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“To call this legislation a breakthrough is an understatement,” says Citizens’ Climate Lobby Executive Director Mark Reynolds in a press release. “It goes further than any national policy to date, creating over 2 million new jobs, lowering health care costs, promoting energy innovation, and encouraging consumer spending.

Major Breakthrough For Carbon Pricing in the U.S., Below2C

Source: Energy Innovation Act

Canadians celebrate this carbon pricing breakthrough. The following press release was issued by Citizens’ Climate Lobby Canada (CCLCanada).

Press Release CCLCanada

Five members of the U.S. House of Representatives from both parties just introduced the most significant climate change legislation Congress has seen in over a decade.

Sponsored by 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), the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act is a climate solution that goes further than any national policy to date, creating over 2 million new jobs, lowering health care costs, promoting energy innovation, and encouraging consumer spending.

It does so by applying a nationwide price on carbon emissions and returning the revenue to people each month.

Major Breakthrough For Carbon Pricing in the U.S., Below2C

Source: Energy Innovation Act

This approach is a climate change solution long advocated by both economists and climate scientists as the simplest, most effective approach to solving climate change. This bill seeks to lower carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions by at least 33% over the next 10 years.

At a press conference on Wed., Nov. 28, sponsors of the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act delivered remarks, surrounded by supporters.

“To call this legislation a breakthrough is an understatement,” said Citizens’ Climate Lobby Executive Director Mark Reynolds. “Any long-term solution needs buy-in from both Republicans and Democrats. And now that their constituents are feeling the negative effects of climate change firsthand, both sides are more willing to cooperate on a solution that brings about real change.”

Reynolds said the new policy will create 2.1 million new jobs over the next 10 years, based on estimates from a 2014 Regional Economic Models, Inc. (REMI) study on the effect of a revenue-neutral carbon price on the American economy.

Additionally, implementing this policy will reduce health care costs by cutting pollution, as studies show that poor air quality is responsible for an estimated 60,000 U.S. deaths each year. Thousands more Americans are sickened by toxic air, and costs from air pollution-related illness are estimated at $150 billion per year.

Dire Fourth National Climate Assessment

Last week, the Fourth National Climate Assessment estimated that the impact of climate change could reduce the size of the American economy 10 percent by end of the century.

“Unless steps are taken to dramatically reduce heat-trapping emissions, climate change will do irreparable harm to Americans,” said Reynolds. “This bipartisan solution comes not a moment too soon.”

“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.”

The revenue from the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act will be returned equally to all American households on a monthly basis, also known as “carbon dividends.” This ensures the program is revenue neutral and does not grow the size of government.

In a paper prepared for Columbia University, economist Noah Kaufman said the legislation “would provide a substantial boost to low carbon generation sources including solar, wind and nuclear energy, and virtually eliminate the use of coal in the U.S. electricity system by 2030.” Kaufman’s paper also said “the rebates received by the average low- and middle-income households would exceed the additional expenditures of these households due to the higher prices caused by the carbon tax.”

Canada and US Linked by Carbon Pricing

“We welcome this development,” says Cathy Orlando, National Director at Citizens’ Climate Lobby Canada. “The Canadian and USA energy and climate policies are de facto linked together. With the predictable market signal from carbon pricing, Canada and the USA will be well-poised to capitalize on the $26 trillion in business opportunities in clean technologies without burdening the taxpayer.”

Congressman Rooney stated, “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 alternative sources of energy.”

Speaking at a press conference Wednesday morning, Congressman Crist said, “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.”

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It’s No Longer Free To Pollute Anywhere In Canada
Rising Methane Levels A Bigger Threat Than CO2

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  1. The democrats have a long record of only introducing effective climate change legislation when it is doomed to fail. When they had a huge majority it was not a priority. Obama introduced significant change very late in his 8 year presidency where it could easily be overturned by Trump. I am hopeful but have low expectations.

    Trump deserves no praise (see Beware the Trump Administration), but that should not obscure the fact that the democrats have been disastrous for the environment.

    The democrats led a massive expansion of nuclear energy and opened up off shore drilling three times. Corn Ethanol and “clean coal” continue their renaissance. DeChristopher, a whistle blower for an illegal sale of public lands to the fossil fuel industry, has been prosecuted and sentenced to two years by the Obama DOJ while everyone else who planned and executed the illegal action got a pass. Also getting free passes were BP for the eleven who died at BP’s Deepwater Horizon and Massey Coal after 29 coal miners died because hundreds of safety violations were overlooked. Despite some small renewable energy investments such as a solar light for a bus station in Georgia, most of our tax money still goes to fossil fuels rather than renewable energy. About 45% of the “environmental stimulus” went to tax breaks. This comes at a time when failure to adopt as other countries have already started to do – some for decades now – will have severe consequences.

    The White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, -which Obama completely controlled – has weakened more than 80% of the rules proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency. This is worse than eight years of the Bush administration.(3)

    Karl Moore points out,

    Of all the environmental disaster we face, the biggest may be Obama’s appointment of Ken Salazar as Secretary of the Interior. He voted against increased fuel efficiency standards for the U.S. automobile fleet – voted to end protection for offshore oil drilling off of Florida’s coast – voted to allow the Army Corps of Engineers to ignore global warming impacts in their water development projects – voted against the repeal of tax breaks for Exxon-Mobil – voted to support subsidies to ranchers and other users of public forest and range lands – threatened to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service when its scientists determined the black-tailed prairie dog may be endangered – fought efforts to increase protection for endangered species and the environment in the Farm Bill, and is ending wolf protection in Wyoming.

    Karl Moore also said,

    When it comes to bioenergy, the stances of President Obama and Governor Romney are virtually the same. Both candidates have come together on an aggressively pro-biomass and biofuels platform that ignores the resulting increase in lung disease from particulate matter emissions, the contribution to runaway climate change, the watershed degradation, the forest destruction, and the disproportionate negative impacts on low income Americans and communities of color…This President’s ABYSMAL record on environmental protections and consumer protections far exceeds that of ANY past President in my lifetime.

    Even when the EPA proposed minor actions to limit blowing up mountains and other environmental disasters, they all become effective in the distant future when they can be cancelled. The Tar Sands pipeline and delay of smog regulations recommended by Obama’s own EPA stand out. Ignoring his own EPA recommendations on smog will cost – again according to his own EPA – 7,200 deaths 11,000 emergency room visits and 38,000 acute cases of asthma each year. See references 22, 23, 25, 35, 44, 45. And yet Obama prosecutes environmental whistleblowers more than any other Presidential Administration in the history of our Republic. (see reference 369) Contrast the drastic action and cost of 3,000 deaths one time in the terrorist attack in 2001 with the lack of any action for 7,200 yearly deaths.

    President Obama stopped the XL Pipeline only after it failed commercially. He waited until he was a lame duck president and the republicans controlled both houses before enacting mild environmental change which was immediately enveloped in litigation.

    Coal and fracking companies do not deserve a continuing series of good deals at the expense of the American taxpayers. The New Progressive Alliance has written the Obama Bureau of Land Management in June 2012, May 2013, August 2013, June 2015, and August 2016 on this matter. In February 2017 under Trump now we wrote the BLM yet again on the same subject, this time on the Spring Creek Coal getting another taxpayer supported sweetheart day paid for by the American taxpayers. For a full text of all our Public Comments see here.

    When we complained before on these and many other environmental problems Obama refused to address, some democrats asked if this was productive and repeated the mantra that republicans would be worse and we must not endanger electing democrats. This bury our head in the sand policy of abandoning the democratic base has now resulted in republican control of the presidency, both houses of congress, and most state legislatures. We are now writing the Trump executive branch on the same issues we wrote the Obama branch.

    Hilary Clinton (and Kerry after her) outright and deeply lied while Secretary of State about the XL Pipeline not affecting the environment. Bill Clinton backed the XL Pipeline. Hilary Clinton had many campaign contributors invest heavily in the pipeline. She also forced fracking upon the world. See Beware the Clintons. See also The Democratic Party is the More Effective of Two Evils.

    Again, no defense of Trump, but it will take far more than rhetoric to prevent disaster to future generations. Obama also postponed his already weak environmental actions until his last year when republicans had their greatest majority and his very modest actions could be repealed by executive order. Weather and physics – not excuses and negotiations – will determine what happens with climate change.

    See also references 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 11, 14, 16, 17, 22, 23, 25, 29, 31, 34, 35, 36, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 48, 50, 52, 53, 54, 55, 57, 58, 60, 63, 65, 115, 123, 162, 166, 261, 290, 303, 323, 355, 369, 390, 406, 412, 427, 457, 478, 485, 507, 516, 521, 584, 603, 618, 679, 683, 713, 720, 906, 908, 926, 928, 931, 933, 935, 945, 964, 965, 975, 976, 1054, 1137, 1159, 1220, 1303, 1371, 1401, 1531, 1552-1567, 1664-1670, 1707-1714, 1737, 1739-1744, 2038-2042, 2307-2324, 2626-2635, 2702, 2971-2997, 3144, 3223, 3273, 3360, 3914, 4172 of this article:

    • Ed – As usual your material is well researched and documented. Thank you for your ongoing interest and attempts to discuss the complexities of climate change, and in this case, carbon pricing.

      While the world continues to move as a snail’s pace on climate policy, GHG emissions are rising once again after a few years of stagnation. It does not look good for humanity.


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