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Bipartisan Carbon Fee Legislation Introduced

WASHINGTON, D.C.-- Today, Congressman Ted Deutch (D-FL-22), Congressman Francis Rooney (R-FL-19), Congressman Charlie Crist (D-FL-13), Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA-18), Congressman Scott Peters (D-CA-52), Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-CA-27), and Congressman Daniel Lipinski (D-IL-03) 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 up to 45% by 2030, with over 90% reduction target by 2050 (vs. 2016 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.

Text of the legislation can be found here.

"Climate change is an urgent threat that demands urgent bipartisan action. With this legislation, we are making clear to our colleagues that bipartisanship is possible – even necessary – to address climate change in this Congress," said Congressman Deutch. "Our plan, to put a price on carbon and return the net revenue back to the American people, offers our Democratic and Republican colleagues an effective approach to significantly reduce carbon emissions without shifting the burden to the American people."

“I am supportive of a carbon fee as a non-regulatory, revenue-neutral and market-driven incentive to move toward natural gas and away from coal, and to support emerging alternate sources of energy," said Congressman Rooney. "There are many proposals being suggested as to utilizing monies a carbon tax might generate, each with its own strengths and weaknesses – there are several favorable options, and this bill provides a method of ensuring that any fees are rebated back to the public.”

“Congress must act with the urgency the climate crisis demands. Nowhere is this more clear than in Florida where rising sea levels are impacting our communities,” said Congressman Crist. “Our bipartisan bill takes historic steps toward reducing carbon dependency – key to addressing the climate crisis – while using the revenue generated to cut a monthly check to every American. A win-win solution!”

“I’m proud to be a cosponsor of the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act which establishes a steadily increasing carbon fee to cut carbon emissions and return the revenue to the American people,” said Congresswoman Eshoo. “This important and practical bipartisan legislation will grow our economy and address climate change. The scientific evidence continues to show that this is one of the most important issues facing our nation and our planet. The science is clear. If we don’t take action now, future generations will inherit a planet greatly diminished by sea-level rise, more extreme weather, habitat change and extinctions, and other irrevocable damage.”

“To save the planet we need to give Americans a significant monetary incentive to reduce their carbon emissions," Congressman Peters said. "This proposal is an ambitious plan, supported by both Republicans and Democrats, that addresses one of the primary causes of climate change while also igniting economic growth and innovation. It also reestablishes the United States as leader in the fight to curb climate change by also motivating other countries to adopt carbon pricing.”

“The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act is a necessary and urgent step in setting our country on the path toward a carbon-free economy," Congresswoman Chu said. "U.S. emissions rose by an estimated 3.4% in 2018, which is why we cannot afford to wait any longer to take action. This bipartisan proposal would aggressively reduce carbon emissions and play an essential part in our country’s urgent fight against climate change.”

“Climate change is having significant negative effects on our economy and on peoples' health and daily lives, and we've known for a long time that we need to take serious action," said Congressman Lipinski. "This bill does that in a way that will also create jobs and boost the economy. Similar to the bipartisan carbon fee bill I introduced in 2009, this legislation will refund 100 percent of the revenues collected to the American people. The EICDA will put policies in place to drastically reduce our carbon emissions, and will also create incentives for US businesses to develop the clean technology of the future. I thank Congressman Deutch and the other co-sponsors for the action they’ve taken and for joining me as leaders in the fight against climate change.”

“We think there are two major requirements for any climate solution: It has to be effective in bringing down carbon pollution, and it has to be good for people," said Mark Reynolds, executive director of Citizens’ Climate Lobby. “The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act is strong on both counts. It sets a price high enough to drive significant emissions reductions, and by giving the revenue to households, it helps people financially as America transitions to a clean energy economy."

“This ambitious, bipartisan proposal underscores the growing momentum in Washington for climate solutions,” said C2ES President Bob Perciasepe. “The recent National Climate Assessment and IPCC Special Report make clearer than ever that we need action now. This kind of comprehensive market-based approach is key to decarbonizing the U.S. economy. It can protect our communities and infrastructure from growing climate risks while contributing to strong, sustainable economic growth.”

“Carbon dividends is the free-market solution that would reduce emissions while growing our economy and driving innovation," said Greg Bertelsen, Senior Vice President, Climate Leadership Council. "It is a framework that has already garnered support from leading environmentalists, businesses and thought leaders and would ensure that American households come out ahead. The introduction of this legislation reiterates that a carbon dividends policy can attract backing from lawmakers on both sides.”