Caring for Our Common Home: The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act


I am very concerned for the wellbeing of our planet. The time, effort, and money we provide maintaining and improving our physical homes should at least equal what we apply to our true gifted home, Earth. Climate change is real, the evidence proves it is happening: disappearing ice caps and melting glaciers leading to rising sea levels; extreme weather conditions resulting in larger hurricanes, wildfires and drought. All of this is happening because of our addiction to carbon.

Climate change is a global concern which requires all nations to make monumental changes by reducing their carbon footprint. “First World” countries should lead the charge because of our extensive addiction to carbon.   

The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (EICDA) can help us tackle this problem. It is the first bipartisan bill in a decade which works on climate change solutions at the Congressional level. It is House Bill H.R. 763. The Senate will also have a similar reintroduction of the bill with the same name later this year. This legislation will lead the USA forward.

EICDA is effective, good for people, good for the economy, and revenue neutral. It will put a fee on oil, gas, and coal we use in the United States based on the greenhouse gas emissions they produce. It will make clean energy cheaper and more attractive than dirty, polluting energy, therefore driving down America’s emissions and slowing climate change.

The fee starts low at $15 per metric ton of C02 and grows steadily, increasing $10 per metric ton annually, giving businesses time to adjust and make smart investments for the future. The money from the fee will be allocated equally and directly to people as a monthly rebate. Most American households will end up with more money in their pockets to spend as they see fit, which helps low and middle-income Americans. More money in our pockets means more spending in our communities which will help in creating new jobs.

Meanwhile, energy companies and leading industries will be motivated to pollute less and save money which means lives will be saved because of better air quality. To protect U.S. manufactures and jobs, goods imported from countries that do have an equivalent carbon price will pay a border carbon adjustment. Companies exporting goods from the United States to such countries will receive a refund under this policy.

There are currently no active U.S. regulations on C02 emissions. The State and House versions of the bill address how any future regulations on greenhouse gas emissions covered by this policy can be handled. The Senate bill calls for an EPA review after 6 years. The House bill prevents new regulations by the EPA on covered emissions, but if the emissions targets are not being met after 10 years, regulatory authority over these emissions would be restored. Neither bill impacts regulations with regard to other pollutants, auto mileage standards, or water quality.

Let’s help Earth, contact your members of Congress to move this legislation forward.

Categories: Column The Pollinator: UCC Environmental Justice Blog

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