August Letter to Congress: Write about EPA carbon rule

In June, the Environmental Protection Agency published its new rule to limit carbon pollution from existing power plants. While this is a step in the right direction, the new rule will not be sufficient to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to levels that will avoid disastrous consequences. We still need an economy-wide price on carbon that will reduce pollution from all sources. Many members of Congress oppose the new EPA rule, but the conversation on climate change has shifted, and the majority of Americans favor action that will reduce carbon pollution. Politicians can no longer oppose solutions without proposing alternative solutions. The alternative to EPA regulations is a tax on carbon that returns revenue back to households.

Outline for letter:

  • Introduce yourself and share something personal about who you are.
  • Say why you think it’s important to address global warming.
  • Tell them you support the EPA’s new carbon rule, but that more needs to be done.
  • Ask them to support a fee on carbon that gives revenue back to households and mention the REMI study (see below).
  • If your member of Congress opposes EPA’s new rule, suggest that a revenue-neutral carbon fee would provide a market-based alternative to EPA regulations.
  • Ask for a reply.


Points you can bring up (use no more than two):

  • The EPA’s new rule on limiting emissions from power plants is a good start to address global warming, but we must do more to avoid catastrophic consequences in the future.
  • Global warming is contributing to the algal blooms in Lake Erie that caused Toledo to issue a “do not drink” order for the city’s water. Increased temperatures cause heavier precipitation events that result in more phosphorous runoff from agriculture in the lake, which feeds the algae.
  • A bipartisan coalition released a report this summer, Risky Business, citing the high economic toll that climate change will take on the U.S. economy in the coming years.
  • Conservatives such at former Secretary of State George Shultz support a fee on carbon that gives revenue back to households.
  • 20-year forecast from Regional Economic Models, Inc. (REMI) found that a carbon fee rising $10 per ton each year would add 2.8 million jobs to the economy while cutting greenhouse gas emission 52 percent below 1990 levels.
  • It is no longer true that we must choose between the environment and the economy; the REMI study shows we can cut carbon emissions and improve our economy at the same time through a carbon tax that gives revenue back to households.


Send letters to…

…the district office of your representative and senators. The mailing addresses can be found on their Web sites, which you can find on and

You can also send mail to Washington offices:


U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

U.S. Senate
Washington, DC 20510