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CCL commends Whitehouse on carbon fee bill to address global warming




NOV. 19, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC — Citizens Climate Lobby commends Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) for introducing the American Opportunity and Carbon Fee Act, legislation aimed at reducing the greenhouse gas emissions responsible for climate change.

“More than anyone in the Senate right now, Sen. Whitehouse has led the way with clear and emphatic calls for America to address global warming,” said Mark Reynolds, Executive Director of Citizens Climate Lobby. “Now he and Sen. Schatz have introduced a bill that establishes a clear price on carbon emissions in a way that will be good for our economy. This would be a significant step toward preserving a livable world for future generations. It deserves a fair hearing.”

The Whitehouse-Schatz bill would require polluters to pay a fee for every ton of carbon emitted, starting at $42 per ton in 2015 and rising annually by an inflation adjusted 2 percent. Revenue from the carbon fee — $2 trillion over the next 10 years – would be placed in an American Opportunity Fund and returned to the American People in ways to be determined, which can range from tax cuts to household payments to national debt reduction.

“Right now we are subsidizing big polluters to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars annually by allowing them to pollute for free,” said Sen. Whitehouse in a press release today.  “We all pay the costs of this subsidy through higher health costs, property damage from rising seas, warming waters that affect our fishing industry, and more.  This legislation will put the costs of carbon pollution back on the polluters, and in doing so, will generate significant revenue – all of which will be returned to the American people.”

The legislation comes at time when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has released it’s sternest warning to date on the consequences civilization will face unless deep cuts in carbon emissions are started immediately. The non-partisan think-tank Resources for the Future conducted a study that determined the Whitehouse-Schatz bill would reduce emissions from the electrical sector by 50 percent within 10 years.

“As the international community gears up for an agreement in Paris next year to curtail global warming, it’s clear that the best mechanism to achieve our collective goal is carbon pricing. The American Opportunity and Carbon Fee Act gets the ball rolling in that direction,” said CCL’s Reynolds.