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Price Carbon (Updated with Brookings Study)

New Research Shows We Need a Carbon Price

Tell Congress: Take the next climate policy step đź‘Ł

In 2022, Congress passed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which contained historic levels of investment for climate action 💥 That law put our country on track for a lot more climate pollution cuts — anywhere from 32% to 40% by 2030.


Which is great, but… America committed to 50% climate pollution cuts by 2030. Researchers just released a paper modeling what we can do to most effectively close the gap. 


Spoiler alert: It’s a carbon price.

Email your members of Congress in support of carbon pricing đź“ť

When added on top of the measures in the IRA and action from the EPA, a carbon price:


  • Steers our whole economy toward clean energy.
  • Delivers significant additional climate pollution cuts.
  • Is the most cost-effective option.

Let’s make sure Congress has seen the new study and drive support for this important climate policy.

What is a Price on Carbon?

Polluters pay a fee whenever they use fossil fuels and damage our environment. The fee is based on the metric tons of CO2 generated. As this price flows through the economy, businesses and people are incentivized to switch to clean energy.


The new research in support of a carbon price comes from The Hamilton Project and the Brookings Institution. The paper modeled seven different climate policy scenarios, finding that scenarios including a carbon fee deliver more pollution reduction more cost effectively than other policy options.


Learn more about the new research in this video:

Frequently Asked Questions

Will adding a carbon price be enough for America to meet our climate commitments?

Short answer: Yes! America has committed to 50% climate pollution cuts by 2030. Right now, we’re on track for anywhere from 32% to 40% cuts, thanks to measures from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). Research from The Hamilton Project and the Brookings Institution finds that a modest carbon fee, plus all of the IRA’s climate measures, plus action from the EPA could deliver 47% cuts by 2030.


Graph showing the results of the hamilton project/brookings institution study on the effectiveness of carbon pricing


With appropriate changes to our energy permitting process and/or a more ambitious carbon price like the one in the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, we could hit the 50% threshold by 2030.


Are there any carbon pricing bills currently in Congress?

Yes! The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (H.R.5744) charges corporate polluters a fee for the carbon pollution they put into our air, then gives that money to Americans. It’s been reintroduced in the current Congress. CCL has supported this bill since its initial introduction in 2018. You can learn more about the Energy Innovation Act (and ask your member of Congress to support it!) here.


Will my Representative listen to me?

Yes! The idea that elected representatives don’t listen to their constituents is not true. Or at least, it’s highly unusual. In reality, congressional staffers take every call and voicemail and read every email their office receives and pass these onto their member of Congress in regular briefings. Congress works for you, and they want to know what their constituents care about. You may receive a generic email in response, but your message was still received loud and clear. And when you’re combining your voice with thousands of other CCLers across the nation, they tend to perk up even more.


Why is a price on carbon good for Americans?

  • Stops energy price hikes: Americans shouldn’t have to live with price shocks and energy inflation. Pricing carbon will drive energy innovation, giving every American community access to abundant, affordable clean energy at a predictable price.
  • Supports the American economy: With new clean energy sources comes millions of new jobs. Researchers, engineers, manufacturers, construction workers and electricians will be in high demand, putting Americans to work in good careers.
  • Gives the market a say: Pricing carbon incentivizes businesses to move away from fossil fuels, but it doesn’t specify how or subsidize one type of energy over another. Instead, it lets the economy sort out the most efficient way to provide Americans with power.

Find out more about why to put a price on carbon here.


Why do we need a Prefix to our name to email our Senator?

Members of Congress require a prefix for emails that are sent to their office. We acknowledge that the prefixes provided do not encompass all gender identities. Unfortunately it is Congress that sets these prefixes and so we are required to use the ones that are currently accepted by the majority of offices.


How else can I help?

You only need to email once yourself. Then, share this page with any friends, family and coworkers who want to help get a price on carbon in the U.S.!

Who is Citizens’ Climate Lobby?

Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan grassroots advocacy climate change organization that exists to create the political will for climate change solutions by enabling individual breakthroughs in the exercise of personal and political power.


Our consistently respectful, nonpartisan approach to climate education is designed to create a broad, sustainable foundation for climate action across all geographic regions and political inclinations.


CCL empowers everyday people to work with their community and their members of Congress. Our supporters cover the political spectrum and work in more than 450 local chapters. Together, we’re building support for a national bipartisan solution to climate change.