Climate change is real and ignoring it won’t solve the disastrous problems it will bring. There are many actions necessary but chief among them is the switch to non-fossil energy. Presently fossil fuels are cheap because the price does not take into account the collateral damage extracting and using them does. This post describes a realistic market-driven solution to accelerate the transition: Carbon Fee and Dividend.
Proposed federal legislation for Carbon Fee and Citizen Dividend (CF&D)
- puts a carbon fee of $15/ton of CO2 emitted on fossil fuels at the source (well, mine, port of entry)
- increases that fee $10/ton of CO2 every year for 10 years
- returns all the money collected to American households on an equal basis MONTHLY (e.g., $288/month for a family of 4 with 2 adults by 2025 or $396/month by 2035)
- allows the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy (wind, solar, biomass) to happen in a predicable, incremental way that works for businesses and investors
According to the independent Regional Economic Modeling Inc. (REMI) report, this Carbon Fee and Citizen Dividend would:
- cause CO2 emissions to decline 33% after 10 years
(52% after 20 years)—relative to a baseline of $0/ton of CO2
- increase national employment by 2.1 million jobs in 10 years
(2.8 million jobs after 20 years)
- increase GDP by $70-$85 billion from 2020 on, with a cumulative increase in national GDP due to CF & D of $1.375 TRILLION
- save 13,000 lives per year after 10 years
- allow market forces to accelerate change and be easier for businesses than DOE’s Clean Power regulations
- not grow government bureaucracy
NOTE: The REMI study used a starting fee of $10/ton, so results from the Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL) proposal that starts at $15/ton would actually be better. (Source: www.citizensclimatelobby.org – For a 1-hour informational call that explains all this, every Wed. night at 8pm ET)
Think it can’t be done?
- In the last 5 years the price of solar panels has fallen 75% (rural Bangladesh has as many as 80,000 new solar connections a month—15 million Bangladeshis already live in solar-powered houses)
- TX is #1 in the nation in wind power (the USA already generates 66,008 megawatts by wind)
- Reagan’s Secretary of State George P. Shultz promotes Carbon Fee & Dividend (he’s on CCL’s Board) and says this proposal supports “the best conservative principles—prudence, practicality and a reverence for free enterprise”
- Even those who harbor doubts about climate change should accept that the cautious, conservative thing to do is to hedge against risks (the Carbon Fee & Dividend approach might be seen as an insurance policy)
Fossil fuel subsidies from 2002-2008 exceeded subsidies to “renewable” projects by a factor of 5:1. Over the next 10 years there are over $158 billion in potential fossil fuel subsidies. Let’s eliminate all subsidies, and let the market decide!
- The US Environmental Protection Agency has published extensive data on Greenhouse Gasses. Almost a third of methane emissions, many times more damaging than carbon dioxide, come from Natural Gas and Petroleum Systems (29%). (click)
- Researchers have concluded that fracking speeds up human-caused climate change due to leaks of methane. (click)