Last week, two Senators (Whitehouse & Schatz) and two Congressmen (Wasman & Blumenauer) proposed new legislation to tax green house gas emissions (GHG). This is commonly known in countries that have passed one, as “a carbon tax”. Alicia & I feel that a properly implemented carbon tax would be a real benefit to both the planet and the United States. It would address climate change, reduce our dependence on foreign oil and dirty fossil fuels and improve our economy.
The Representatives proposing this bill have asked for public input on this legislation. I feel strongly that a carbon tax is a good idea, but that their legislation doesn’t go far enough. Suggestions should be emailed to email@example.com by April 12, 2013. I have provided possible text for such an email below. Feel free to use it as is or to modify it:
Thank you for championing carbon tax legislation. We need it for our country and out planet.
The goal of a carbon tax is not to raise revenue, but rather to cause people to change their behavior. Therefore, the carbon tax must be significant enough that people feel a pressure to change their use of carbon. It needs to be significant enough that we as a nation reduce our consumption of fossil fuels, our dependence on foreign energy sources like Mideast oil, and our dangerous greenhouse gas emissions. Since everyone must reduce energy usage to make these changes, I recommend not confusing the matter by only taxing the large emitters.
I recommend starting the carbon tax at $20 per ton of CO2 emissions and increasing annually by $10-20 per ton until the tax on CO2 emissions is $200 per ton. For a gallon of gasoline, that would start at 19.6 cents per gallon and increase to $1.96 per gallon.
I recommend creating an energy stamp program to help lower-income earners similar to the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP). In addition, some of the revenue should be returned to the American people through reduced tax liability for individuals and businesses and used to fund energy efficiency/weatherization programs, increased R&D and lower the nation’s budget deficit.
The carbon tax can work alongside state programs to reduce emissions similar to how some states and localities have additional gas taxes above and beyond the federal gas tax.
More details on these suggestions can be found at www.penniesperpound.org.
The more detailed comments that I submitted on the legislation can be found on my Pennies Per Pound blog in the post: Pennies Per Pound: Time to Comment on Proposed Carbon Tax Legislation.
Here are some additional resources from the the press release:
- One Pager: “Tackling Climate Change and Raising Revenue for the American People” (March 12, 2013).
- Section-by-Section: “Discussion Draft: Fee for Emissions of Carbon Pollution” (March 12, 2013).
- Backgrounder: “Carbon Pollution Fees: A New Workable Approach” (March 12, 2013).
- Bill Text: Discussion Draft (March 12, 2013).
Please take a few minutes to send your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org and ask your friends to do the same.
Together, we can make meaningful change in the world.