By Ian Hancock and Mark Reynolds
Imagine getting to zero emissions by 2050, without big government spending and no new regulations. Not a fantasy—over 3,500 U.S. economists endorsed such a plan, according to the Wall Street Journal (January 17, 2019). On April 1st, Congressman Ted Deutch introduced HR 2307, the “Energy Innovation & Carbon Dividend Act” (EICDA), following the recommendations of those economists.
How would the EICDA work? A “carbon fee” is charged on all carbon-emitting fuels when they are extracted from the ground. All collected fees are then handed back to every household as a “carbon cash-back” payment. The program pays for itself, and the carbon-fee revenue goes into people’s pockets with no restrictions. With this policy in place, 85 percent of Americans come out ahead or essentially break even.
And this policy is better for business. The government simply sets a predictable direction for businesses: away from carbon emissions. Then, it’s up to businesses how to move in that direction. Economists predict EICDA will drive technological innovation, and businesses will provide abundant, affordable, reliable clean energy.
It’s not every day that Congress considers a policy that will reduce emissions, benefit business, and put money in people’s pockets. Every member of New Hampshire’s congressional delegation should take a serious look at this bill. If you agree, call their D.C. or N.H. offices—that’s the only way they’ll know. The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act is a good step forward to put America on the fast track to a healthy, prosperous future.
Ian Hancock is a volunteer with the Great Bay Chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby. Mark Reynolds is the executive director of Citizens’ Climate Lobby.