Growing climate coalition offers chance for bipartisanship


(5/5/2021)

From: Ed Hahn

Winona

 

Our nation and world currently face a multitude of existential issues. At the same time we face historic levels of division and partisanship, and as we chart a course to the middle of the 21st century, it is imperative that we find common ground and work together to find solutions to the problems that threaten our collective future and that of future generations. Thankfully, a golden opportunity presents itself with the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (HR 2307).

A major tool in the fight against climate change, this legislation is a market-based approach that places a set price on industrial carbon generation and then pays that money directly back to taxpayers in the form of annual dividends. Historically this policy proposal has been a hard sell, but as the stakes grow increasingly higher, key players from all sides are beginning to voice their support.

In an article published on March 1, 2021, in The Wall Street Journal, it was reported that a draft statement from the American Petroleum Institute and its member companies support “economy-wide carbon pricing as the primary government climate policy instrument to reduce CO2 emissions while helping keep energy affordable, instead of mandates or prescriptive regulatory action.” At the same time, the United States Chamber of Commerce has published a climate policy position statement on their website that supports “a market-based approach to accelerate [greenhouse gas] emissions reductions across the U.S. economy.”

Meanwhile, Republican Senator Mitt Romney, of Utah, went on record during a February 23, 2021, interview with The New York Times saying, “I’m very open to a carbon tax, carbon dividend, where there’s a tax on oil companies and coal companies and so forth.” Senator Lisa Murkowski, of oil-rich Alaska, has also expressed her support for such a policy.

We need serious action on the climate front. But even more, we need bipartisan solutions. This coming together of industry, business, and political players in regard to market-based climate action is an opportunity we all should support. I encourage you to reach out to Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith, and Rep. Jim Hagedorn to urge their support of this important legislation. Our future depends on it.

 

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