Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m a constituent from [CITY, ZIP].
I urge you to support the Energy Innovation & Carbon Dividend Act, HR 763. This important bill is a critical step in addressing the climate crisis. It is fair, effective, and bipartisan. Studies show it has the capacity to exceed the US’s Paris Climate Accord goals. In California and globally, we are experiencing the increasingly devastating effects of climate change. We can’t afford to wait. Please do all you can to support HR 763.
Optional: As strong as the bill is, it could be improved by not limiting EPA’s ability to regulate industrial emissions. We need all the tools available to us. And because fluorocarbons are super-polluting greenhouse gases, both emissions limits and higher fees should be imposed on this class of chemicals.
Thank you for your time and attention.
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Contact your representative to support HR 763, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2019, a bipartisan carbon fee and dividend bill introduced in the House.
Find Your Representative
- Rep. Mark DeSaulnier - 11th district: (510) 620-1000, (202) 225-2095, or email.
- Rep. Nancy Pelosi - 12th district: (415) 556-4862, (202) 225-4965, or email.
- Rep. Barbara Lee - 13th district: (510) 763-0370, (202) 225-2661, or email.
- Rep. Jackie Speier - 14th district: (650) 342-0300, (202) 225-3531, or email.
- Rep. Eric Swalwell - 15th district: 510-370-3322, 202-225-5065, or email.
HR 763 is probably the strongest and most comprehensive climate bill ever introduced in congress, and it deserves strong support. The bill sets fees on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from fossil fuels and other sources. The fees rapidly increase each year to levels that far exceed previous proposals and approach or exceed $100/ton of CO2 equivalent by 2030, according to the Columbia Center on Global Energy Policy (Columbia Center).
The bill targets emission reductions up to 45% by 2030 and over 90% by 2050 compared with 2016. The Natural Resources Defense Council finds that GHG reductions under the bill will meet or exceed those set for the US in the Paris Climate Accord. The Columbia Center expects that emissions will go even lower than the targets in the bill and would virtually eliminate the use of coal in the US electricity sector by 2030. Reductions are expected to exceed those established by the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan.
All net fees are returned to households in monthly dividend checks at a rate of 1 share per adult and a ½ share per child. The dividend is progressive in that funds flowing to most low and middle income households would more than compensate for fuel price increases due to the fee. Higher income households, which consume a disproportionate amount of energy resources and own more energy investments, would typically pay more in higher fuel and product prices than they receive in dividends.
Fees are tied to strong emission reduction targets to keep progress on track and can be adjusted upward if needed to meet goals. The National Academy of Sciences is designated to review progress and recommend adjustments after 10 years. These environmental integrity mechanisms give the bill a high degree of credibility in ensuring that targets are met.
The bill includes a border adjustment - a fee for carbon fuels and products imported from countries that do not have a comparable fee system and a rebate for exports to those countries to level the playing field. If enacted the bill would incentivize other countries to impose carbon fees, thereby reducing emissions worldwide.
The bill commits the US to constructively re-engage in international efforts to address climate change.
In its current form, the bill allows EPA to continue regulating greenhouse gases from vehicles, but temporarily restricts EPA from regulating industrial GHG emissions for 10 years. EPA could continue to regulate GHG emissions due to other health impacts. The real effect of the moratorium may be minimal to none, because (1) EPA’s efforts to regulate GHGs have been tied up in court and are under attack by the current administration; (2) regulations can take years to be approved; and (3) the escalating and upwardly adjustable fees set by the bill are expected to do more than regulations to achieve reductions. However, it is wise to maintain all the tools available to fight climate change, including EPA’s authority to act if necessary before 10 years.
The bill goes further than previous proposals in setting fees for super-polluting GHGs such as fluorocarbons (used in air conditioning, foams and refrigeration). However, because of their extreme contributions to warming, the bill’s provisions should include higher fees and allow EPA to set limits on emissions.
No state laws will be preempted by the bill.
It is the first bill with bipartisan sponsorship in a decade. Even with this support, it will have an uphill battle to pass. That’s why it is important to contact your representative and voice your support for serious climate action.
No one bill or policy will address all measures necessary to solve the climate crisis. And supporting this bill does not mean there will be no further actions to take. But HR 763 is an important and well designed measure capable of achieving real and significant GHG reductions. It is a strong beginning.
(References dated in 2018 were based on a virtually identical proposal late last year. The proposal has been reintroduced in 2019)
Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act
Citizens Climate Lobby and New Bipartisan Climate Bill
Columbia Center on Global Energy Policy
Natural Resources Defense Council
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Washington Post on Green New Deal and Carbon Pricing