Rep. Carbajal Introduces Legislation to Decrease Carbon Emissions by Setting Carbon Fee, Returning Dividend Directly to American People

Carbajal was joined by Citizens Climate Lobby and other local climate advocates earlier this week to tout legislation aimed at implementing a market-based climate change solution

  • Rep. Carbajal at the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Press Conference

Today, Congressman Salud Carbajal (CA-24) introduced legislation that will combat climate change while investing directly in American communities: the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act.

“We do not have the luxury of time when it comes to getting to carbon neutral. We need to give big corporations a real, unequivocal incentive to shrink their carbon footprint. We need to put a fee on carbon,” said Rep. Carbajal. “With this legislation, not only do we require fossil fuel companies to phase out dirty fossil fuels. We also put money directly into communities that can then use that money to invest in our local economies, create jobs – especially jobs in clean energy sectors, which will be in higher demand. And in the end, we save lives from lowering our emissions curve, cleaning up our air, and keeping us on track to carbon neutrality by 2050.”

The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, introduced with Rep. Scott Peters (CA-50), would levy a carbon fee on fossil fuel emissions, incentivizing the transition to carbon-free production and supply chains through an escalating price of carbon to help meet the U.S. goal of carbon neutrality by 2050.

The colletion of these fees would then be paid out to every American in the form of a carbon dividend, allowing families to cushion against any temporary increases in cost associated with the transition to clean energy as well as stimulate economic growth through direct investment in communities.

"Last Congress, we devoted historic investments to develop and deploy clean energy infrastructure through the IRA and IIJA,said Rep. Peters. “Now, we need carbon pricing to lower the cost of clean technologies and to incentivize the entire economy to reduce its emissions. Our bill puts us on path to a low carbon future and ensures a just and equitable transition by returning revenues to the American people."

The legislation would also include a carbon emissions tariff to account for the carbon footprint of goods being imported to the U.S. from other nations, which would undercut the incentive for U.S. companies reducing their carbon footprint.

The bill has the support of the Citizens Climate Lobby, which joined Rep. Carbajal earlier this week in Santa Barbara to announce his introduction of the bill this week.

The Santa Barbara event can be viewed here.

"CCL applauds Rep. Carbajal for introducing this legislation. The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act represents big, bold, necessary action on climate change that our grassroots advocates in his district and around the country are eager to see. Corporate polluters should no longer be allowed to use our air as a trash can, freely emitting carbon pollution and warming our world. Instead, polluters should pay — and under this legislation, they will. Rep. Carbajal's bill charges polluters a rising fee for every ton of carbon pollution they put in our atmosphere, encouraging them to shift to low-carbon alternatives as fast as possible. And the money goes to Americans as a carbon cashback payment, keeping the energy transition affordable for everyone. This legislation is a climate solution that matches the scale of the problem, and it keeps Americans' health and wellbeing at the forefront of the fight,” said Citizens Climate Lobby Executive Director Mark Reynolds.

"As evangelical Christians, we are called to be good stewards of God’s creation and ensure all children and families have a healthy environment to grow and thrive in. Climate change and carbon pollution, however, already threaten the health and lives of Americans across the country – particularly our children, both born and unborn, whose developing hearts, lungs, and brains are most susceptible to the harmful effects of fossil-fuel pollution like mercury, arsenic, particulates (soot), and ozone (smog),” said Rev. Dr. Jessica Moerman, President/CEO of the Evangelical Environmental Network. “That is why we are pleased with the introduction of the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (EICDA) by Representative Carbajal (CA-24). EICDA and other carbon pricing proposals are a win-win for American families and the American economy: proposals that reduce carbon pollution, protect low- and middle-income families from cost increases, advance the clean energy economy, incentivize innovation, and keep American businesses competitive on the world stage. We need market-based and fiscally responsible solutions to our changing climate that deliver real results on reducing carbon pollution without placing undue burdens on low-income and working-class families by providing dividends. We look forward to working with the Rep Carbajal to make carbon pricing a cost-effective solution to the climate and pollution crises that can catalyze the deployment of clean infrastructure and give our children the bright, healthy future they deserve."

More information on the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act can be found HERE.

A section-by-section summary can be found HERE.

The full text of the legislation can be found HERE.

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