The past few weeks have been HUGE for D.C.’s number one climate campaign. First, we marched with a couple hundred thousand of our closest friends. Then, we unveiled the details of our policy at our campaign launch with a huge show of support!
Now, it’s time to ramp up our efforts. We need to encourage D.C. Councilmember Mary Cheh to introduce a bill for a carbon fee and rebate, and to pass it this year. To do that, we need your help! The bill we are proposing would make fossil fuel polluters pay for the real and damaging costs of their emissions with a steadily-rising fee on carbon. The majority of the money raised would be returned—through a quarterly “rebate”—to every D.C. resident, with additional support to low-income District residents. This “fee-and-rebate” approach would also include critical investments to help small businesses, transit and more. Read the details here.
D.C. families would benefit both economically and environmentally from cleaner air and water, new jobs created in energy efficiency and renewable energy, and more money in their bank accounts.
Councilmember Cheh has spearheaded the quick passage of sustainability policies in the past, such as the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) Expansion Amendment Act of 2016, which sets a goal of increasing D.C.’s clean energy use to 50 percent by 2032.
However, we are not on track to meet the city’s overall greenhouse gas goals. That’s why we need a strong, economy-wide policy like a carbon fee and rebate.
Now it’s time for us to ensure Councilmember Cheh continues to be a progressive champion on our issues, while helping D.C. meet ambitious sustainability goals! Councilmember Cheh wants to hear from her constituents, so the best thing you can do is contact her directly.
Culminating a year of of people-powered resistance, more than 200,000 people marched in DC and around the world on April 29 to wake up our society to the climate crisis. People across many generations, backgrounds, faiths and communities stood up to say that enough is enough with polluters threatening the health of our humanity
I spoke with two protesters and DC Ward 5 residents about why they were motivated to march. Continue reading →
Local Groups Propose Plan to Penalize Carbon Pollution, Rebate Millions of Dollars to City Residents, Invest in the Green Economy, and Create Tax Credits for Businesses
WASHINGTON, DC – Local faith leaders, economic justice advocates, labor organizers, environmentalists, and others gathered on the front steps of D.C.’s city hall on Thursday to unveil a dynamic “carbon fee and rebate” plan to reduce global warming pollution in the city of Washington, D.C. The plan would charge polluters for their carbon emissions and rebate the overwhelming majority of the revenue back to every resident of the District.
The groundbreaking plan, released in the wake of April’s massive Peoples Climate March in D.C., outlines how the District of Columbia can reduce carbon pollution in the city while increasing employment. The plan will also boost incomes in the District through a universal “carbon rebate” paid to every resident on a quarterly basis, including an enhanced rebate to low-income District residents. The plan would also make investments in green infrastructure throughout the city. Finally, the plan proposes using a small share of the carbon revenue to create a tax credit for local businesses.
“After months at the table, community leaders representing the vast majority of D.C. residents have put together a remarkably fair and effective policy to address climate pollution,” said Jeremiah Lowery, a Ward 4 resident and organizer for the Chesapeake Climate Action Network. “This policy would significantly reduce carbon pollution in the city, create a badly needed new source of income for residents, and grow the D.C. economy at the same time.” Continue reading →
Tens of Thousands Will Call on D.C. City Council to Cut Ties with Wells Fargo and Put a Price on Carbon, as They Pass John A. Wilson Building During March for Climate, Jobs, and Justice
WASHINGTON — On April 29 during the Peoples Climate March, two D.C.-based climate justice campaigns will engage tens of thousands marching down Pennsylvania Ave. past the John A. Wilson Building to call on D.C. City Councilmembers to support two related campaigns for climate justice. One campaign, led by 24 local organizations in the “Put A Price On It D.C.” Coalition, aims to place a fee on carbon emissions and equitably rebate the revenue back to D.C. residents. The other, led by the D.C. ReInvest Coalition, is advocating for D.C. to divest city funds from Wells Fargo over its investments in the Dakota Access Pipeline. Volunteers will display banners on the steps of City Hall, lead chants and speeches, and distribute flyers giving marchers instructions to take action.
The action will take place during the highly-anticipated March for Climate, Jobs and Justice, where tens of thousands of climate justice activists will march against Donald Trump and his climate science-denying cabinet. D.C. ReInvest Coalition and the Put a Price on It D.C. Coalition are joining forces to ensure that this national mobilization remains rooted in local campaigns for climate justice and propels its host city forward. Continue reading →
The Campaign to Put A Price On Carbon: How it All Began
For most Americans, the words “D.C.” and “climate” only bring to mind Congress’ stubborn fidelity to the fossil fuel industry. Lately, national policies fly in the face of mounting catastrophe. But the city of D.C. itself has a proud record on sustainability. From renewable energy standards, to energy efficiency measures, to investment in public transportation, D.C. has a strong reputation for progressive climate action. The District has even enacted a strong goal to reduce carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2020!
However, actions speak louder than words, and much remains to be done before D.C. can achieve its climate goals. That’s why, in late 2015, the District’s leading environmental organizations came together around a bold vision for climate action.
The “Put a Price on It D.C.” campaign was born from the shared understanding that only a rising price on pollution can be strong enough to close the gap. So, the coalition set out to pass the first progressive carbon fee in the nation, and fulfill D.C.’s goals of inclusive prosperity in a walkable, livable, sustainable city.
The following is a blog post written by CCAN volunteer Andrew Crane-Droesch. In this satirical piece, he illustrates the benefits of a tax on carbon by telling the story of loud, obnoxious neighbor that needs to turn the volume way down. Take a look!
This is a blog post about carbon taxes. But before I go there, let me tell you a story about a guy named Ernie.
Ernie lives in a small condo in a big city. He has many neighbors, and the walls of his unit are thin. Ernie can hear the muffled voices of his neighbors in the hallway when he comes home from work.
When Ernie is home, his likes to listen to music. His favorite bands include Gorgoroth and Vanilla Ice. Ernie has a powerful stereo. He likes to listen to his favorite songs with the volume turned all the way up. He doesn’t like headphones because they aren’t comfortable. And they make it difficult to copy Armi ja Danny’s sweet moves.
Ernie’s neighbors don’t like this. They have politely asked Ernie to turn down his music. Ernie resists, saying that his music makes him happy. He argues that sometimes his neighbors are loud too, and he doesn’t like their music either. He argues that this is a free country, dammit, and he can do what he wants.
So the neighbors start playing their own music louder to counteract the NKOTB marathon coming out of Ernie’s apartment. Nobody can sleep. People are starting to lose their hearing. The cats have all run away. What can be done?
Ernie’s loud music is an example of an externality. An externality is the cost born by others of anything done for oneself. Ernie experiences pleasure listening to Color Me Badd really loudly on his stereo. But his fun comes at a cost to everyone around him. His neighbors don’t get any pleasure from his music, but they’re the ones losing sleep. And they can’t get the Electric Slide out of their heads.
Just a few weeks ago, the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency said carbon emissions don’t cause climate change — contradicting NASA and 97 percent of the world’s scientists. This is not normal.
The Trump administration has made it clear that it will do whatever it takes to dismantle climate protections and bury our voices.
But they do not realize this: We are seeds of the most dedicated and strongest kind. Since day one of Trump’s presidency, the most beautiful and resilient shows of resistance have continued to sprout up and grow across America. Mark my words: our resistance has just begun.
Did you know that 96% of D.C. residents voted for a pro-climate administration last November? A sea of support for climate action encircles the industry-sponsored deniers in the White House and Congress. Now these residents are taking the movement to City Council to pass the #1 climate policy: a price on carbon, right here in the nation’s Capitol. So take heart and read on, fellow climateers. The “Put a Price on It DC” campaign to win a local carbon fee and rebate is hitting its stride.
Strong City-Wide Coalition
Our diverse, multi-sector, city-wide coalition is now more than 20 organizations strong, and we have begun positive conversations with City Council members and key agency leads. Member groups signed on to the coalition’s framework principles and policy approach include: Americans for Transit, Black Millennials for Flint, Interfaith Power & Light (DC MD NoVA), Citizens’ Climate Lobby DC Chapter, DC Catholic Conference, DC Divest, DC Environmental Network, DC Fiscal Policy Institute, Moms Clean Air Force, ONE DC, Organic Consumers Association, SEIU 32BJ, Sierra Club, U.S. Climate Plan, Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless, and Working Families Party.