Faces of the Campaign: Meet Michael Riley Place

Faces of the Campaign: Meet Michael Riley Place

Faces of the Campaign is an ongoing series featuring our key organizers and stakeholders involved in “Put A Price On It, D.C.” Our coalition of 70 organizations is comprised of racial justice activists, union workers, health advocates, moms, dads, kids, retirees, and business-owners alike. Michael Riley Price is a student fellow working on the campaign. Here’s his story.

What is your name and what do you do?

My name is Michael Riley Place and I am a graduating senior at St. John’s High School in DC. I am an Our Climate Fellow working on the campaign as part of the steering committee. 

What woke you up to the climate crisis?

When I was 13, my family moved to New Zealand. Although I have been passionate about the environment my entire life and had learned about climate change, the implications a changing climate has on our Earth never really struck me until I was standing in a ravine carved out by the Fox Glacier. While the glacier still exists, century old images showed it to be significantly larger, stretching through the entire ravine. I realized then, that in only one hundred years, a relative blink of an eye, human society changed the world so much.

Besides the melting of glaciers, there has been intense melting of the ice caps, bleaching of coral reefs, and desertification of rain forests, all because of climate change. The government of New Zealand has always been a leader on environmental issues, recently ratifying the Paris climate agreement and banning offshore drilling. I have come to realize that while the United States has endangered ecosystems just like New Zealand, it has not taken the same action to ensure these places are preserved.

Why does the campaign to put a price on carbon in DC and rebate the revenue matter to you?

The tricky thing about climate change is that no matter where someone lives, their carbon footprint affects the entire world community. As climate change is the product of billions of people emitting carbon in their daily lives, a few individual decisions to bike to work or switch light bulbs is not going to make a significant difference. Entire communities must come together to move towards sustainability, by ensuring that people pay for their pollution. I believe that putting a price on carbon would not only discourage carbon pollution in the district and allow Washingtonians to reduce climate change as a united community, but by being passed in the nation’s capital it would set a national precedent for more cities to follow. Also, the rebate would ensure that communities unable to pay for the increased heating and transportation costs are not stifled by them financially.

How is this campaign different from other environmental campaigns you’ve experienced in the past?

This is the first campaign, environmental or otherwise, that I have played a role in. I love the positive energy of the people involved with the campaign. Although everyone has been working for a long time to ensure that climate change is addressed, and lately it seems our government is taking a step back in environmental progress, everyone still has hope. Hope that if we keep working towards a sustainable future, we will get there.

The steering committee is also made up of a very diverse group, with members hailing from government, businesses, faith-organizations, nonprofits, or grassroots backgrounds. I have learned a lot about the different perspectives that go into forming a successful campaign.

How has climate change impacted your own community?

The effects of climate change are so numerous and far-reaching that it plagues various communities differently. The United States has been experiencing increasingly hotter temperatures and irregular weather patterns. While many of us have the power to manipulate temperatures using air conditioning, there are many Americans who cannot afford this luxury, and billions around the globe who do not have access to it, these people are forced to deal with these rising temperatures. Irregular weather patterns are not only an inconvenience, those who lie in the path of storms face complete devastation. Additionally, many species are adapted to certain climate patterns, causing them to experience the changes intensely.

What was your favorite moment in this campaign?

My favorite moment was participating in the lobby day in March. This was my first experience lobbying and I found it extraordinary to see elected officials speak directly with their constituents about the changes they want to see in their community. Council members Robert White and Stephen Grosso showed their support for the policy and this was really cool.

Tell me about a time you’ve witnessed community power.

I witness community power every meeting of the steering community. The diversity of groups represented in the committee is amazing. Student groups, clean power businesses, environmental networking groups, a youth run political action committee, faith organizations, grassroots community groups, and even the Citizens Climate Lobby come together to plan the next steps. This ensures the policy is addressed from all angles. Furthermore, volunteers from the campaign have promoted the policy everywhere from ANC meetings to church events, bringing news of the policy directly to the community. This collaboration was apparent during the youth lobby day, where many people turned out for meetings with representatives and a rally in front of the Wilson Building. It was extraordinary to see so many different people united around one vision.

What was your biggest accomplishment on this campaign?

There have been so many great moments of this campaign, and with the introduction of the bill just around the corner, I know the best moments are yet to come. One of my biggest personal accomplishments of the campaign was writing a speech about why “the bill is late” and delivering the speech at the rally preceding the youth lobby day. As a high school student, it is my generation that will witness the worst parts of climate change, yet we lack the vote and attention of policy makers, I feel as if this is lost on our government. It was extraordinary to give my perspective and then meet with the policy makers directly, giving me hope that in time our leaders will come to realize the importance of protecting the environment for the sake of future generations.

One word summing up your experience with this campaign:

Optimistic

If you could tame a wild animal to do your bidding, what would it be?

A Parrot. This parrot would be fluent in several languages and help me to translate, it would spy on people, deliver food to my house, and be able to have deep and philosophical conversations.

We Have A Bill! Celebrate the Introduction of a DC Carbon Price

We Have A Bill! Celebrate the Introduction of a DC Carbon Price

June 5, 9:00 AM

It’s finally here–the date Councilmember Cheh has proposed to introduce a carbon fee bill! Join us for a press conference and to celebrate.

Here are the details:
Who: Everyone in favor of a carbon fee and rebate in DC
What: Press conference and celebration of the introduction of a carbon fee bill
Where: Front steps of the Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington DC, 20004
When: Tuesday June 5th at 9:00 AM

RSVP today!

Faces of the Campaign: Meet Barbara Briggs

Faces of the Campaign: Meet Barbara Briggs

Faces of the Campaign is an ongoing series featuring our key organizers and stakeholders involved in “Put A Price On It, D.C.” Our coalition of 70 organizations is comprised of racial justice activists, union workers, health advocates, moms, dads, kids, retirees, and business-owners alike. Barbara Briggs is a volunteer for the campaign. Here’s her story.

What is your name and what do you do?

My name is Barbara Briggs. After over 20 years running campaigns focused on international labor rights (child labor and sweatshop abuses in factories making clothing and consumer goods for the U.S. market) I am in the process of a professional shift, to work on climate issues. I am supposedly “taking a break” for the first time in my adult life, but busier than ever working on efforts to transition our society away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy sources.

What woke you up to the climate crisis?

I’ve always cared deeply about the environment, but the issue of climate change took on screaming urgency for me after I moved to Pittsburgh late in 2008. Western PA was in the middle of a huge resurgence of gas and oil extraction made possible by fracking. I started meeting people who could no longer use the water in their wells, whose kids were sick, whose livestock was dying.

I went to an opening of Josh Fox’s documentary Gaslands, really not knowing what to expect, and 2,000 people showed up! Many weekends we would go to a family place in the Allegheny National Forest and the destruction was horrible: bulldozed roads and gas pads all over the forest, silted streams, the smell of gas everywhere. It really drove home the damage that the fossil fuel industry is doing, on the ground in communities and natural areas all over the country, and contributing to global warming.

Why does the campaign to put a price on carbon in DC and rebate the revenue matter to you?

The campaign to put a price on carbon in DC is winnable, concrete and would allow us to make a substantive contribution toward moving our society away from fossil fuels. Something we must do and quickly, to prevent catastrophic climate disruption.

We are already losing species at a record rate. What we do now can save species, ecosystems, arable land, and communities that will otherwise be lost to sea-level rise. Economists tell us that pricing carbon is the most efficient way to accelerate the urgently needed transition away from fossil fuels and many business leaders agree. Meanwhile, using a substantial proportion of the funds to provide a rebate to citizens will help assure that this does not turn into a regressive tax that (once again) leaves low income and working families bearing the cost of change.

How is this campaign different from other environmental campaigns you’ve experienced in the past?

The Put a Price On It campaign is unique in that it is very concrete, local and winnable, yet would have significant environmental and economic impacts. We are pushing for real change, in a major U.S. city that also just happens to be the nation’s capital.

How has climate change impacted your own community?

I grew up in New England and my family is still there, mostly in Massachusetts. Winter is not normal or predictable anymore. It is warm when it should be consistently cold. Then in April this year we got hit with four major storms. The spring bulbs don’t know what to do. The trees don’t know what to do either. Fruit blossoms become frozen and collecting maple sap for syrup is impossible some springs. There’s more and more tree loss, due to stress and weird weather. Tree diseases, and human diseases like West Nile virus and Lyme disease, are becoming much more prevalent–moving up from the south and without good, hard freezes to kill them off.

What was your favorite moment in this campaign?

My favorite moment? I think that would have to be jumping into the Potomac River in January. Finally succeeding in cleaning up the spreadsheet to organize our outreach to the neighborhood ANCs–that would be a close second, but it took longer.

Tell me about a time you’ve witnessed community power.

I think we are witnessing growing community power right now, in the Put a Price On It campaign. We–a growing number of volunteers and coalition members–are raising public debate about climate change and taking responsibility into our own hands, right here in our own city. We are taking that discussion to every ward, every neighborhood, every local elected official. It’s too broad to see all at once. Often the specific events seem small. But taken all together, it is a remarkable display of growing community power.

What was your biggest accomplishment on this campaign?

I think my biggest accomplishment to date would have to be the climate event I organized at Friends Meeting of Washington to build support for the Put a Price on It campaign. The room was full. The panel, including Camila Thorndike, was really powerful. The discussion was really energized: People didn’t want to stop. And we ended up getting a lot of volunteers.

Best place to get breakfast in DC?

Best place in DC to get breakfast?: Definitely The Diner on 18th Street, open 24-7. I’ve had my bacon and eggs and coffee there at the crack of dawn, before heading to CCAN’s Polar plunge, and late at night after long ANC meetings.

Speak up for #PriceItDC at the D.C. Candidate Forums

Speak up for #PriceItDC at the D.C. Candidate Forums

Election season is underway for the D.C. city council. Join us during the month of May at candidate forums to show your support for #PriceItDC and climate action.

We need YOU to make sure that everyone running for office this year knows: D.C. residents want leaders who will act on climate, protect our communities, and pass a carbon rebate NOW.

Thursday, May 3: Hear the Candidates!
Where: Westminster Presbyterian Church (400 Eye Street SW)
When: Thursday, May 3, 7:00pm – 9:00pm

Saturday, May 12: 2018 “I Rent, I Vote”: Tenant Town Hall and Candidate Forum
Where: All Souls Unitarian Church (1500 Harvard St NW)
When: Saturday, May 12, 11:00am – 3:00pm

Thursday, May 31: The “Year of the Anacostia” Candidates Forum
Where: Anacostia High School (1601 16th street, SE)
When: Thursday, May 31, 6:00 – 9:00pm

RSVP Here!

Phone Banking and Art-Making party for the Climate Day of Action!

Phone Banking and Art-Making party for the Climate Day of Action!

Get ready for Climate Action!

Our Climate Day of Action is coming up fast and we need your help making this event a huge success!

Join us in our preparations, there will be something for everyone. For those more artistically inclined you can help us make interesting visuals and signs for the rally. While those who prefer to keep their art skills secret, you can give phonebanking a try to help ensure a great turn out on April 13th.

Here are the details:
What: Art build and Phone-bank
When: April 10th 6:00-8:30 PM
Where: Unicorn Habitat, 607 L St NE Washington D.C. 2002
Why: We need your help making eye-catching signs and ensuring we have a great turn out for our lobby day
Who: Everyone is welcome

RSVP today!

#PriceItDC at the DOEE Budget Hearing

#PriceItDC at the DOEE Budget Hearing

Committee on Transportation and the Environment

On Tuesday, CCAN Carbon Pricing Campaign Director Camila Thorndike represented nearly 70 organizations when speaking to the D.C. Council about the necessity of a carbon price at the DOEE Budget Oversight Hearing.

Mayor Bowser and the D.C. council plan for D.C. to be carbon neutral by 2050. Camila reminded the council that “the least expensive fuel will win”, emphasizing how important a carbon price is as we move away from fossil fuels. DC needs substantive policy interjections if we want to have any hope of reaching our carbon neutral goal.

WATCH the amazing Camila give her testimony — or, read a script below.

 


Thank you to Committee Chair Cheh for the opportunity to testify at today’s hearing. My name is Camila Thorndike, and I am here representing nearly 70 organizations and thousands of voters behind the growing campaign to Put a Price on It D.C. We are proud to work with your office, with Director Wells, and the rest of the Council to advance comprehensive climate policy.

First, we applaud Director Wells and the Bowser administration for setting ambitious goals.

Last year, Mayor Bowser told the world “We’re Still In” the Paris Climate Accord. The Sustainable DC Plan establishes commitments for the District to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% below 2006 levels by 2032 and 80% by 2050, which the Administration again affirmed as a member of the C40 cities.

At the North American Climate Summit last December, Mayor Bowser pushed expectations even higher by pledging to make the District carbon-neutral by 2050. She said: “we will not let federal inaction hinder our progress.”

We are now over a year into Trump’s presidency. States and cities that have declared themselves leaders in the resistance now need to deliver results. So, what has been achieved so far?

The 2017 Sustainable DC Progress Report cites a 24% reduction from 2006 emission levels. Unfortunately, the lion’s share of this progress can be attributed not to local leadership, but to fuel switching at the grid level.

According to the PSC, the share of electricity provided by natural gas grew by 62 percent from 2013 to 2016. This was driven by the economics of cheap natural gas, demonstrating the power of a simple price signal: the least expensive fuel will win. (Indeed, we need look no farther to understand why carbon pricing is the most effective of climate policies.)

Unfortunately, even D.C.’s methane-driven emission reduction claims should be viewed with skepticism. In February, Environmental Defense Fund reported that emissions of natural gas, or methane — which is upwards of 86 times stronger a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide — are dramatically higher than official state accounts. In Pennsylvania, which is within the PJM grid that powers D.C., wasted gas causes “the same near-term climate pollution as 11 coal-fired power plants.”

Even if the accounting behind D.C.’s climate progress were trustworthy, it is highly unlikely that the rapid decline in emissions will continue without substantive new policy interjections.

So, in what kind of policy should D.C. taxpayers and voters place their trust for a livable future?

First, let us acknowledge that managing the entire energy transition through agency programs is an overwhelming and unreasonable demand. What is needed is a fundamental shift. The fastest way to catalyze a comprehensive, cost-effective and lasting transition to a carbon-free D.C. is a strong and equitable price on carbon.

Councilmembers and Director Wells: providing genuine climate leadership to the nation is a tough job. The market should be working for you, not against you.

With an economy-wide fee on carbon pollution, DOEE’s existing work will be supercharged. Just imagine: when the true cost of fossil fuels is appropriately accounted for, lines will form around the block for programs like Solar for All!

And while there is much to like in the DOEE budget, I want to end with a note on equity, because we are concerned about the budget’s $90,000 cut to Environmental Justice.

Any change in energy policy and programs has a price effect. In other words, nearly every single choice you make redistributes income. In the era of the radical GOP tax overhaul and significant budget surplus in D.C., there is no excuse not to ensure equitable outcomes in climate and energy policy.

This means increasing funding for Environmental Justice. It means supporting not only a carbon fee, but a carbon rebate — especially for families being punished in the current economy.

The Carbon Fee-and-Rebate creates a sustainable long-term strategy for reducing CO2 emissions, because citizens are highly likely to support a policy that will help them cope with higher energy prices during the economy’s transition to clean, renewable energy.

We are running out of time to stabilize our climate. 2017 gave us a world where truly extreme weather events appear to be the new normal – wildfires, hurricanes, droughts, a “bomb cyclone” snow storm, and 82 degree days in February.

Putting a price on every ton of carbon pollution is one of the most effective ways to equitably reduce pollution and increase prosperity. The Carbon Fee-and-Rebate would ensure we are “backing up our DC values with action,” as Mayor Bowser pledged in Chicago.

We look forward to working with you to ensure this bedrock policy is finally put into place.

DC Environmental Film Festival: Spread the word about the carbon price!

DC Environmental Film Festival: Spread the word about the carbon price!

March 15-25

Join us at the biggest film event of the year as we spread the word about the “Put A Price On It, D.C.” campaign!

Every year, the D.C. Environmental Film Festival premiers a showcase of environmentally themed films.This year, the Environmental Film Festival starts Thursday, March 15th and ends Sunday, March 25th. This is the largest environmental film festival in the world. And it’s a great opportunity for us to spread the word and build momentum to victory!

But we need your help! We have many volunteer opportunities for you to help us collect petitions and recruit new volunteers for the campaign. The screenings will take place at museums, embassies, libraries, universities and local theaters throughout the city.

RSVP here!

Where’s the Bill? Day of Climate Action

Where’s the Bill? Day of Climate Action

April 13th 12:30-3:00 pm

We’re bringing EVERYONE together to descend on the D.C. Council Building to urge our Councilmembers to support and pass a carbon fee-and-rebate policy.

On April 13, we’ll kick off an action-packed day with a rally at 12:30pm outside the Wilson Building led by students and professors from across D.C. Then at 1:30pm we’ll head inside to meet our legislators face to face.

The day’s events will focus on students and D.C. youth because their immediate futures are at risk. However, everyone who cares about the future of the city is invited to join and support the students as we work together to pass a carbon fee-and-rebate this year!

Here are the details:

What: Where’s the Bill? Day of Climate Action
When: April 13th 12:30-3:00 pm
Where: John A. Wilson Building 1350 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Suite 506 Washington, DC 20004
(2 blocks south of Metro Center)
Details: Wear yellow! We’ll have some yellow campaign shirts to loan, but please wear yellow if you can.
Why: It’s time to pass a carbon fee and rebate in D.C!

 

RSVP now!

On Yom Kippur, care for the earth

On Yom Kippur, care for the earth

Written by Rabbi Fred Scherlinder Dobb

Medieval Jewish mystics taught that God created the world through self-contraction, or tzimtzum. God was everywhere – but by shrinking God’s self a bit, everything else could emerge. God humbled Godself.

We should follow suit. In our congregation, tomorrow’s Yom Kippur message will be just that: “humble yourself.”

Humility is a personal virtue, just as “Moses was most humble” (Num. 12:3). Modern leaders should try humility too! People of faith should prize humility, rather than swagger, when deciding whom to support.

We can cultivate humility, collectively: Being proud of our religion, but not believing it alone has all the answers. Being proud of our country, yet humbly considering its flaws and mis-directions.

In today’s warming world, we’re now also called to be humble as a species. To try to make space for the rest of life, many faithful folks have become environmental advocates. That’s why I’m speaking up for this fall’s DC campaign to put a price on carbon.

In synagogue tomorrow, we’ll sing, “Humble yourself in sight of Creation.” Humility is just what humanity needs, if we’re to dodge the worst of the ecological catastrophes we now bring upon ourselves. Exhibits H through M: Harvey, Irma, Jose, Katia, Maria.

Hubris, the exact opposite of humility, is the downfall of every tragic hero – or civilization. The hubris of recent generations brought us to the brink of irrevocable climate change. Hubris lets “enlightened” folk today consume and pollute way more than our fair or sustainable share. And hubris has us wait for big techno-fixes, or for others to act first, before making the changes we know must come.

Some of those needed changes are “sacrifices.” Though we’re loathe to give anything up, humility calls us to sacrifice. Yes: true humility demands sacrifice. But it’s worth it: sacrifice comes from sacred, in Hebrew (korban-offering from karov-draw-near) as in Latin. Sacrifice is holy! It’s also a fair exchange: we give up something finite, receiving in its place something lofty and sacred. And, it’s our duty.

We should sacrifice, or “give back,” what isn’t rightly or sustainably ours. Consider the idea of “privilege.” I’m a man, socialized to take up space; the humble faithful way to “man up” is to “sacrifice” some status, so women can lead. As a white man, aware of the myriad disadvantages from which I’m exempt thanks to skin tone alone, I extend myself for racial justice, even when it’s inconvenient or uncomfortable. Ditto for being straight, able-bodied, well-off, or cis-gender.

But I’m also a human – who, together with you and seven billion others, plants a most oversized footprint on our threatened blue marble home. So it’s time to consider “species privilege,” too.

Humans got ahead by claiming what rightly belonged to others – not just indigenous peoples, but the whole “order of Creation,” comprising millions of species besides our one. We squeezed them out in the process. To restore balance, we must do teshuvah (deep repentance) – make real change – by “sacrificing” some of what we wrongly consider “ours.”

Every Yom Kippur that goes by without major tzimtzum (self-contraction) by us humans puts poor people, all God’s critters, and our very future at greater risk.

Economist Paul Krugman simplifies the math: climate change will lower gross global product by at least 5 percent. Stopping climate damage, by contrast, would cost only 2 percent. Two percent, so we don’t destroy the biosphere – is that even a sacrifice, or a wise investment? Waiting only locks in more suffering, and harms our progeny. It’s smart to act now: “Choose life,” pronto, “that you and your descendants may live” (Deut. 30:19). The longer we fiddle, the hotter the future burns.

Luckily, little sacrifice is needed to get behind the #PriceItDC effort to use the free market to curb carbon pollution. Like sister initiatives elsewhere, #PriceItDC makes industrial polluters pay to emit what harms us, then rebates the money back to residents in just ways. It’s our chance here in DC to model how our future economy can work, once we’re all practicing proper species humility.

It brings the “externalities” of fossil fuels – like, say, reduced life expectancy for your grandkids – into the economic equation. It gives polluters monetary incentives to pollute less. It helps us become more rational economic actors, and more moral and spiritual in the process.

Please join me and my community this fall in practicing tzimtzum, the sacred lost art of humble self-contraction. Together we can make teshuvah, repentance and return to right action, not just a Yom Kippur thing, but part of our everyday lives.

Rabbi Fred Scherlinder Dobb lives in Washington DC, where he is a DCPS Parent, past chair of Interfaith Power & Light (DC.MD.NoVA), and Rabbi of Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation.

The Science Behind a Carbon Fee & Rebate: It’s About Justice

The Science Behind a Carbon Fee & Rebate: It’s About Justice

Written by interns Danniele Fulmer, Maria Zlotescu, and Olivia Kuykendall 

At the heart of any campaign that combats climate change, there should be a dedication to justice and equity. The proposed D.C. carbon fee and rebate policy is a wonderful example of this dedication to a cleaner, more equitable future. Backed by economists, environmentalists, and social justice activists, this policy can help all the District’s residents, especially the most vulnerable.

And now, two new economic studies show how and why the rebate portion of this policy is essential to addressing justice.

It has long been established that carbon and rebate fee models can be used to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to combat climate change. Carbon pricing has also been embraced as the most effective solution by economists. In the 2015 report, “Expert Consensus on the Economics of Climate Change,” a survey found that 75% of economists agree that market-based mechanisms, such as a carbon tax, are the best way to address climate change.

Now, two new studies demonstrate that carbon fee and rebate policies can have economic benefits while also addressing justice. In particular, these studies, conducted by Boston College and the University of Massachusetts Amherst, found that fee and rebate models can lead to a substantial decrease in income inequality. The studies both bear well on our efforts to put a price on carbon in D.C. through a fee and rebate model.

The first study, titled “Income Inequality and Carbon Emissions in the US: A State-Level Analysis,” found that there is a direct correlation between the concentration of wealth and carbon dioxide emissions. Basically, the higher the income equality in any given state, the likelier it is for the state to have higher carbon dioxide emissions, as is demonstrated by the tables below.  


Additionally, the Boston College study notes that a carbon tax without a built in rebate could harm low-income communities. But with a rebate, this type of policy has the potential to benefit a larger portion of an area’s population. The study found that if a $200 tax per ton of carbon were adopted without a rebate, the bottom quintile of households would suffer 10.2% income loss. However, with a built-in rebate, the bottom quintile would see a 14.8% gain in income.

Luckily, the D.C. carbon fee and rebate policy plans to do just that, by rebating 75% of carbon revenue back to D.C. residents, with other portions reserved for renewable energy projects and local business property tax assistance.

The second study, “A Distributional Analysis of a Carbon Tax and Dividend in the United States,” published by the University of Massachusetts Amherst, compared carbon fee and rebate programs with other climate solutions such as cap and trade and tax breaks. The basic finding was that cap and trade, as well as tax breaks, could benefit higher income individuals disproportionately, leading to regressive impacts on lower and middle-income individuals. Furthermore, regressive tax measures have a tendency to reduce spending in regions, resulting in a decrease in economic activity. However, the researchers yet found that carbon fee and rebate policies have the potential to empower citizens through income gains, resulting in an increase in purchasing power and higher economic activity. More specifically, the study showed that distributing equal rebates can protect the purchasing power of 61% of individuals, 89% of which fall under the lowest income category.  This goes to show that utilizing a carbon fee and rebate model is truly the most equitable way to address climate change.

By looking at the proposed D.C. carbon fee and rebate policy against this backdrop, we can see that one of the most critical elements of the policy is the rebate mechanism, which prevents regressive outcomes.

When considered together, both of these economic studies support the idea that a carbon fee and rebate policy is the most efficient and just mechanism to address climate change, which is great news for the D.C. carbon fee and rebate campaign!

We have environmental and economic experts on our side. Now we must build our movement to get this policy passed in the District.

This campaign has been in the works for two years now and there is no doubt that the overwhelming body of support from economic, environmental, and social justice standpoints will continue growing from here. Over 20 cities and states are currently either voting on or following a carbon fee and rebate plan. Environmental experts already support carbon fees as a way to reduce CO2 emissions. Politicians from both sides of the aisle also endorse the idea. The carbon fee and rebate bill would not only be environmentally effective, but economically beneficial as well. According to leading environmentalists, in order to prevent irreversible damage to the environment, the U.S. must eliminate carbon pollution entirely by the end of the century. The carbon fee and rebate policy will go a long way to meeting that goal.

Article Citations:

  1. Fremstad, A. and Paul, M.. “A Distributional Analysis of a Carbon Tax and Dividend in the United States.” Working Paper Series, Political Economy Research Institute (2017).
  2. Jorgenson, A, et. al. “Income Inequality and Carbon Emissions in the US: A State-Level Analysis.” Ecological Economics 134 (2017) 40-48.