Discussion on Climate & Environmental Justice: A Carbon Fee & Rebate in DC

Discussion on Climate & Environmental Justice: A Carbon Fee & Rebate in DC

Monday, February 26, 6:30 – 8:30 PM
Petworth Library, 4200 Kansas Ave NW, Washington, District of Columbia 20011

Join us for a discussion with climate scientist Danielle J. L. Meitiv and director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network’s “Put A Price On It DC” campaign, Camila Thorndike.

Danielle will present her research and how it can be used to enhance our understanding of the climate crisis. She will also share how the climate movement in Montgomery County is progressing.

Camila will then share with us how efforts are progressing with the DC City Council introducing and passing the bill for a carbon fee-and-rebate policy this year. The policy tackles climate change and inequality by cutting greenhouse gas emissions 20% by 2032, and laying the groundwork for a universal basic income. The Climate and Community Reinvestment Act of D.C. would require companies that buy and sell fossil fuels to pay a fee on every ton of greenhouse gas emissions they produce. The majority of the fees would be returned through a quarterly “rebate” to D.C. residents and invested in D.C. clean energy.

Metro D.C. Democratic Socialists of America have not yet endorsed the bill, but this meeting will serve as an opportunity for area residents to learn about the policy and discuss whether MDC DSA should support it.

There will be an open discussion and a Q&A period—you can submit questions or concerns ahead of time here.

More information on climate change and the proposed carbon fee-and-rebate policy can be found below:

RSVP today!

Mayor Bowser’s Budget Engagement Forum #3: Anacostia

Mayor Bowser’s Budget Engagement Forum #3: Anacostia

Saturday, February 24, 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM

Help us tell Mayor Bowser that DC needs a carbon price now!

We are getting ever closer to having our bill introduced in the D.C. Council. So it’s important that we have the Mayor on our side. Every year the Mayor holds Community Budget Forums to allow residents to offer their values, priorities, and ideas on how the next year’s budget should be developed. We need each and every one of you climate champions to show up and represent the “Put A Price On It, D.C.” campaign.

Join us for the opportunity to make history and show DC Mayor that WE MEAN BUSINESS!

Here are the details:

What: Mayor Bowser’s Budget Engagement Forum #3: Anacostia
When: Saturday, February 24, 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Where: Kramer Middle School 1700 Q St SE, Washington, District of Columbia 20020
Who: You and all your friends. Invite a few!
How: RSVP for all the details

RSVP today!

The Climate and Community Reinvestment Act of DC will contribute to a Universal Basic Income

The Climate and Community Reinvestment Act of DC will contribute to a Universal Basic Income

The idea that pollution should be taxed isn’t new. But returning the money to the people impacted—in other words, everyone—is a little more novel.

That’s what our proposal would do. We think polluters should pay. Not only will this penalty drive polluters towards cleaner solutions—it’ll help the rest of us deal with the impacts of climate change.

Three-quarters of the revenue from our carbon tax would be returned directly to residents in the form of a quarterly check. It’s particularly important to us that all residents share in the money raised by this tax.

In that way, our work overlaps with the movement for a universal basic income (UBI). What is a UBI, and what does it have to do with the carbon tax? Sarah Glazer explains in a recent article published in CQ Researcher.

A bipartisan idea

UBI has a long history, endorsed by everyone from 19th-century land-tax advocate Henry George to The Wire writer David Simon. Notably, the idea of a universal basic income has supporters on both sides.

Liberals like it because they think everyone should have a basic, decent standard of living—a floor which a UBI can secure. Conservatives like that the cash transfer doesn’t expand the government as much as a welfare program, and gives recipients the freedom to choose how to spend their receipts.

There are important differences in these motivations and their implications for the conception and implementation of a UBI. But interest has been strong enough for politicians to test the idea; experiments in UBI are currently underway in Utrecht, Netherlands; Nairobi, Kenya; and Ontario, Canada.

But one of the best pieces of evidence for the rebate we will offer has a longer history, and is closer to home. The Alaska Permanent Fund sends a check to Alaskans every year. (As you can imagine, it’s very popular.) Their checks, like ours, will be paid for by fossil fuel revenue.

Our proposal goes a step further. It makes polluters pay for the costs they’ve offloaded onto the rest of us—costs like asthma from air pollution, water damage from flooding, and even, as time goes on, possible impacts like higher food prices or lower economic productivity.     

What it means to our campaign

The rebate is not a universal basic income, but a partial basic income. The money involved is substantial—enough to change people’s lives, if not enough to live on. A typical DC family can expect $500 in first year of our proposal—enough to pay for food for a month, a movie ticket a week, or (almost) a bus trip a day.

Moreover, we’ve made the choice to send more money to low-income residents and households. While not a feature of all UBI programs, this is in keeping with three key principles of our coalition: the poor have:

  1. Borne the brunt of pollution to date
  2. Will bear the brunt of climate impacts
  3. Are least resourced to deal with both 1) and 2).

It’s also a practical consideration: poorer households must pay a greater share of their income towards energy bills. The higher rebates should shield them if energy companies pass those costs on.

We are excited for the chance to give back to people. Some of the revenue from our proposal will go to green infrastructure investments and local businesses . But the rebate is at the heart of our proposal—it’s democratic, it’s equitable, and it will help people.

That’s what this is all about, right?

 

  • Hayden Higgins, DC Divest

Fighting for the Future with Moms Clean Air Force

Fighting for the Future with Moms Clean Air Force

Written by Olivia Kuykendall and Maria Zlotescu

What is one thing every child deserves? The chance to grow up in a world free from worries of climate change.

On July 14, Moms Clean Air Force held its annual “Play-In For Climate Action” in Washington D.C. to fight for that chance. Dozens of eager climate activists filled the Upper Senate Park to advocate for a cleaner future. Attendees came from as far Texas to listen to speakers discuss the fate of our planet.

The event featured speakers of all ages to highlight that our climate is an issue that that will affect the present and future generations. Moms Clean Air Force offered plenty of activities to engage families. Children played with parachutes and bubble machines while families attempted yoga and dozens of other activities. The events made the rally not only a political event but a community one bringing together strangers united by a common cause.

Parents at the rally were not all fearful of their children’s future — they were hopeful. Hopeful that their children could one day have healthier water and cleaner air.

The experience made me hopeful, too. Many listened to our Put A Price On It campaign testimonies and were interested in getting involved. Plenty thanked me for my time, expressing the importance of advocacy in the fight for cleaner air. One attendee even expressed the importance of the involvement of young people in the climate action movement.

While young people are important, today’s parents are raising the next generation of voters. Children who see their parents involved in activism are more likely to follow. The children who attended the event today are the environmental leaders of tomorrow.

During the event, I also had the opportunity to sign up for “Dear Tomorrow” — a project where people share letters, photos and videos to their children, family or future self about their promise to take action on climate change. I’m going to write a letter to my little nephews. I want them to be able to visit the Potomac River like I did as a kid.

As we left the event, many rally-goers went to meet with their senators or representatives. I am confident that their meetings went well because I saw their passion and dedication with my own eyes. It gave me energy.

As Moms Clean Air Force fights on the national level, let us remember our local fight. Break out the signs, petitions, and phones. Let’s put a price on carbon pollution in DC. Not just for us. For the kids.

Photos courtesy of Moms Clean Air Force.

VIDEO: Why these D.C. residents are working to put a price on carbon

VIDEO: Why these D.C. residents are working to put a price on carbon

Our hot new campaign video has officially kicked off summer in the District! We spoke to four D.C. residents to explain why they want the city to put a price on carbon pollution.

 

It’s been over a week since Donald Trump’s reckless withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement. Thankfully, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser responded by affirming the city’s commitment to climate action. She pledged to reduce D.C.’s carbon emissions 80 percent by 2050. Awesome!

Unfortunately, D.C. isn’t on track yet to meet its climate goals. With a comprehensive climate policy like the carbon fee and rebate, D.C. would be well on its way — and it would set an example for the entire nation.

If there there is one thing we’ve learned this week, it’s that we need real action. It’s more important than ever that states move forward on carbon reductions in a progressive and effective way. A comprehensive policy, like the proposed carbon fee and rebate, is the only way to reduce carbon emissions quickly and efficiently. And it’s what D.C. residents want: a full 74 percent of residents want to reduce carbon pollution in the District.

So what can you do? WATCH the new video, SHARE it with all your friends and family, and JOIN our campaign for a greener, cleaner, more equitable D.C.

Voices from the Peoples Climate March: Why We Need A Carbon Price

Voices from the Peoples Climate March: Why We Need A Carbon Price

Guest post from DC resident Roger LeBlanc, Jr.

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

D.C. Residents to Take Action at City Hall During Peoples Climate March to Advance Local Climate Justice Campaigns

D.C. Residents to Take Action at City Hall During Peoples Climate March to Advance Local Climate Justice Campaigns

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