Tell Congress to Pass a Carbon Tax, Climate Protection and Justice Act
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Tell Congress to pass a tax on carbon to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and grow a green economy grow that puts people to work.
The US just elected President Donald J. Trump who has said Climate Change is a hoax created by China. Furthermore, he aims to appoint Myron Ebell as EPA Administrator who has ties to the fossil fuel industry and does not believe climate change is real. Yet the consensus in the scientific community is absolutely clear: 97.1% agree that climate change is real and caused by human activity.
Already the effects are being felt through droughts, heat waves, floods, forest fires, disease, and rising sea levels and extreme weather disturbance. As it stands now, 2016 will be the hottest year on record, in line with a sequential global warming trend consistent with predictions of climate change. Climate change is the single greatest threat to our environment and future moving forward; and in order to change our trajectory, we must green our economies while at the same time drastically reduce the burning of coal, oil, and other fossil fuels.
The fossil fuel industry reaps billions in profits at the cost of destroying the planet, directly causing numerous environmental justice issues. In the past decade, the top six oil and gas companies made over $ 1 trillion . Not only is the fossil fuel industry negatively impacting the planet, but they are making record profits and doing it without being held accountable. We believe this must change.
Show Congress your awareness of the Climate Change issue and your support for the Climate Protection and Justice Act put forth by Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT).
The Solution? A Carbon Tax
A carbon tax would offer an easy, yet effective solution to help drastically reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, while providing incentives for new growth of green jobs in local industrial areas whose economies rely on the working class.
The overarching idea behind the carbon tax is that the current price of fossil fuels does not accurately reflect their environmental cost: The tax aims to make up for this.
A carbon tax would also create a new opportunity for renewable energy to expand by making it affordable. This has already been successfully achieved in Germany where carbon is taxed approximately $ 20 USD per ton. As a result, Germany has become a leader in renewable energy with a flourishing economy that is more resilient. Congressional reluctance to enact a carbon tax and take the economic threats of climate change seriously adds uncertainty to our future and puts all Americans at risk of the fallout of their inaction.
The Tax Structure
The legislation would reduce emissions progressively through time, cutting emissions in steps:
- Total emissions would be 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 and
- 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.
- The tax on carbon would start at a modest $ 15 / ton in 2017, rising to $ 73 / ton by 2035, and growing by 5% annually after that.
- The proceeds are then returned to the bottom 80% of households making less than $ 100,000 / year;
- Total value of returned proceeds estimated to be ~ $ 900 in 2017 for an average family of four, growing to ~ $ 1.900 in 2030.
- Why Help Low Income Families
Low-income and minority communities are at higher risk for the adverse effects of climate change. Therefore, the bill will provide $ 20 billion annually to fund climate resiliency projects in disadvantaged communities, focusing on those especially susceptible to the impacts of climate change.
Moreover the bill provides $ 3 billion annually for energy efficiency improvements in low-income housing and for municipalities.
Why Protect Manufacturing with a Green Tariff
The legislation strengthens protection for manufacturing through a border tariff adjustment mechanism which shields energy-intensive, trade-exposed industries like steel, aluminum, glass, and pulp and paper from unfair international trade policies. Funds raised by the green tariff would be used to improve industrial energy efficiency.
Why This Matters to You
In addition to the immense ecological cost, climate change is already imposing enormous costs on all of us as consumers. Those costs will continue to escalate as global warming keeps rising.
It is time for Congress to catch up with the scientific community, the international community, and with the rest of the country and acknowledge the severity of the climate change crisis. Congress needs to take bold action to reduce carbon emissions and leave a habitable planet for our grandchildren .
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