H.R. 7173: Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2018

A bipartisan group of Congressmen introduced HR 7173 on November 27th, during the lame duck session.  The purpose of this legislation is: “To create a Carbon Dividend Trust Fund for the American people in order to encourage market-driven innovation of clean energy technologies and market efficiencies which will reduce harmful pollution and leave a healthier, more stable, and more prosperous nation for future generations.”

The sponsors of this bill were:  Charlie Crist [D-FL13]John Delaney [D-MD6],  Theodore Deutch [D-FL22], Brian Fitzpatrick [R-PA8], and Francis Rooney [R-FL19] and Dave Trott [R-MI11] joined as a sponsor on Nov 29, 2018.  You can read the text of the bill and track its progress by going to its GovTrak site here.

Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend ActAccording to Citizens’ Climate Lobby, an environmental advocacy group, this bill is the most significant climate change legislation Congress has seen in over a decade.  The bill applies a nationwide price on carbon emissions and returns the revenue to the American people each month. This approach is a climate change solution long advocated by economists, climate scientists and groups like Citizens’ Climate Lobby as the simplest, most effective approach to solving climate change. This bill seeks to lower carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% in the first 12 years.

“To call this legislation a breakthrough is an understatement,” said Citizens’ Climate Lobby Executive Director Mark Reynolds. “Any long-term solution needs buy-in from both Republicans and Democrats. And now that their constituents are feeling the negative effects of climate change firsthand, both sides are more willing to cooperate on a solution that brings about real change.”

In a paper prepared for Columbia University, economist Noah Kaufman said the legislation “would provide a substantial boost to low carbon generation sources including solar, wind and nuclear energy, and virtually eliminate the use of coal in the U.S. electricity system by 2030.” Kaufman’s paper also said “the rebates received by the average low- and middle-income households would exceed the additional expenditures of these households due to the higher prices caused by the carbon tax.”