Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) and Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) introduced the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act Tuesday (Dec. 18, 2018), the Senate version of bipartisan legislation introduced in the U.S. House on Nov. 27.
Like the House bill, the Senate bill is a climate solution that goes further than any national policy to date, creating over 2 million new jobs, lowering health care costs, promoting energy innovation, and encouraging consumer spending, according to the Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL), a non-profit, nonpartisan, grassroots advocacy organization focused on US policies to address climate change.
The legislation would apply a nationwide price on carbon emissions and return the revenue to citizens each month. This approach is a climate change solution long advocated by both economists and climate scientists as the simplest, most effective approach to solving climate change, according to CCL. This bill seeks to lower carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% in 12 years and 90% by 2050.
“Just a few weeks after the bill’s bipartisan introduction in the House, a bipartisan pair in the Senate has now introduced it in their chamber,” said CCL Executive Director Mark Reynolds. “While it will be up to the next Congress to reintroduce the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, this is a promising sign: Ambitious carbon pricing that benefits our economy and benefits people is amenable to both Republicans and Democrats, and it is gaining momentum.”
Reynolds said the new policy will create 2.1 million new jobs over the next 10 years, based on estimates from a 2014 Regional Economic Models, Inc. (REMI) study on the effect of a revenue-neutral carbon price on the American economy.
With the next Congress divided between a Republican-controlled Senate and a Democratic-controlled House, any climate solution hoping to get traction will need to be bipartisan.
“Senators Coons and Flake have a longstanding friendship and have partnered together on important issues in the Senate. Both believe that a bipartisan approach is the best way to solve an urgent issue like climate change,” said Andres Jimenez, Senior Director of Government Affairs at Citizens’ Climate Lobby. “In the new Congress, Senator Coons intends to continue working across the aisle to build support for this policy, and we hope to see him re-introduce in the new Congress with additional cosponsors from both parties.”
In a statement issued for the release of the House bill, Conservatives for Responsible Stewardship said, “This commonsense legislation will address climate change and promote economic growth at the same time. It is the kind of smart, bipartisan problem solving that is long overdue and that Congress needs to do more of.”
Commenting on the legislation earlier, Alex Flint, executive director for the Alliance for Market Solutions, said, “This is a big deal. Responsible policymakers, including Republicans, are proposing legislation to address climate change.”
This post appeared first on Citizens' Climate Lobby.