Earth Day 2019 seems like an appropriate day to remind ourselves of the realities of climate change, and that there is no Planet B.
This blog started in April 2010 (goodness, has it been that long!) with a focus on green building in Miami. And it is still that. But much like I imagine journalist David Wallace-Wells felt collecting disparate articles with one terrifying, unifying thread – I’ve realized that if we, as a nation and as a planet, do not address climate change now, it won’t matter how great the sustainable buildings are in Miami. They will be underwater.
I’ve also realized that the Energy Innovation & Carbon Dividend Act (H.R. 763) is the best, quickest way for the United States to begin addressing our country’s carbon emissions.
What is the Energy Innovation & Carbon Dividend Act
According to energyinnovationact.org, there are two primary features – a “carbon fee” and a “carbon dividend” – and two protections for businesses.
This policy puts a fee on fossil fuels like coal, oil, and gas. It starts low, and grows over time. This will drive down carbon pollution because energy companies, leading industries, and American consumers will move toward cleaner, cheaper options.
The money collected from the carbon fee is allocated in equal shares every month to the American people to spend as they see fit. Program administrative costs are paid from the fees collected. The government does not keep any of the money from the carbon fee.
Border Carbon Adjustment
To protect U.S. manufacturers and jobs, imported goods will pay a border carbon adjustment, and goods exported from the United States will receive a refund under this policy.
This policy preserves effective current regulations, like auto mileage standards, but pauses the EPA authority to regulate the CO2 and equivalent emissions covered by the fee, for the first 10 years after the policy is enacted. If emission targets are not being met after 10 years, Congress gives clear direction to the EPA to regulate those emissions to meet those targets. The pause does not impact EPA regulations related to water quality, air quality, health or other issues. This policy’s price on pollution will lower carbon emissions far more than existing and pending EPA regulations.
I can’t think of a better way to celebrate Earth Day 2019 than to voice my support for H.R. 763 – The Energy Innovation & Carbon Dividend Act. How about you?