WCMS endorses Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, HR 763

November 7, 2019

WCMS endorses Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, HR 763

On 11/4/19, the WCMS Association Board listened to a presentation by Dr. David Mouw and Steffi Rausch (head of Asheville Citizens’ Climate Lobby) on climate change and the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, HR 763. After much discussion, the Board unanimously concurred that the impact of climate change on health is a public health crisis and moved to act as an organization by endorsing the bill.

HR 763 is a bipartisan climate solution that will drive down America’s carbon pollution (40% by 2030 and 90% by 2050) and bring climate change under better control, while stimulating clean energy technology innovation. The idea is to price carbon out of the markets and return the revenue back to citizens as a monthly dividend check while offsetting the rising costs and helping to grow the economy, jobs and GDP. Climate action/carbon pricing has been endorsed by a host of organizations, ranging from numerous national faith groups (like Presbyterian Church, UUC, Episcopal Church, United Church of Christ, and U.S. Conference of Bishops) to the U.S. Conference of Mayors and over 100 health care organizations (including ACP, AMA, ANA, APHA, ALA, AHA, and AAFP). These health organizations have called on “government, business and civil society leaders, elected officials, and candidates for office to recognize climate change as a health emergency and to…prioritize action on this Climate, Health and Equity Policy Action Agenda.”

 

The Carbon Dividend approach has been supported by 3500 economists www.econstatement.org including every economic advisor to the President since Ford and 27 Nobel Laureate economists. This is because it is the “most cost-effective lever to reduce carbon emissions at the scale and speed that is necessary” and when the revenue is returned to households “the majority of American families, including the most vulnerable, will benefit financially by receiving more in “carbon dividends” than they pay in increased energy prices.”

According to the CDC, climate change influences human health and disease in numerous ways. Some existing health threats will intensify and new health threats will emerge. In the U.S., public health can be affected by disruptions of physical, biological, and ecological systems. The health effects of these disruptions include increased respiratory and cardiovascular disease, injuries and premature deaths related to extreme weather events, changes in the prevalence and geographical distribution of food and water borne illnesses and other infectious diseases, and threats to mental health.

How does HR 763 work?

  1. Carbon Fee

This policy puts a fee on fossil fuels like coal, oil, and gas. It starts low, and grows over time. It will drive down carbon pollution because energy companies, industries, and consumers will move toward cleaner, cheaper options.

 

  1. Carbon Dividend

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 costs are paid from the fees collected. The government does not keep any of the money from the carbon fee.

  1. Border Carbon Adjustment

To protect U.S. manufacturers and jobs, imported goods will be assessed a border carbon adjustment, and goods exported from the United States will receive a refund under this policy.

  1. Regulatory Adjustment

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.

If your organization is interested in endorsing the bill, or if you as a community leader wish to individually endorse the bill, please go to the direct endorsement link here https://energyinnovationact.org/endorse/ and make your voices heard! If you have any questions, you may contact asheville@citizensclimatelobby.org or check out the Citizens’ Climate Lobby website www.citizensclimatelobby.org for more info on their international grassroots efforts for the past 10 years, including their success in getting this bill passed in Canada last year.

 

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