Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act

As we head into the second month of the new year there continues to be discord in our government and among our elected officials, to put it lightly. The government shutdown and the battle over funds for “the wall” has left little to be desired. But in the midst of such partisanship, a bipartisan solution for one of the most major crises of our era has emerged; HR 763, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act.

The team at Hansen’s Advisory has been working with members of Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) to better understand this proposed policy, and at the beginning of 2019, came out in support of it.

One thing that most of us acknowledge is that we need solutions to climate change now. The recent United Nations climate change report indicates we have a 12-year window to avoid the harshest damage of erratic weather, drought, rising shorelines and flooding. While we encourage our clients and colleagues to leverage shareholder advocacy as a tool to mitigate climate change by publicly traded companies, that won’t be enough. We need a national policy, and one that can be supported by both Republicans and Democrats, to address this global crisis.

There is increasing support among Americans for climate solutions like a carbon tax, and the politicians in Washington DC are starting to listen. Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) has been working to introduce a bill Congress called HR 763 the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, which has bipartisan support.

The bill would put a low but steadily rising price on carbon-based fuels at the source of entry in the economy (port, mine, well). The price signal to Wall Street would encourage companies and consumers to invest in renewable energy and not in the fossil fuels that are polluting our environment. Economists of all political stripes agree it is the best way to rapidly increase the transition to renewables.

Due to the fee on carbon, energy costs would increase, but the bill includes a mechanism to address that. To cover the increased cost of energy, a monthly dividend check would be returned to families in equal shares. An independent study showed that emissions would be lowered by 50% over 20 years. Studies also show that 2.8 million jobs would be created and $1.375 trillion would be added to our GDP.

To help support HR 763, there are three steps that you can take. The first is to sign the resolution, which you can do by visiting the Citizens’ Climate Lobby website here. The second step is to encourage Representative John Katko to cosponsor this bill. He wants to hear what his constituents think about this legislation, so reaching out to him is one of the most effective steps you can take. The third step is to join the local CCL chapter! Representatives of CCL go to Washington DC twice a year for conferences and to lobby congress, so it’s a great way to support a solution for climate change.

If you have any questions on this legislation, or thoughts to add, please let us know. The team at Hansen’s is proud to offer this forum for our clients and colleagues to share their opinions on this important issue.

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