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house Bill H.R. 763

Implementing a Carbon Tax & Returning Its Revenue As a Dividend

Argument in favor

Climate change’s impacts are already being felt, and will only worsen without drastic action. A carbon tax reflects the true price of fossil fuels, and is the type of aggressive measure that’s needed at this point. Without something like this bill, the world’s climate will not be sustainable within this century.

IllWill's Opinion
···
04/16/2019
A carbon tax is a good starting point. The consequences of pumping billions of tons of CO2 into the air is enormous and is leading to an ever growing climate crisis and companies need to understand that. However, we need to get increasingly more aggressive at fighting climate change by making huge direct investments in renewable energy. The Green New Deal is an excellent foundation to begin this massive undertaking!
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burrkitty's Opinion
···
04/16/2019
We have to do something, because at this point we are doing almost nothing. Also as a side benefit, this will create the most comprehensive rebate system in the USA. A system, in fact, that can easily be adapted for other future population encompassing programs that America has in its future like a UNIVERSAL SINGLE PAYER HEALTHCARE SYSTEM, universal basic income, National Weapon Registration Databank, return free taxes, even perhaps the national ID the conservatives want. We might even use it for voting. So yeah, let’s try to do something. You don't make progress by standing on the sidelines, whinging and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas. By trying things. Because discontent, blaming, complaining, and disbelief cannot serve as a foundation for a good future, no matter how much effort you make.
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KansasTamale's Opinion
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04/16/2019
We have to do something to get people off of fossil fuels. This is a start. May not be the best, but better than doing nothing.
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Argument opposed

Emissions pricing schemes merely entrench the fossil fuel-dependent status quo, rather than directly pushing for a shift to clean, renewable energies and this doesn’t go far enough. Alternatively, despite this bill’s claim of a dividend for American consumers they will still bear the costs of its carbon tax through higher energy prices. .

Sean's Opinion
···
04/16/2019
Oh look, another tax proposal for the American people from another democrat. How will taxing on CO2 lower the levels? P.S. Y’all are more than welcome to send a check to the government. Just make sure you write “CO2 Tax” in the memo. Wouldn’t want that money going to waste...
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Miles's Opinion
···
04/16/2019
Funny. Theft on the rich always is passed down to lower income levels through the price of goods & services. So everyone loses, but some think they’re somehow ‘making’ money in dividends. Amazes me people can’t see through this crap. IPCC estimates that America at 0 emissions would lower the global temperature a whopping 0.2 degrees in 100 years.
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Mark's Opinion
···
04/16/2019
Carbon tax schemes are always attractive ideas to the “useful idiots” in our society. Typically these are well educated individuals who are in fact dumb as a box of rocks. If common sense were fuel, they wouldn’t have enough to power an ants motorcycle even once around the circumference of a penny.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Ways and Means
    IntroducedJanuary 24th, 2019

What is House Bill H.R. 763?

This bill — the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2018 — would seek to encourage market-driven innovation in clean energy technologies; and promote U.S. interests through the use of clean energy. It has four components: a carbon fee, a carbon dividend, a carbon equalization tariff, and regulatory adjustment -- a detailed below.

Carbon Fee

This would be a gradually rising, upstream fee on fuels’ carbon content, meant to create market-driven demand for cleaner energy technologies and correct market distortions by reflecting the externalities of pollution costs. This fee would be assessed once, upstream, starting at $15 per metric ton of CO2e and increasing by $10 each year. There’s an exemption for agricultural fuels and non-emissive uses. There’s a rebate for carbon capture and storage (CCS). Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are also taxed, at 10% of global warming potential (GWP) of fluorinated gases.

Carbon Dividend

This would rebate 100% of the net revenues from carbon fees to the American people. It’d be administered as an equal share to adults with Social Security Numbers or Taxpayer Identification Numbers. Up to two minors per household would each receive a half share. This dividend would be administered by the Treasury Department, and its administrative cost wouldn’t exceed 2% of revenues. It’d be a one-month advance payment.

Carbon Equalization Tariff

This would levies an equalization tariff on carbon-intensive imported goods if their countries of origin don’t price carbon. Exported goods would receive a refund. It’s intended to remove the incentive for dirty production for all manufacturers from all countries, and creates an economic incentive for all nations to price carbon. This is designed for WTO compliance, and only applies to fossil fuels and carbon-intensive goods.

Regulatory Adjustment

This would adjust certain greenhouse gas (GHG) regulations which would become duplicative with the enactment of this bill. It helps avoid double jeopardy due to both fees on and regulation of certain GHGs). It would only impact certain GHG regulatory authorities, and would keep CAFE vehicle efficiency standards and methane, mercury, and particulate regulations in place. If emissions targets aren’t collectively hit after 10 years, regulatory authority is restored.

Impact

Taxpayers; carbon-intensive industries; fossil fuels; imports; exports; tariffs; and greenhouse gas regulations.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 763

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable — however, this bill is designed to be revenue-neutral, so it should pay for itself.

More Information

In-DepthRep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) reintroduced this bill from the 115th Congress to price carbon and return 100 percent of the net revenue to American families as a rebate:

“Climate change is an urgent threat that demands urgent bipartisan action. With this legislation, we are making clear to our colleagues that bipartisanship is possible – even necessary – to address climate change in this Congress. Our plan, to put a price on carbon and return the net revenue back to the American people, offers our Democratic and Republican colleagues an effective approach to significantly reduce carbon emissions without shifting the burden to the American people.”

When he introduced this bill last Congress, Rep. Deutch said:

"This aggressive carbon pricing scheme introduced by members from both parties marks an important opportunity to begin to seriously address the immediate threat of climate change. The status quo is unsustainable; the time to act is right now."

Bill cosponsor Rep. John Delaney (D-MD) adds that this type of “big solution with bipartisan support” is needed to truly address climate change:

“If we’re ever going to really mitigate climate change and prevent this looming catastrophe, it’s going to be with legislation like this – a big solution with bipartisan support. Incentives really matter and a carbon tax creates powerful market incentives in the private sector to reduce emissions in the short term and develop alternative energy sources in the long term. This is why I’ve authored my own carbon tax legislation and am proud to cosponsor this bill. The stakes are too high for us not to act and too high for us to be afraid to implement the solutions we know we need. This legislation is a blueprint for how we can combat climate change and bring people together around innovative policy solutions.”

Citizens' Climate Lobby supports this bill. Its executive director, Mark Reynolds, says

“Polling shows that more and more Americans are making the connection between climate change and disasters that claim lives and property. As public pressure increases for Congress to take action, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act provides a solution that is both effective and family friendly.”

Ted Halstead, CEO of the Climate Leadership Council, a group comprised of oil companies and other business interests who want a carbon tax in exchange for fewer environmental regulations, calls this bill a proof of concept for a conservative-inspired carbon dividends framework:

“The introduction of the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act provides a clear proof of concept that a conservative-inspired carbon dividends framework can attract bipartisan support. It is no coincidence that the first bipartisan climate bill in nearly a decade is based on carbon dividends. A carbon dividends plan that returns all revenues to the American people is uniquely capable of appealing to all sides of the climate debate.”

Food and Water Watch is critical of this bill. Its executive director, Wenonah Hauter, argues that carbon pricing schemes are false solutions that don't effect real change::

"This carbon tax bill amounts to climate denial, not climate action. Emissions pricing schemes like this one are actually supported by the world’s largest oil and gas corporations because they do nothing more than entrench the status quo – an economy dependent on polluting fossil fuels. This particular bill is potentially even more egregious, as it would reportedly roll back existing environmental regulations on carbon emissions, amounting to a shameful, self-defeating giveaway to the industry.”

In a letter in the Wall Street Journal, Alan Greenspan, Gregory Mankiw, and Ben Bernanke — economists in the Ford, Reagan, and both Bush administrations — called for a national carbon fee and dividend policy and called a carbon tax "the most cost-effective lever to reduce carbon emissions at the scale and speed that is necessary." They called a carbon tax a "powerful price signal" to harness the "invisible hand of the marketplace" to steer economic actors towards a low-carbon future.

Americans for Tax Reform opposes a carbon tax, with ATR President Grover Norquist writing of this bill:

"The proposed carbon tax is a gas tax and a tax on your electric bill. Worse, it increases automatically year after year so the politicians can raise your taxes without ever having to vote. The tax will be hidden in the price of all goods and services. A hidden tax. A permanent tax. An uncontrolled tax that increases without end."

In July, over 94 percent of House Republicans voted for a resolution condemning a carbon tax as “detrimental to the United States economy.” The fossil fuel industry, which spent over $31 million to defeat a carbon tax measure in Washington state, is likely to aggressively oppose this measure. Some of the more liberal freshman members of the House Democratic caucus, such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, are also likely to oppose this measure for not being aggressive enough.

This bill has 13 bipartisan cosponsors, including 12 Democrats and one Republican, in the current Congress. Last Congress, this bill had the support of four cosponsors, including six Democrats and three Republicans. In addition to the organizations mentioned above, it also has the support of the Environmental Defense FundC2ES, former Democratic National Committee (DNC) chair Howard Dean, and mayors and local legislators across the country.


Of NoteThe Trump administration and United Nations have recently released reports warning of the measurable effects of climate change and its likely devastating impacts to humans. The UN report signaled that countries weren’t doing enough to meet their collective goal of keeping global temperatures from rising to two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. At current rates, the UN report found that the global temperature is expected to reach 3.2 degrees above pre-industrial levels by 2100.

This bill’s cosponsors project that it’d:

  • Create 2.1 million net new jobs by the 10th year after implementation;
  • Reduce U.S. carbon emissions by 33% in the first 10 years, and targets a 90% reduction in emission by 2050 (over 2015 levels);
  • Deploy private capital and American innovation to advance clean energy technologies; and
  • Improve health and prevent 13,000 pollution-related deaths annually in the U.S.

There are currently a number of carbon tax proposals in Congress. Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) introduced a carbon pricing measure this summer, and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and other Democrats have their own proposal as well. Additionally. Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Rep. Don Beyer (D-CA) have also introduced a cap and dividend measure.

Noah Kaufman, a researcher at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs says this bill is the most ambitious carbon pricing proposal of those currently proposed:

“By 2030, carbon tax rates under the Deutch proposal would be at least 60 percent higher than under the Whitehouse and Baker proposals and at least two times higher than under the Curbelo proposal.”

However, Dr. Kaufman ultimately concluded that this bill is unlikely to pass in 2019, and that additional analysis is needed to understand the likely impacts of its carbon tax rates.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / heibaihui)

AKA

Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2019

Official Title

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.

    A carbon tax is a good starting point. The consequences of pumping billions of tons of CO2 into the air is enormous and is leading to an ever growing climate crisis and companies need to understand that. However, we need to get increasingly more aggressive at fighting climate change by making huge direct investments in renewable energy. The Green New Deal is an excellent foundation to begin this massive undertaking!
    Like (99)
    Follow
    Share
    Oh look, another tax proposal for the American people from another democrat. How will taxing on CO2 lower the levels? P.S. Y’all are more than welcome to send a check to the government. Just make sure you write “CO2 Tax” in the memo. Wouldn’t want that money going to waste...
    Like (49)
    Follow
    Share
    We have to do something, because at this point we are doing almost nothing. Also as a side benefit, this will create the most comprehensive rebate system in the USA. A system, in fact, that can easily be adapted for other future population encompassing programs that America has in its future like a UNIVERSAL SINGLE PAYER HEALTHCARE SYSTEM, universal basic income, National Weapon Registration Databank, return free taxes, even perhaps the national ID the conservatives want. We might even use it for voting. So yeah, let’s try to do something. You don't make progress by standing on the sidelines, whinging and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas. By trying things. Because discontent, blaming, complaining, and disbelief cannot serve as a foundation for a good future, no matter how much effort you make.
    Like (57)
    Follow
    Share
    We have to do something to get people off of fossil fuels. This is a start. May not be the best, but better than doing nothing.
    Like (38)
    Follow
    Share
    Funny. Theft on the rich always is passed down to lower income levels through the price of goods & services. So everyone loses, but some think they’re somehow ‘making’ money in dividends. Amazes me people can’t see through this crap. IPCC estimates that America at 0 emissions would lower the global temperature a whopping 0.2 degrees in 100 years.
    Like (30)
    Follow
    Share
    Carbon tax schemes are always attractive ideas to the “useful idiots” in our society. Typically these are well educated individuals who are in fact dumb as a box of rocks. If common sense were fuel, they wouldn’t have enough to power an ants motorcycle even once around the circumference of a penny.
    Like (24)
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    Share
    No! This question has been posed by Countable as well in the past! Dividend my Ass!
    Like (19)
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    We’re talking about saving the planet here, folks. We need every tool we can find including those like this, that pay back the average taxpayers for the tax breaks the fossil fuel companies have been making for a very long time.
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    this seems a good step toward clean energy & moving away from fossil fuels.
    Like (16)
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    Do you liberals ever stop taxing?!
    Like (15)
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    Of course this is sponsored by a democrat. They love to find creative means to get their hands on our hard earned money. And, once they have it, they'll keep taking it and manufacturing another reason to tax us. JUST STOP IT!
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    I’m willing to bet that most liberals don’t know what co2 is.
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    How about Congress do something other than figure out ways to take people’s money? Lazy lazy lazy
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    This not carbon neutral. We need CO2 to grow all plants and trees. By trying to cut carbon you are actually killing plant life that produces O2 that we breath. We have the lowest carbon level on earth. So stop pushing lies down our throat.
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    Climate change’s impacts are already being felt, and will only worsen without drastic action. A carbon tax reflects the true price of fossil fuels, and is the type of aggressive measure that’s needed at this point. Without something like this bill, the world’s climate will not be sustainable within this century.
    Like (11)
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    This is perfect, if companies want to ruin this planet we should at least get compensated. Ideally this would disencentivize fossil fuels more
    Like (10)
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    There should be a carbon tax. Definitely.
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    45 economists are supporting this idea. It is the best way to encourage people and businesses to make green choices in their everyday life.
    Like (9)
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    Now this is something to get behind. These are the type of bills and issues that are needing attention.
    Like (9)
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    This has bipartisan support, and is a great step in addressing our climate crisis. Let’s get this passed now!
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