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Guest opinion: The Energy Innovation Act will cut pollution and put money in our pockets

Traffic at the cross street of Willow Road and Durham Street in Menlo Park just before 4 p.m. on September 28, 2018. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

A few months into the new administration, the federal government is off to a roaring start on climate change. President Biden signed executive orders related to climate change in his early days in office, and the White House just introduced a proposal that elevates climate solutions alongside infrastructure and job goals. In addition, President Biden is planning to announce his upcoming climate plan at his climate summit with world leaders on Earth Day.

The latest exciting development in climate policy is the introduction of legislation called the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (HR 2307). The bill hit the House of Representatives on April 1, led by Florida Democrat Rep. Ted Deutch and 28 original co-sponsors, including local Congresswoman Anna Eshoo. Many thanks to Rep. Eshoo for her many years of tireless work on climate and environmental issues and for her co-sponsorship of this important legislation.

This policy will quickly slash our climate-changing emissions and save American lives by reducing pollution and that's not all. It will also spur business innovation and lead to affordable clean energy, and it will do all of this while putting money in people's pockets. Let's explore how.

First, the policy puts a steadily rising price on carbon pollution. This price signal will steer our economy away from fossil fuels, leading to a 30% reduction in carbon emissions in just five years. With this policy in place, America will be on the path to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 a critical target, according to the scientific community. That deadline comes from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's game-changing 2018 report, where the authors also specified that carbon pricing, such as the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, is "a necessary condition of ambitious climate policies."

As fossil fuel use drops and emissions decline with this policy, public health will also benefit. We could save 4.5 million American lives over the next 50 years by replacing pollution with clean air. That's why the Lancet Commission endorses carbon pricing, calling it "the single most powerful strategic instrument to inoculate human health against the risks of climate change." The Energy Innovation Act has been endorsed by 214 California health care professionals, including 70 from the San Francisco Bay Area.

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While driving these massive benefits, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act will also provide economic benefits to Americans. Each month, people will receive a carbon dividend or "carbon cash back" payment. In other words, the carbon fee revenue will go into people's pockets to spend with no restrictions. With this policy in place, 85% of Americans come out ahead or essentially break even. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is a longtime supporter of this approach. She affirmed in her January confirmation process that she is "fully supportive of effective carbon pricing," adding, "I know that the president is as well." In District 18, the Energy Innovation Act has the endorsement of Stanford professor and former United States Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, among many others.

This policy is better for business as well. With this bill, the government simply sets a predictable direction for businesses to move: away from carbon emissions. Then it's up to businesses how to move in that direction. Economists expect a policy like the Energy Innovation Act will drive technological innovation, and businesses will provide abundant, affordable, and reliable clean energy in response.

Businesses seem to recognize the value of this approach. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently announced its support of a "market-based approach to accelerate emissions reductions," and the Business Roundtable has explicitly endorsed a carbon price. In District 18, the Energy Reality Project (Menlo Park), Peninsula Democratic Coalition (Los Altos), Silver Mountain Vineyards (Los Gatos), and Tiemann Investment Advisors (Menlo Park) have endorsed the policy.

It's not every day that Congress considers a policy that will reduce emissions, save lives, benefit business, and put money in people's pockets. Every member of California's congressional delegation who has not yet co-sponsored HR 2307 should take a serious look at this bill.

Here in California, we are ready to see results. Public polling shows 70% of people in our congressional district (CA 18) and 64% of Californians overall want Congress to do more to address global warming. That desire defies partisanship, with majority support for climate action from Republican and Democratic voters across the country. The Energy Innovation Act is a good step forward to put America on the fast track to a healthy, prosperous future.

Paula Danz is a volunteer with the Silicon Valley North chapter of Citizens' Climate Lobby and a Los Altos resident. Mark Reynolds is the executive director of Citizens' Climate Lobby.

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Guest opinion: The Energy Innovation Act will cut pollution and put money in our pockets

by / Contributor

Uploaded: Thu, Apr 22, 2021, 2:02 pm

A few months into the new administration, the federal government is off to a roaring start on climate change. President Biden signed executive orders related to climate change in his early days in office, and the White House just introduced a proposal that elevates climate solutions alongside infrastructure and job goals. In addition, President Biden is planning to announce his upcoming climate plan at his climate summit with world leaders on Earth Day.

The latest exciting development in climate policy is the introduction of legislation called the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (HR 2307). The bill hit the House of Representatives on April 1, led by Florida Democrat Rep. Ted Deutch and 28 original co-sponsors, including local Congresswoman Anna Eshoo. Many thanks to Rep. Eshoo for her many years of tireless work on climate and environmental issues and for her co-sponsorship of this important legislation.

This policy will quickly slash our climate-changing emissions and save American lives by reducing pollution and that's not all. It will also spur business innovation and lead to affordable clean energy, and it will do all of this while putting money in people's pockets. Let's explore how.

First, the policy puts a steadily rising price on carbon pollution. This price signal will steer our economy away from fossil fuels, leading to a 30% reduction in carbon emissions in just five years. With this policy in place, America will be on the path to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 a critical target, according to the scientific community. That deadline comes from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's game-changing 2018 report, where the authors also specified that carbon pricing, such as the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, is "a necessary condition of ambitious climate policies."

As fossil fuel use drops and emissions decline with this policy, public health will also benefit. We could save 4.5 million American lives over the next 50 years by replacing pollution with clean air. That's why the Lancet Commission endorses carbon pricing, calling it "the single most powerful strategic instrument to inoculate human health against the risks of climate change." The Energy Innovation Act has been endorsed by 214 California health care professionals, including 70 from the San Francisco Bay Area.

While driving these massive benefits, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act will also provide economic benefits to Americans. Each month, people will receive a carbon dividend or "carbon cash back" payment. In other words, the carbon fee revenue will go into people's pockets to spend with no restrictions. With this policy in place, 85% of Americans come out ahead or essentially break even. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is a longtime supporter of this approach. She affirmed in her January confirmation process that she is "fully supportive of effective carbon pricing," adding, "I know that the president is as well." In District 18, the Energy Innovation Act has the endorsement of Stanford professor and former United States Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, among many others.

This policy is better for business as well. With this bill, the government simply sets a predictable direction for businesses to move: away from carbon emissions. Then it's up to businesses how to move in that direction. Economists expect a policy like the Energy Innovation Act will drive technological innovation, and businesses will provide abundant, affordable, and reliable clean energy in response.

Businesses seem to recognize the value of this approach. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently announced its support of a "market-based approach to accelerate emissions reductions," and the Business Roundtable has explicitly endorsed a carbon price. In District 18, the Energy Reality Project (Menlo Park), Peninsula Democratic Coalition (Los Altos), Silver Mountain Vineyards (Los Gatos), and Tiemann Investment Advisors (Menlo Park) have endorsed the policy.

It's not every day that Congress considers a policy that will reduce emissions, save lives, benefit business, and put money in people's pockets. Every member of California's congressional delegation who has not yet co-sponsored HR 2307 should take a serious look at this bill.

Here in California, we are ready to see results. Public polling shows 70% of people in our congressional district (CA 18) and 64% of Californians overall want Congress to do more to address global warming. That desire defies partisanship, with majority support for climate action from Republican and Democratic voters across the country. The Energy Innovation Act is a good step forward to put America on the fast track to a healthy, prosperous future.

Paula Danz is a volunteer with the Silicon Valley North chapter of Citizens' Climate Lobby and a Los Altos resident. Mark Reynolds is the executive director of Citizens' Climate Lobby.

Comments

CyberVoter
Registered user
Atherton: other
on Apr 23, 2021 at 1:29 pm
CyberVoter, Atherton: other
Registered user
on Apr 23, 2021 at 1:29 pm

I can see where money is going out of my pocket to higher taxes and higher prices (due to Carbon Tax), but I didn't see anything on the title topic of "putting money in my pocket"? Can you provide details?


Ed Kahl
Registered user
Woodside: other
on Apr 26, 2021 at 1:24 pm
Ed Kahl, Woodside: other
Registered user
on Apr 26, 2021 at 1:24 pm


CO2 isn’t a pollutant - it’s plant fertilizer that’s pumped into green houses to make plants grow faster. Increased CO2 emission have greened the planet immensely as seen in pictures from space between 1967 and today.

Devout climate believers say we’re in a climate crisis. They base it on the highest and least likely temperature predications from models that are baseless because they can’t predict cloud cover which is the primary determinant of our climate. An experiment by solar physicist at the European Organization for Nuclear Research in 2012 showed how the Sun's magnetic storms controlled cloud cover which controls the earth’s climate.

Lost in the debate is that most CO2 emission have greened the planet immensely as seen in pictures from space between 1967 and today. The planet has always flourished when it was warmer. Millions of people starved to death in Europe during the Little Ice Age 400 years ago. But even in the worst case, the UN has determined that the planet could be inexpensively cooledby spraying pulverized salt into the air over the oceans.

The use of fossil fuel energy will be phased out by private markets as new energy technologies reduce the price of green energy and develop ways to store it efficiently in the absence of sun and wind. The solar/hydrogen cycle looks to be the most promising way to store and produce 24 hour electric power for less than fossil fuel prices.


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