Beyond resistance: Putting a price on carbon emissions

August 10, 2017

Dear Friends,

It is the 13th day of my email series, “Beyond Resistance: The things we should do to make us safer, healthier, and more economically secure.” Today’s topic: putting a price on carbon emissions.

As a nation, and as a world, we are far too reliant on burning fossil fuels for energy. Consuming this wasteful, expensive energy source degrades our environment and creates harmful greenhouse gas emissions. The scientific evidence and consensus behind the impact of these emissions is clear – climate change is bringing record temperatures, erratic and dangerous weather patterns, social disruption, and more severe ocean acidification, drought, disease, and wildfires.

We have a moral responsibility to reverse this trend and drastically limit the carbon pollution from our energy sector. It’s past time for the federal government to put a price on carbon emissions. A carbon tax is a starting point to reduce emissions and support a more rapid transition to a clean energy future in a straightforward, cost-effective manner.

That’s why I’ve introduced legislation that would impose a fee on America’s biggest polluters. Making sure that fossil fuel companies pay their fair share helps level the playing field by pricing dirty energy accurately – so clean energy can better compete. To ensure that the American people aren’t hurt by this price on carbon, part of the fee would be returned to the public every year as a refundable tax credit. Additional funds would be used to help vulnerable communities who might be impacted by higher heating and electricity bills. Another portion of the revenue would be used to help us avoid the looming Social Security crisis. When paired with investments in public transit, affordable housing, and clean energy jobs, particularly in those communities most impacted by climate change, this bill can kick-start much-needed climate action.

A carbon tax could generate trillions of dollars, replacing expensive and often conflicting energy subsidies. We could reduce the threat of climate change while making the tax system simpler and fairer.

This is a non-partisan, non-ideological, widely-supported and critical step forward. Instead of debating policies of division and denial, it’s time for us to come together and support a carbon tax that can solve multiple problems and meet our obligations to future generations.

I welcome your thoughts, ideas, and opinions. You can connect with me here


Earl Blumenauer

Member of Congress