Senators Barbara Boxer (D. CA) and Bernie Sanders (I. VT) announced plans to introduce a bill this spring to place a $20-per-ton tax on CO2 last month. Their plan could raise $1.2 trillion over the next decade:Rep. Henry A. Waxman, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, Rep. Earl Blumenauer, and Sen. Brian Schatz have released draft carbon-pricing legislation and solicited feedback on it from stakeholders and the public.
The legislation would establish the polluter pays principle for dangerous carbon pollution, requiring large emitters to pay for the pollution they emit.
The “discussion draft” contains a new and straightforward approach to putting a price on carbon pollution. The nation’s largest polluters would have to pay a fee for each ton of pollution they release.
The legislation assigns responsibility for the assessment and collection of the carbon fees based upon the expertise that has already been developed by EPA and the Treasury Department.
Under the discussion draft, EPA’s database of reported emissions would determine the amount of pollution subject to the fee. The Treasury Department would be responsible for the collection and handling of the fees. - Hawaii 24/7, 3/13/13
Senator Schatz and his colleagues need to hear your thoughts and input by April 12th. If you're heavily involved in the environmentalist community, here are a few questions that need to be addressed:The two bills both aim to confront climate change by harnessing the power of the free market, a spokesperson for Rep. Waxman said, but offer different mechanisms for doing so. The Waxman bill would target power plants, for example, while the Boxer bill would focus on "upstream" emitters like coal mines and oil refineries. But both bills are likely to undergo tweaks before being officially introduced.
The exact price per ton of carbon pollution is still an open question (the lawmakers are seeking public input on this and other issues), but the draft bill purports to be based on the principle that "all revenue generated by the carbon pollution fee should be returned the American people." Options for this could include using the money to lower the federal deficit, or helping the public shoulder higher energy costs. - Mother Jones, 3/12/13
* What is the appropriate price per ton for polluters to pay? The draft contains alternative prices of $15, $25, and $35 per ton for discussion purposes.If you have more questions, feel free to contact any or their offices:
* How much should the price per ton increase on an annual basis? The draft contains a range of increases from 2 percent to 8 percent per year for discussion purposes.
* What are the best ways to return the revenue to the American people? The discussion draft proposes putting the revenue toward the following goals, and solicits comments on how to best accomplish each: (1) mitigating energy costs for consumers, especially low-income consumers; (2) reducing the federal deficit; (3) protecting jobs of workers at trade-vulnerable, energy intensive industries; (4) reducing the tax liability for individuals and businesses; and (5) investing in other activities to reduce carbon pollution and its effects.
* How should the carbon fee program interact with state programs that address carbon pollution?
Senator Brian Schatz (D. HI): 202-224-3934
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D. RI): 202-224-2921
Senator Barbara Boxer (D. CA): 202-224-3553
Senator Bernie Sanders (I. VT): 202-224-5141
Congressman Henry Waxman (D. CA-33): 202-225-3976
Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D. OR-3): 202-225-4811