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Know the West

The Carbon Dividend Act


What Killed Washington’s Carbon Tax?” was excellent. However, it failed to discuss the main alternative to a “carbon tax,” which does, in fact, have bipartisan support on the federal level: a carbon fee and dividend proposal currently before the House and Senate. The real reason a carbon tax will always fail, as you point out, is that it is a tax. And it is a highly regressive tax that places the heaviest burden on transition to a low fossil fuel economy on the people who can least afford to bear it: the low- and middle-income consumer of fuels, transportation industry workers, and buyers of energy-intensive products. On the other hand, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, H.R. 7173, imposes a fee on carbon per ton at the point of entry to the economy, whether it involves a mine, a well or a port, and increases annually until objectives are met. The funds collected are returned in equal amounts per capita to everyone with a Social Security number, thus neutralizing the impact on consumer pocketbooks, while biasing every business and private decision and the adoption of innovation technologies throughout the economy. The specifics can be reviewed at citizensclimatelobby.org.

James Ferguson 
San Diego, California