February 2010 Unified Action
Ask Senator Tom Udall to Co-Sponsor the CLEAR Act
On January 28 America formally pledged to the UN that it would reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 17% (from what they were in 2005) by 2020. To do so, Congress must pass real climate legislation. The political experts say that cap-and-trade legislation to drive a shift from dirty to clean energy is dead for this year, and perhaps forever. That may be true, but it doesn’t mean ALL climate legislation is dead.
Recently, Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced a 39-page bill called the CLEAR Act (S.2877). It’s a simple cap-and-dividend (or cap-and-cash back) bill, not a complex cap-and-trade bill. And it has a chance of passing this year.
(Please scroll down for more information about the bill.)
What we are asking:
Senator Tom Udall has publicly supported a 100% auction of emissions permits and dividends back to consumers. However, he has stopped short of endorsing the CLEAR Act because he is not convinced that it is politically viable.
Please email Senator Udall at http://tomudall.senate.gov/?p=contact
call his Washington, D.C., office at (202) 224-6621.
Ask him to co-sponsor the CLEAR Act.
Tell him that CLEAR spurs clean-energy job growth, requires big polluters to pay for and reduce emissions, and puts money back into the hands of consumers.
Let him know that now is the time for a simple, fair, and lasting bipartisan plan to make it through Congress.
As always, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to tell us “I did it!” when you have completed the action.
About The CLEAR Act
“Is there no alternative between simple do-nothingism and House complexity? In fact, there is.” —The Washington Post on the CLEAR Act (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/09/AR2010020903526.html)
The Cantwell-Collins CLEAR Act would establish a 100% auction in which fuel producers would bid for “carbon shares.”
75% of the revenue resulting from these auctions would be distributed as a dividend to every legal resident in the United States as a way to offset the increased costs of carbon-based fuel likely to be passed on to consumers by fuel producers.
In fact, a household family of four would receive a rebate from the government totaling an average of $1,100 per year, or $21,000 between 2012 and 2030.
The remaining 25% of the resulting revenue would be used to directly invest in research and development of clean energy resources, energy efficiency programs, reductions in non-CO2 greenhouse gases and to address regional disparities in the transition to a clean energy economy.
Moreover, this legislation would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020 and 83% by 2050.
Cap-and-dividend differs from cap-and-trade in the following ways:
Is full of offsets, loopholes, and subsidies for carbon polluters.
Allows no offsets and sets a steadily rising price on carbon-based fuels.
Provides no subsidies for oil/gas drilling.
Gives away free, for 15 years, 85% of the emissions permits—mostly to corporate polluters.
Gives away no permits to pollute and returns most of the auction revenue to the American people.
Prohibits Wall Street firms and speculators from buying or selling emissions permits.