MEDIA RELEASE: Climate Action in the USA Canadians Might Not Be Aware Of

MEDIA RELEASE: Climate action in the USA Canadians might not be aware of

Media Contact: Cathy Orlando, ,  705-929-4043

Sudbury ON: As Prime Minister Trudeau prepares for his upcoming first official visit with President Donald Trump on Monday, February 13, here some facts about climate action in the USA Canadians might not be aware of.

Did you know that there is a bi-partisan Climate Solutions Caucus in the US Congress? The Climate Solutions Caucus is exploring options that address the impacts, causes, and challenges of our changing climate. The caucus was founded in February of 2016 by two south-Florida representatives Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) and Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) serve as co-chairs of the caucus. Citizens’ Climate Lobby USA has been the driving force behind this caucus. It includes 12 Republican and 12 Democratic members of Congress (updated February 17).  You can find all the details here.

Significantly, Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) was recently selected to be part the United States House Committee on Ways and Means which is the Canadian equivalent of the Standing Committee on Finance. As well, because we work quite closely with our CCL colleagues in the USA, one of our empowered volunteers in CCL Canada has connected US Representative Curbelo’s office with the Federal Ministry of Environment and Climate Change and there is an ongoing dialogue.

A report of significant interest came out in the USA in January 2017. The Office of Tax Analysis at the USA’s federal Treasury Department published a paper in January 2017: Methodology for Analysing a Carbon tax. It starts with recommending a pretty high carbon tax. It confirms things we’ve been lobbying for since 2010 including eliminating fossil fuel subsidies and enacting border tax adjustments. Yes, the USA is considering border taxes on carbon and we should be too.

On February 6, 2017, in a survey released by the Yale Program on Climate Communication, found that 62% Trump voters support taxing and/or regulating the pollution that causes global warming.

On February 8, 2017 a group of Republican elder statesmen released a proposal for a revenue-neutral carbon tax that returns proceeds to households. The group, working together under the Climate Leadership Council, includes three former Treasury secretaries – Henry Paulson, George Shultz and James Baker, III. The Council’s plan – The Conservative Case for Carbon Dividends – calls for a carbon tax starting at $40 per ton that rises over time. All of the revenue would be returned to households as a quarterly dividend, and border adjustment tariffs would be applied to carbon-intensive imports from countries lacking an equivalent carbon-pricing mechanism. In their press conference they revealed two unexpected results:
1) 223 million Americans, the bottom 70% of earners, will benefit financially from their proposed carbon dividend program, which should appease left-leaning climate advocates.
2) Their plan would achieve nearly two times CO2 reductions of all Obama’s regulations.

This is fantastic news: Republican ownership of climate solutions is just what our colleagues at Citizens’ Climate Lobby USA have been working for. The messenger is just as important as the message, and these respected Republican statesmen are the perfect messengers.

Even before the press conference, the Climate Leadership Council proposal was picked up by the New York Times and CNN. Also on February 8, there was an op-ed from Shultz and Baker about the plan that appeared in the Wall Street Journal. Other authors of the plan published an op-ed in the New York Times.