CCL Newsletter: White House Gives Nod To Carbon Price In Reconciliation; Email Biden
October 13, 2021
It’s been widely reported that Senate Democrats are likely to include a carbon fee with cashback to households in the budget reconciliation bill currently being drafted in Congress. But you may have wondered: where does the President stand on this policy?
At a White House press briefing recently, the administration opened the door for carbon pricing. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked if a carbon tax would violate the president’s campaign pledge to not raise taxes on all but the very wealthy. Psaki replied, “Polluter fees on corporations do not conflict with the $400,000 pledge.” Biden’s tax pledge was a question hanging over that provision that has now been put to rest.
As the budget reconciliation bill makes its way through Congress, the President’s support for carbon pricing could help ensure that this essential tool is included in the legislation that emerges at the end of this process. While Psaki’s quote shows that the administration is leaving the door open for a carbon price, they are not vocally advocating for it yet. That’s why the President needs to hear from you!
CCL has a goal of generating 20,000 messages to the President urging him to support a price on carbon. Write to the President and ask others to take this action, too.
In other news this week:
Podcast launches with Sen. Whitehouse interview: Washington Examiner reporter Josh Siegel and former FERC chair Neil Chatterjee launched a podcast last week, Plugged In, and their first guest was Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse. During the interview, Whitehouse confirmed that “the carbon pollution fee [...] seems highly likely at this point to be in the Finance Committee reconciliation package.” Check out the podcast.
Resources for the Future study: Resources for the Future (RFF) modeled several scenarios for the climate measures expected in the reconciliation bill, and they found that including a price on carbon would drive major emissions reductions over the next decade. With the carbon price included, the U.S. could cut emissions 52% below 2005 levels by 2030. Check out and share this graphic that shows very simply the difference a carbon price makes.
Gasoline may be exempted from carbon fee: Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) signaled that a carbon fee could exempt consumer gasoline. RFF found that with a gasoline exemption, emissions reductions would still be 50% below 2005 levels, only 2% less than it would be if gasoline were included in the fee. This means a carbon fee that exempts consumer gasoline would still deliver meaningful emissions reductions while insulating consumers from even slight price increases at the pump.
Carbon pricing op-ed makes the rounds on Twitter: A new op-ed in The Hill about carbon pricing was widely shared on Twitter this week, including by Sen. Dick Durbin, VP of Government Affairs Anne Kelly and by Dr. Robert Bullard. Ceres is a think tank working with businesses to promote climate solutions and sustainability. Dr. Bullard is co-chair of National Black Environmental Justice Network and the HBCU Climate Change Consortium, and he is known as the father of environmental justice.
Job opening at CCL: Citizens’ Climate Education is hiring a front end developer to work in our IT department. Learn more and apply here.
Take action this week
If you have a little time: Check out CCL’s social media toolkit
You have called and emailed your members of Congress. You've emailed the President. You have even asked your friends and family to do the same. Now you can continue the effort by building digital support for a price on carbon! CCL’s new social media toolkit shows you how to build support for a carbon price across social media platforms. You can also watch CCL’s how-to training to walk through the actions in the toolkit with a CCL staffer.
If you have more time: Watch the October monthly call
Be sure to watch the recording of our October national call and invite your friends to do the same. This month’s guest speaker was Utah state representative Raymond Ward. Additionally, CCL's Senior Director of Government Affairs Ben Pendergrass gives an update on carbon pricing in the reconciliation process.
Featured Lever This Week
Media: Yakima paper endorses carbon pricing
On Sunday, the Yakima-Herald Republic published an editorial regarding the benefits of carbon pricing on climate change.
The paper illustrated the importance of a carbon price for the city of Yakima, Washington, as well as the support a carbon price has from economists and CCL, in addition to other groups.
“Perhaps the most plausible and equitable strategy is one that is endorsed by a who’s who of more than 3,600 top U.S. economists, and numerous citizen groups and municipalities, including Yakima: putting a price on carbon emissions,” the piece reads. “Yakima representatives of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby, which has 450 chapters worldwide, insist that carbon pricing is the most effective way to rein in runaway climate change without disrupting the economy.”
This piece acknowledges that Washington’s state legislature recently passed a carbon price of its own. Gov. Jay Inslee is pictured above signing the bill into law.
Read the Editorial
CCLers have shown that now is an excellent time to ask their newspapers to write an editorial endorsement of carbon pricing, just like the one the Yakima-Herald Republic wrote here. If you’re interested in learning more information about asking your local paper for an editorial endorsement, check out this training on how to get started.
10/14: Seven Media Actions To Support Reconciliation — CCL's State and Local Media Coordinator Charlotte Ward will teach you seven effective steps to spread the word about a carbon price in your local media. Join us!
10/21: Research on Rural Economic Benefits — Jerry Hinkle, CCL Research Coordinator, offers this training on CCL district-specific research about renewable energy development, which offers significant economic development opportunities for rural America. Join us!
Need training on the basics? Catch our next session of Core Volunteer Training, made for newer volunteers:
10/19: Economics of Carbon Fee & Dividend Policies — Robert Archer, retired US-AID economist and CCL Economic Policy Network co-lead, will introduce new ways of thinking about the key components of any carbon fee and dividend policy, including the Energy Innovation Act. Join us!
To see other topics and past trainings, visit the Training Topics page of CCL Community.
This week on the CCL blog:
Faster transitions to clean energy are also cheaper: CCL’s Research Team analyzes reports that show the transition to clean energy is set to be cheaper and faster than previously predicted. Read more.
Volunteers urge grasstops to get involved in email and call campaigns: CCLers have led the charge to encourage their local grasstops leaders to reach out to Congress as well. Our volunteers have generated tons of these types of contacts, which stand out to Congress and help push our message even further. Read more.
ICYMI: Media reacts positively to carbon pricing: As carbon pricing gains popularity in Congress, many of the country’s most reputable media platforms are speaking positively about the policy. Read more.