Frequently Raised Questions in Lobby Meetings

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A guide providing CCL supporters with answers, guidance or background information to the most frequently raised questions encountered in prior congressional meetings.
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Usage Instructions
Use the chart and resources below to anticipate what you might be asked and prepare for your own upcoming lobby meetings. The data behind this resource along with key definitions and a comparison between 2017 and 2018 results are located in this Google Sheet.  Feel free to also refer to last year's 2018 June Analysis Handout.
  • The chart below shows how often the topics listed below came up in congressional lobby meetings in 2018.
  • The headings show you how the results break down across each chamber, political party, and key committees.
  • Blue color depth matches up with the percent of meetings in which the topic was discussed.
Top Topics Chart

Click on the chart image to link to the spreadsheet.

How to Address each Topic
Climate Solutions Caucus (50%)

The Climate Solutions Caucus is a bipartisan working group in the U.S. House devoted to finding effective solutions to climate change. Climate Solutions Caucus information and actions to take if a Republican or Democrat shows interest in joining.

The Dividend (26%)

CCL hired a former Treasury Department tax expert to explore the details of delivering carbon dividends to households. The process is quite manageable, with low administrative costs, and CCL now has the necessary information to help guide implementation of the policy.

Dividend Delivery Study

Related Laser Talks

Agriculture (14%)

The agricultural sector occupies a unique and irreplaceable role in our society, so we are paying close attention to the impact of a carbon fee and dividend type policy on American farmers and ranchers. While decarbonization will surely offer new opportunities to those businesses in the long term, we will take steps to ensure that short-term costs don’t squeeze their small margins any more than they are now.

Impact on Jobs (14%)

A 2014 study by Regional Economic Models Inc found that a carbon fee and dividend type policy would grow jobs faster than business as usual – as many as 2.8 million additional jobs in 20 years.

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Importance of Endorsers (12%)

CCL recognizes the importance of winning the support of business, local governments, faith organizations, and other influential stakeholders in communities across the country.

Coming soon: Endorsements reports by state and congressional district.

Local Climate Change Impacts (12%)

Climate change is already having real impacts on American communities, such as seawater intrusion, stronger tropical storms, more extreme floods and droughts, and increased wildfire severity.

Health (12%)

Fossil fuels have adverse health impacts other than those imposed by climate change. A strong, durable climate policy will have immediate health benefits by also reducing co-pollutants like particulates, sulfur gases, nitrogen oxides, heavy metals, and hydrocarbons.

Laser Talks

REMI Results and Figures

REMI Study, Figure 3.31- Improved Air Quality
REMI Study, Figure 3.32 – Saved Premature Deaths (region)
REMI Study, Figure 3.33 – Cumulative Saved Premature Deaths (region)
Impact on Low-Income Households (11%)

We know that the cost of energy is of great concern to low-income Americans. That’s why we have taken great pains to ensure that the Carbon Fee and Dividend will not impose economic hardship on the most vulnerable among us, and the Household Impact Study we commissioned has independently confirmed that confidence.

  • Laser Talk: Impact on Low-Income Households – Addresses the positive impact Carbon Fee and Dividend would have on low-income households.
  • Household Impacts Study – find the summary for your district or state.
  • REMI figure 3.22 – Total Employment by Quintile
Energy/Consumer Costs (11%)

The Carbon Fee will increase energy costs at the consumer level, but the equal-per-person Carbon Dividend will allow 58 percent of American households to break even or come out ahead. Extra cash every month will help those households, if they choose, to make climate-friendly investments that will put them even further ahead as the Carbon Dividend increases.

Laser Talks

REMI Results and Figures

  • Power Generation Results

REMI Study, figure 3.19 – Cost of Living (regional)


REMI Study, figure 3.20 – Energy Commodity Prices


REMI Study, figure 3.21 – Cost of Living (quinitile, national)


REMI Study, figure 3.24 – Real Disposable Personal Income (National)

International & Border Issues (10%)

Enacting a Carbon Fee and Dividend in the U.S., especially with a Border Carbon Adjustment, will encourage other developed nations to follow suit. Our Border Carbon Adjustment prevents the carbon fee from creating any disadvantage to American businesses in the import/export markets.

Related Laser Talks

Webinars Introduction to Border Carbon Adjustments
Climate and the Military (9%)

American military leaders have consistently named climate change as a major national security threat, not only for its impact on military assets but also as a ‘threat multiplier’ in conflict areas where the U.S. maintains a vital presence.

Webinar: National Security and Climate

Climate Leadership Council (8%)

The Climate Leadership Council is not Citizens’ Climate Lobby, but a separate Republican-led group that has proposed a somewhat similar plan. Their proposal shows that the general approach of placing a fee on carbon and returning revenue to households can gain traction among conservatives.

EPA Authority & The Clean Power Plan (8%)

Currently, the U.S. does not regulate CO2 emissions under the Clean Power Plan or any other plan for their impacts on the climate. This Energy Innovation Act prevents the EPA from regulating CO2 and equivalent emissions, which are covered by the bill, for 10 years. If emission targets are not being met after 10 years, Congress directs the EPA to regulate those emissions. The bill does not impact regulations on any other pollutants, including auto mileage standards, water quality and more. Bipartisan legislation like the Energy Innovation Act is necessary to ensure long-term success against climate change.

Ocean Impacts (8%)

Laser Talk: The impact of fossil-based carbon dioxide emissions on the oceans is twofold: warming and acidification. The potential harm to vitally important ocean life and ecosystem services cannot be overstated.


  • Ocean and Climate Interaction
  • The Oceans and Global Change
  • Ocean Acidification
Imposing A Tax (7%)

What’s the difference between a “Fee” and a “Tax?”

A tax has the primary purpose of raising revenue. By contrast, a fee recovers the cost of providing a service from a beneficiary. Since the CCL advocates for revenue-neutrality and a policy that doesn’t grow the government, we are advocating for a fee, not a tax. However, for purposes of discussion you will find carbon tax and carbon fee used interchangeably, and referring to the same type of legislation. This is fine, and don’t let it get in the way of the discussion. The tax or fee do the same thing, which is to include the damage that carbon is doing to our climate, oceans, and health in the price.

Laser Talk: 100% Revenue Neutrality

Nuclear Energy (7%)

Nuclear energy is controversial, but it is largely carbon-free. CCL believes all technologies must compete honestly by pricing all of their externalities, including greenhouse gases as well as other wastes and public safety needs, into the price of the energy they generate.

Laser Talk: Nuclear Energy

Household Impact Study (7%)

The 2014 study of the impact of a carbon fee and dividend type policy on households shows that with an equal per-person dividend, 58 percent of American families will break even or come out ahead. That economic benefit is concentrated among lower-income households.


The Household Impact Study Explained



Further resources about the study, including FAQs and help understanding the results.

State-based Carbon Pricing (6%)
Carbon Capture Sequestration (5%)
Related Topics
Lobbying Congress
Report / Study
File Type
Google Doc, PDF (.pdf), Spreadsheet