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Frequently Raised Topics in Lobby Meetings

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A helpful resource providing CCL supporters with answers, guidance or background information to the most frequently raised topics encountered in prior congressional meetings.
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Usage Instructions
The data below is from CCL's annual June Meeting Analysis. Use the chart and resources below to anticipate what you might be asked and prepare for your own upcoming lobby meetings.
  • The chart below shows how often the topics listed came up in Congressional lobby meetings in 2020.
  • The headings show you how the results break down across each chamber, political party and key committees.
  • Red and blue color depth matches the frequency / percent of meetings in which the topic was discussed. 
    • Red = topic brought up in over 10% of offices. 
    • Blue = topic not as common and brought up in under 10% of offices.
Frequently Raised Topics Chart

Click on the chart image to link to the 2020 spreadsheet.

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The list below organizes these topics in rank order based on their frequency and provides helpful CCL resources and recommendations in preparing for your next meeting.
 
The Dividend (25%)

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

Impact on Jobs (20%)

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.

Carbon Capture and Sequestration (17%)

Carbon dioxide (CO2) that is removed from an emissions source and then ‘sequestered’ from the atmosphere doesn’t contribute to global warming or ocean acidification.  That’s why the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act offers carbon fee refunds for CO2 captured and sequestered from fossil fuel combustion. Operators of the sequestration sites must guarantee the safety and permanence of their CO2 storage.

Laser Talk: Carbon Capture & Storage

Frontline/Environmental Justice (17%)
Infrastructure/Highways (17%)
Agriculture (16%)

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.

International & Border Issues (15%)

Enacting the Energy Innovation Act 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

Training: Understanding Border Carbon Adjustments
Importance of Endorsers (13%)

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

Bridge/Wedge (11%)

CCL believes the best way to make climate change a bridge not a wedge issue is to cosponsor the bipartisan Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act. Americans do not lack for topics that wedge us apart. These days, it’s harder to name topics that unite us. This is too bad, because strong majorities of Americans (78%) say they want elected officials to cooperate across political lines, to be respectful to each other, and to compromise. Bipartisan legislators see real boosts to their reputations from such behavior, as they are perceived as listening to voters, and less self interested. Further, opposite party voters like legislators better when they bridge the partisan divide. It’s time politicians started treating climate as a bridge issue. There are real political benefits to be gained, and the physics of the climate, graphically highlighted in the recent special report on a 1.5° C target from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), make clear that it's time to act.

Another way CCL aims to foster bipartisanship on climate is through our supporting ask bills. CCL has identified a handful of bipartisan climate bills that are complementary to a carbon price. These are great asks for Members of Congress who already cosponsor the Energy Innovation Act or those who aren’t ready to sign on to our bill but are looking for other positive steps to make. 

Supporting ask bill summaries and one pagers: Bills supporting bipartisan climate action

Impact on Low-Income Households (10%)

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.

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Energy Storage (10%)
Local Climate Change Impacts (10%)

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 & Pollution (9%)
Climate Solutions Caucus (9%)
Ocean Impacts (9%)
Nuclear Energy (9%)

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

Renewable Tax Credit (9%)
Energy/Consumer Costs (8%)

The Carbon Fee will increase energy costs at the consumer level, but the equal-per-person Carbon Dividend will allow 68 percent of Americans 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)

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REMI Study, figure 3.20 – Energy Commodity Prices

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

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

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Green New Deal (8%)

The Green New Deal is a set of goals that was written into a non-binding resolution introduced in House of Representatives in February 2019.  CCL is encouraged to see supporters of the Green New Deal raising the urgency of climate change in the media and in the halls of Congress. We share their goal of transitioning away from fossil fuels while creating jobs and boosting the economy.

Laser Talk: CCL & The Green New Deal

Rural Residents (8%)
Select Committee (7%)
Regulatory Pause (7%)

Currently, the U.S. does not regulate CO2 emissions under the Clean Power Plan or any other policy. The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act suspends EPA enforcement of any regulations on CO2 and other greenhouse gas  emissions that are subject to the carbon fee for 10 years. If GHG emissions fall short of the targets in the bill after 10 years, Congress directs the EPA to impose whatever regulations are needed to fill the gap . The bill does not impact regulations on any other pollutants, nor on auto mileage standards, aircraft emissions, methane leakage, water quality, or any other rules protecting public health. Bipartisan legislation like the Energy Innovation Act is necessary to ensure long-term success against climate change.

Trees (7%)
En-ROADS (7%)

The online En-ROADS modeling tool from Climate Interactive is a powerful and fun-to-use model showing how various policies will affect climate-warming emissions. En-ROADS is a global model, so it cannot accurately represent the impacts of a U.S.-only policy like the Energy Innovation Act, but it can yield an enlightening perspective on how various actions, if adopted globally, are likely to affect climate outcomes.

Energy Efficiency (7%)

Reducing wasted energy -- increasing energy efficiency -- is considered the low-hanging fruit of decarbonization. This also saves money for businesses and consumers. Putting a predictable price on carbon is the most powerful way to overcome the artificially low price of fossil energy and incentivize the up-front investments needed to increase energy efficiency.

Imposing A Tax (5%)

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: Revenue Neutrality

Cost to Business (5%)
Transition Assistance (5%)
Soil Sequestration (4%)
Develop Tech/Innovation (4%)
Call/Letter (4%)
Related Trainings
Category
Resource
Topics
Lobbying Congress
Format
Report / Study
File Type
Google Doc, PDF (.pdf), Spreadsheet