Messaging For the Energy Innovation Act
Focusing on the four main messages
When talking about the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, we always want to stay focused as much as possible on our high level messaging as found on the Energy Innovation Act website or on our Energy Innovation Act Fact Sheet.
Net Zero by 2050
This policy will reduce America’s carbon pollution by 30% in the first 5 years alone, and is the single most powerful tool we have to get us to net zero by 2050. Learn more from recent carbon pricing studies.
Affordable Clean Energy
America leads the world with technology innovation. When government puts a price on carbon, it sends a signal through the economy. Businesses respond by becoming more energy efficient and developing new sources of clean energy. These innovations will provide abundant, affordable and reliable clean energy and drive us faster toward net zero carbon pollution.
Money in Your Pocket
A carbon tax becomes affordable for ordinary Americans when the money collected from fossil fuel companies is given as a dividend, or”carbon cash back” payment, to every American to spend with no restrictions. This protects low- and middle-income Americans who otherwise might not be able to afford the transition.
Studies show that the monthly carbon cash back payments are enough to cover increased costs of 85% of American households, including 95% of the least wealthy 60% Americans. This type of carbon tax is called a “carbon fee and dividend”. Citizens’ Climate Lobby has been advocating for this policy for over a decade.
A carbon price will save 4.5 million American lives by 2050 by restoring clean air across the country. It will have particular impact in communities of color, which have suffered the worst health impacts of burning fossil fuels. Exposure to air pollution has also made people in communities of color more vulnerable to the worst impacts of COVID-19.
Air pollution from fossil fuels, and its impact on our health, is worse than we thought. New research shows that premature deaths in America each year due to air pollution are nearly twice as high as previously understood. As many as 1 in 10 American deaths today is caused by air pollution.
A price on carbon will put Americans back to work in well paid, stable, local jobs in clean energy and energy efficiency. An investment in clean energy today will lead to approximately 3 times as many jobs as an investment in fossil fuels.
Keeps Businesses Healthy
Businesses prefer a carbon price to other climate solutions because they remain financially stable while they adjust their operations, thanks to a predictable and gradually rising price on carbon. They will not lose time or spend extra money trying to understand complicated new regulations and rules and incorporate them into their plans.
A price on carbon is the best climate solution for America’s economy because it is the most cost-efficient way to lower America’s pollution. To match its impact, multiple regulations across economic sectors would be needed, at an additional cost of hundreds of billions of dollars every year to America’s economy.
The net climate and health benefits of a carbon tax are estimated at $800 billion each year. If we fail to take climate action, economists estimate that global wealth could fall by 25% by 2100, with an increasing number of Americans falling into poverty.
Similarly, when describing how the bill works, we want to keep it simple and high level like we do on the How it Works page on the Energy Innovation Act website or on our Energy Innovation Act Fact Sheet. Our Infographic also has some good high-level points.
What if I get more detailed questions?
See the Handling Challenging Questions About the Energy Innovation Act training for additional guidance on how to best engage with others who have questions and critiques regarding CCL’s approach and preferred policy solution. The Handling Challenging Questions Resource is available to anticipate many commonly asked questions and some potential responses that you can use. It can be a good study guide to have available when doing outreach and, like all of CCL's communication resources, feel free to modify to fit your circumstance.
There is also an Energy Innovation Act Q&A page written for volunteers that may have additional detail beyond what the public generally needs.
- Lesley Beatty