Energy Innovation Act of 2018 Reflects General Convention Resolution

Posted on December 11, 2018

The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2018, introduced November 27, 2018 in the U.S. Congress as HR 7173, incorporates the most important provisions of carbon fee and dividend: a fee on carbon emissions at the source that starts at $15 per ton and goes up $10 per year, and a full dividend is allocated to households. 

“Sponsored by three Republicans and four Democrats, this may be the strongest and most comprehensive climate bill ever submitted to Congress,” says Emily Hopkins of St. Paul’s Walnut Creek, who is also an activist focused on a solution to the climate crisis. In 2016, she joined her local chapter of Citizens Climate Lobby and learned about this national legislative proposal. She traveled to Washington, D.C., for training as a citizen lobbyist, met with three members of Congress on Capitol Hill to discuss climate solutions, and she was hooked.

“I returned home to a Contra Costa Deanery meeting so empowered and hopeful,” says Hopkins. With an eye toward gaining support from Episcopalians in every state, Hopkins developed a resolution for the 2017 Convention of the Diocese of California; the first step. It passed.

Hopkins immediately registered as a visitor to the 79th General Convention of the Episcopal Church, a triennial event, and she accompanied the DioCal delegation led by Bishop Marc Andrus to Austin, Texas, in July 2018. She testified at the committee hearing for Resolution C020 - Carbon Tax – a proceeding quite similar to how our U.S. Congress works, she says.

The result: the 79th General Convention of The Episcopal Church resolved to “support public policy which may include Carbon Fee and Dividend model or other means accounting for greenhouse gas emissions from carbon based fuels … advocate for appropriate measures to reduce the economic impacts on poor people and people of modest income, which means might include use of a trust fund paid for with carbon fees and distributed to the poorest people first.”

The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2018 keeps much of the carbon fee and dividend proposal intact. The main features of this policy are:

  • Effective: This policy will reduce America’s emissions by at least 40% within 12 years.
  • Good for people: it will improve health and save lives by reducing pollution that Americans breathe.
  • Good for the economy: it will create 2.1 million additional jobs over the next 10 years, thanks to growth in the clean energy economy.
  • Bipartisan: Republicans and Democrats are both on board, cosponsoring this bill together.
  • Revenue neutral: The fees collected on carbon emissions will be allocated to all Americans to spend any way they choose.

“Best of all (to me) is that the dividend will be delivered to people a month before the fee on carbon, delivering an economic boost most needed by low- and middle-income households.” We anticipate reintroducing the bill in early 2019.

For more information and a link to the text of the bill, energyinnovationact.org

General Convention Resolution C020 is at vbinder.net/resolutions/C020?house=hd&lang=en&v=7256d6