Looking for a reason to attend your 2021 town meeting? A swiftly growing campaign to promote bi-partisan federal climate policy may give you a good one!

The Carbon Cash-Back 4ME campaign involves scores of volunteers around the state seeking to place an article in the warrant of their annual town meeting endorsing “cash-back carbon pricing” at the federal level.

The campaign is organized around pending bi-partisan federal legislation (The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act) that proposes a pollution fee to be assessed on fossil fuels on the basis of the amount of greenhouse gases they will emit.

The fee will be charged at the mine, well, or port of entry and so will NOT be in the form of a consumer tax. All of the fees will be returned to American households in equal monthly checks for each adult, with half-shares for children. This is the “cash-back” part.

Beginning at $15/ton of carbon emissions, the fee will gradually increase over the years and exert a market influence that will shift the economy toward non-polluting fuels.

The carbon-fee-and-dividend policy outlined in the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act was originally conceived by former Secretary of State George Shultz and Nobel economist Larry Becker years ago, when they proposed it as a response to a “market failure” that has resulted in too much carbon pollution.

The failure, they reasoned, was due to under-valuing the negative externalities (bad effects) of burning fossil fuels. They saw that if the health costs and damage to the environment were to be assessed realistically, cheaper energy sources such as solar and wind would be chosen by consumers and a market correction will occur.

Meanwhile, as prices slowly rise for items that involve fossil fuels, consumers will receive monthly dividends to compensate. Studies show that two thirds of households will come out ahead, with the wealthiest households usually contributing most to the fees, due to high-consumption lifestyles.

Projections indicate that this market-based approach will result in 40% reductions in carbon emissions in the first 12 years, and 80% by 2050, create over 2 million jobs, and save hundreds of thousands of lives from pollution-induced ailments.

CCB4ME seeks to increase the visibility of this carbon pricing scheme, to garner constituent support and turn it into town meeting resolutions that will be brought to the attention of state and federal lawmakers. The goal is to have 50 Maine towns pass resolutions endorsing national cash-back carbon pricing in 2021, and to convey this to lawmakers.

To find out if your town will be including such an item on the 2021 warrant, email [email protected] If so, be sure to go vote! If not, consider becoming a Town Champion. Everything you need to know is found at the website https://www.carboncashback4me.org/home and a great group of people will support you.

If you are concerned about the climate and want a big, bi-partisan solution, here’s your chance to make a difference!

 

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