Marin Chapter Newsletter
July 5, 2020

CCL exists to create the political will for climate solutions by enabling individual breakthroughs in the exercise of personal and political power. -- Mission Statement

Looking for something to do?
Here are perfectly safe ways to educate yourself:
The Essentials:
Robert Archer
Yale trained, veteran USAID energy economist,
Marin CCL steering committee member and
Lead, CCL Economics Policy Network

Deeply understand the wisdom of carbon fee and dividend
Marin CCL Virtual Membership Meeting
Saturday, July 11 at 9 AM,
just ahead of the 10 AM national call
Guest Speaker, Jon Haveman
Executive Director

Marin CCL steering committee member, former Chief Economist at the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, Director of the Economy Program at the Public Policy Institute of California, senior economist with the President's Council of Economic Advisers and an economist with the Federal Trade Commission.

Jon will focus on the carbon pricing recommendations in the House Climate Crisis Committee report released last week: Cap and Trade, Carbon Taxes and Regulations.

Followed by the
CCL National Call
Focusing on the psychology of environmental activism
Drumroll, please!
Congratulations to the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis on the release of their long awaited report.
It's amazing.
On June 30, the Democratic members of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis released an exhaustive roadmap outlining how the United States can shift away from artificially "cheap" fossil energy towards a safer, healthier, more just and stable climate future.

Among the many recommendations in this 538 page report for sector-by-sector regulations and subsidies (and the end of some), the report has a short section (page 286), with seven principles for how Congress should implement carbon pricing

They make powerful arguments for putting a carbon price at the center of climate mitigation strategies. For those who might not read the entire report (but you should look at it anyway), here are some highlights, followed by analysis from the Niskanen Center:

Put a Price on Carbon Pollution

"The environmental and societal costs of greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of fossil fuels are clear, including loss of life and property damage caused by wildfires, stronger hurricanes, and other extreme weather events. When a ton of carbon pollution billows from a smokestack, however, no one pays for that pollution. As a result, industry, investors, and consumers do not internalize the true cost of the choices they are making and have less incentive to choose less-polluting products or technologies. Until the market reflects the true cost of carbon pollution, the U.S. economy will remain biased toward fossil fuel combustion."

One way to correct this market failure is to put a price on each ton of pollution. Congress could design a comprehensive climate plan without a carbon price, but a carbon price “percolates through the entire economy, providing an incentive for all decision makers in the economy to look for ways to reduce emissions.”

Align Tax Codes with Climate Goals (p285)

"Clean energy technology faces several structural barriers to rapid and widespread deployment. At the top of the list is a tax code that benefits oil, coal, and other incumbent energy technologies over new technologies and an economic system that fails to account for the cost of carbon pollution in energy prices.

Congress should ensure that the U.S. tax code aligns with the national goal of achieving net-zero emissions by no later than 2050. As a start, Congress should repeal unnecessary tax breaks for the oil and gas industry."

Environmental Justice (p287)

"...the federal government (should) integrate environmental justice in its decision-making; engage members of low-income communities and communities of color and build their capacity to participate in the policy-making process; the EPA (should) enforce the law and address the disparate health impacts of cumulative pollution in environmental justice communities.

And here's the consensus opinion (a rare event) by almost 3,600 professional US economists -- left, right and center -- on how to reduce emissions in the most efficient, effective and equitable manner -- with a carbon tax. It's signed by 27 Nobel Laureate economists, 4 former Chairs of the Federal Reserve, 15 former Chairs of the Council of Economic Advisers, 2 former Treasury Secretaries and a vast array of academic economists.

"Global climate change is a serious problem calling for immediate national action. Guided by sound economic principles, we are united in the following policy recommendations. 

I.           A carbon tax offers the most cost-effective lever to reduce carbon emissions at the scale and speed that is necessary. By correcting a well-known market failure, a carbon tax will send a powerful price signal that harnesses the invisible hand of the marketplace to steer economic actors towards a low-carbon future. 

II.          A carbon tax should increase every year until emissions reductions goals are met and be revenue neutral to avoid debates over the size of government. A consistently rising carbon price will encourage technological innovation and large-scale infrastructure development. It will also accelerate the diffusion of carbon-efficient goods and services. 

III.        A sufficiently robust and gradually rising carbon tax will replace the need for various carbon regulations that are less efficient. Substituting a price signal for cumbersome regulations will promote economic growth and provide the regulatory certainty companies need for long- term investment in clean-energy alternatives. 

IV.         To prevent carbon leakage and to protect U.S. competitiveness, a border carbon adjustment system should be established. This system would enhance the competitiveness of American firms that are more energy-efficient than their global competitors. It would also create an incentive for other nations to adopt similar carbon pricing. 

V.          To maximize the fairness and political viability of a rising carbon tax, all the revenue should be returned directly to U.S. citizens through equal lump-sum rebates. The majority of American families, including the most vulnerable, will benefit financially by receiving more in carbon dividends than they pay in increased energy prices."

Again, CCL congratulates the House Committee staff and leadership, including our own Rep. Jared Huffman, for this outstanding and comprehensive work. The fierce urgency of the science requires that a carbon tax be considered fundamental to the elaborate agenda outlined, which will take years to accomplish.
And there's more!
The Inevitability Of A National Carbon Price
Dividends can benefit consumers while building momentum towards renewables.
The Climate Club
How to Fix a Failing Global Effort

Do you know what "the prisoner's dilemma" and "free-riders" are?(No, not Easy Rider.) Do you think the Paris Accord will save us? (It won't.)

2018 Nobel economics laureate, Yale professor William Nordhaus, argues that a carbon tax with border carbon tariffs is the most effective mechanism to harness the global economy towards civilization's survival.
And if fossil fuels stay "cheap?"
The Commonwealth Club
Tuesday, July 21, noon

Science has given us a realistic picture of what Earth will look like with uninhibited levels of climate change: increased extreme weather events, crippled economies, and a world where those with the least are the hardest hit.

What would a radically re-envisioned future look like? What solutions do we need to replace tomorrow’s doom-and-gloom projections with thriving cities, renewed political consciousness, equitable societies and carbon-free economies?

Join climate journalist and The Future Earth author Eric Holthaus and Project Drawdown Vice President Katharine Wilkinson for a conversation on reimagining our role in creating climate solutions.

(Let's hope they appreciate the absolute necessity of harnessing the global economy with effective carbon pricing.)
While sheltering in place, have you been active? (Yes, it's still possible.)
Better days: Bay Area CCL members with Dr. Katharine Hayhoe (front row, blue blazer, big smile) last year when she was awarded the Stephen Schneider Award by the Commonwealth Club, before social distancing became de rigeur.

If you've (safely) done something that qualifies as a CCL activity -- interactions with the media, the public, contact with elected representative -- please let us know. These important stats continue to be very impressive, despite the shutdowns. Please contact Ray Welch with details.
What's New with the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act?
81 Congressional Cosponsors
614 Businesses
98 Faith Groups
100 Local governments
168 Nonprofits
21 News Media
384 Prominent Individuals
Wondering what works?
Become an expert modeler:

Learn from this deep, well documented and fun MIT model what works, how well and what doesn't in lowering emissions and eventual global temperature rise. You'll be surprised. (Trees? Not so much.)

A carbon price is the most powerful tool in the tool box but alone is insufficient. Multiple tools are needed, but without an effective price to incentivize and amplify their impacts , nothing else gets the job done -- not even close.
Please contribute to Marin CCL
Help cover printing and other expenses for tabling, outreach, youth participation, etc.
Send your (non-tax deductible) check to:
Marin Citizens' Climate Lobby
95 Central Avenue, Sausalito, CA 94965
If everyone contributed 10 bucks we'd be more than fine!

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Prepared by Peter G. Joseph, M.D. 
Apologies for cross postings