The Clean Air Relief Act addresses nearly all of the most pressing crises facing the Biden Administration.
A great many Americans have been hurt by the loss of a loved one, the loss of a job, by the economic slow-down reducing hours or income and continue to need ongoing economic support.
We know that air pollution causes the premature deaths of millions of people around the world, including tens of thousands in the U.S. We must address these emissions if we want to reduce healthcare costs.
Climate change and the extreme weather that it causes, is already taking lives and costing Americans billion of dollars. CARA starts to take meaningful action to reduce CO2 emissions across the economy.
This revenue-neutral approach addresses business' need for fair solutions (that align incentives with ability to act) and compensatory funding for those suffering the worst impacts of inequality.
This proposal was the result of an ephiphany that came from simply connecting the urgent need for funding with the funding structure contained in the proposed plan for taxing carbon carbon in a "revenue-neutral" way. By combining and crafting this legislation to be broader and more egalitarian, Biden can address many critical issues at once.
is a legislative approach that provides a continuing stream of Covid relief stimulus
payments to Americans most in need without further impacting the deficit. Modeled upon but distinct from H.R. 763, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividen Act of 2019, CARA imposes a low, baseline fee on all sources of air pollution and then pays that money out to American citizens as Covid relief. In this way, CARA utilizes what has been seen as an increasingly popular
"revenue-neutral" fee structure to reduce a wide range of emissions (not just CO2-e) and use the distribution of those fees to pay for this Covid economic stimulus. In the process, CARA is
simultaneously addressing a host of urgent issues including reduction of toxic air pollution, greenhouse gases and healthcare costs; leveling the field for clean energy and energy innovation by eliminating the free ride enjoyed by polluting businesses which externalize the costs of dealing with their emisisons; providing
extra cash to struggling families, so they can afford to stay in their home and even begin to spend during this crisis, providing reduced tuition costs for students and some relief from environmental
injustice. See The Act for more detail about this proposed legislation.
Unlike with a carbon tax, this proposal speaks primarily to air pollution—a very tangible issue that impacts the health of millions of Americans every day. By setting the amount of the fee per ton of pollution to a low level but applying the fee more broadly across the economy to include all entities that directly emit one or more types of pollution, CARA aligns incentives to reduce emissions by those who are most motivated to invest in solutions. Not only will these fees fund this critical Covid stimulus but they will start to clean up our air pollution and, importantly, start to lessen our impacts on climate change and level the playing field for clean energy to compete.
needs to have a plan on day one that addresses a lot of critical issues. We can't take the risk that Biden pushes through a second or third stimulus bill only to meet up with Republican resistance to further investments towards legislative goals—including those to help support clean energy innovation—during his term. That is why
we are seeking help to share this ingenious concept with the Biden team, so they can see a possible approach for a comprehensive piece of legislation that limits further Covid relief funding to a revenue-neutral approach, a concept that has received a lot of support from Republicans already.
November 2020 through February 2021
We sent out dozens of emailed and even hand-written letters and messages requesting support in bringing this concept to the attention of the Biden Administration and members of his climate team.
January 19, 2020
In an article published by the Washington Examiner, we learn that Martin Durbin, the president of the US Chamber of Commerce's Global Energy Institute, posted a message on its own website with a revision to its position on carbon pricing claiming to now support a market-based solution to climate change, after having resisted it up until this point. This might be the kind of opening that the Biden Administration needs in order to pass a form of carbon pricing that we need so badly.
June 16, 2021
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse has introduced a very similar bill, S.2085 - Save Our Future Act, on June 16th with 7 co-sponsors that is CARA with some modifications. Rather than employing EPA-related fines for emitting pollutants, this bill levies a specific tax on such items. Nevertheless, Whitehouse's SOFA act puts a price on CO2, methane and all GHGs as well as other EPA regulated criteria pollutants! See our new page on SOFA to learn more.