Climate Policy Education Campaign Kicks Off

April 12, 2010

“Tax that Pays You Back” initiative highlights benefits of alternative measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

WASHINGTON, April 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — With Tax Day approaching on April 15, the U.S. Climate Task Force (CTF) announced a new campaign today to educate Americans on the financial benefits of a carbon tax for households across the country. “The Tax that Pays You Back” initiative underscores the advantages of recycling the revenues from a tax on carbon emissions back to American families. With this approach to climate change, a simple, transparent tax is applied to energy based on its carbon content, so businesses and households will prefer climate-friendly fuels, and most of the revenues generated return to households in the form of cuts in payroll or other taxes.

Many Americans, as well as many politicians, have an instinctive, negative reaction to the word ‘tax,’” explains Elaine C. Kamarck, former senior policy advisor to Vice President Al Gore and current CTF Co-chair. “But not all taxes are created equal. A carbon tax – as ‘The Tax that Pays You Back’ – would help reduce greenhouse gas emissions while simultaneously putting cash back in consumers’ pockets. Under this program, 90% of those revenues would go back to households.

To fix climate change, we have to put a real price on carbon, notes CTF Chair Robert J. Shapiro, former U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce and senior economic advisor to Bill Clinton. “That’s the only way to get businesses and households to invest in developing and using less carbon-intensive fuels and technologies. And cap-and-trade can’t do that, because it makes the price of carbon and the underlying energy even more volatile than today.

These shortcomings of carbon trading help explain why a survey conducted by Hart Research found that the American public favors a carbon tax over cap and trade by nearly two-to-one — even when it’s referred to as a ‘tax.’ By adopting a direct carbon tax and then using the revenues to fund reductions in payroll or other distorting taxes, we can protect people’s incomes and the overall economy while driving the investments required for a clean energy economy. In this regard, a carbon tax is not only ‘The Tax that Pays You Back,’ but also the policy that puts us on the right track for the climate.

To request more information or to schedule an interview with a CTF expert, please email twhitefield@climatetaskforce.org or call +1-202-579-1103.

The U.S. Climate Task Force (CTF) was created to be a leading voice in the discussion of policy options available to contain the risks of climate change. Founded by Sonecon and joined by Future 500, CTF is advocating that the United States government takes the lead in the global effort to combat climate change by enacting legislation that encourages cost-effective technological advances, innovation and efficiency in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

To date, Washington has focused on a narrow range of legislative proposals, many of which inadequately address the entirety of the issue. By offering a unique forum for original research and stakeholder engagement, CTF is fostering a robust discussion about the full range of policy options available to address climate change, to help ensure that whatever climate change action is taken substantially and measurably reduces emissions while imposing the least burden on the economy.

SOURCE The U.S. Climate Task Force

Source: newswire

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