Congress is weighing the MARKET CHOICE ACT, which was introduced today to put a price on carbon.
As a network of students and millennials deeply concerned about the future of our planet, Our Climate knows that we can’t wait to pass policies that adequately reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We support a national carbon price as a powerful solution to mitigate climate change and accelerate a just transition to clean energy. We recognize that bipartisan climate policy will be more durable in the long run, and as it stands now, it is the only viable path forward. We are grateful for Republican Representative Carlos Curbelo for recognizing the importance of meaningful action on climate and for proposing the MARKET CHOICE ACT, which would enact a steadily rising fee on carbon emissions starting at $24/ton and rising annually at 2% plus the consumer price index.
There are four important criteria that a well designed price on carbon must meet to be just and effective:
1. The price rises over time and is robust enough to spur the necessary level of emission reductions.
2. The price casts a wide net to cover all emissions-producing sectors.
3. The policy is just and equitable by enacting measures to protect those people most vulnerable to short term rising fossil fuel prices, including low-income households and workers transitioning from heavily fossil fuel dependent industries.
4. The price is durable and enforceable so that it actually changes the economic incentives.
The Curbelo proposal is strong on some criteria, but leaves room for serious improvement. Most notably, the pricing mechanism should be more robust and provide additional support for low and moderate income households. We look forward to working with our members, elected leaders, and fellow organizations to fight for policy that creates a livable future for our young people.
Our Climate student leaders are reviewing how this legislation aligns with our policy principles and what improvements we will ask lawmakers to consider as this bill, and others, move forward. Peter-Jarka Sellers and Malvika Manoj, Our Climate Fellows and Policy Committee members, invite other young people to join this conversation. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Curbelo Analysis” if you would like to weigh in.
Our Climate mobilizes and empowers young people to educate the public and elected officials about science-based, equitable climate policy solutions that build a livable world. Our Climate co-leads the national Put A Price On It Campaign, in partnership with The Years Project.