This guest blog post was written by Linda “Diz” Swift, of the League of Women Voters of Berkeley Albany Emeryville.
Have you wondered what you can do to fight climate change? One of the most critical actions is putting a price on carbon emissions.
There are two methods to price carbon – cap and trade or carbon tax. Both can work, and the League of Women Voters supports both. Carbon pricing is growing in states and regions of the U.S. so now is the time to champion state efforts and/or lobby your Congress members to take action.
Getting a federal price on carbon has been a long (and so far, losing) fight. We’ve had over 50 Congressional attempts for a U.S. price on carbon since 1990, but only one made it out of committee. This year a carbon tax (H.R. 763) has again been introduced in Congress with bi-partisan support. It will likely get serious consideration in the House but is unlikely to pass the Senate.
Carbon Pricing is Growing
The real action is in the states, with cap and trade growing on both coasts and many state carbon tax proposals.
Cap and trade is growing. California’s system is thriving and similar systems are being considered in Oregon, Pennsylvania, and possibly Washington state. Nine New England and mid-Atlantic states have cap and trade for power plant emissions which is also successful, and some states are considering expanding the system to transportation.
Carbon tax is another viable carbon pricing mechanism but has so far been a hard sell. Several states have proposed legislation or ballot initiatives, but none has yet passed.
You Can Help!
Track your state’s action here.
Get on the price of carbon mailing list (email [email protected]).
Learn about carbon pricing.
It’s time for all hands on deck. Let’s make a difference.