Cap and Dividend Policy Update #11

From the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Mike Tidwell, director
Compiled and edited by Ted Glick, CCAN Policy Director

June 7, 2010

The Chesapeake Climate Action Network has launched a weekly policy update about efforts to advance “cap and dividend” legislation in the U.S. Congress. The fight for this climate policy is currently being led on Capitol Hill by Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Susan Collins (R-ME), S. 2877. Last December these Senators introduced the Carbon Limits and Energy for America’s Renewal Act, or CLEAR Act. Learn more at

Week of May 30-June 6:  As the Senate prepares for an important vote on June 10th on the seriously flawed Murkowski proposal, the continuing BP oil blowout disaster has clearly had an impact on Capitol Hill and in the White House. Obama and Harry Reid strengthened their public language last week about the importance of passing climate legislation, as George Lakoff called upon Obama to support the CLEAR Act. On the other side of the country, another California town endorsed the CLEAR Act and newspapers in Seattle and Flathead, Mt. carried stories that include expressed support for the bill. And a just-released MIT study analyzes the “distributional impact” of Waxman-Markey, the Kerry-Boxer bill and the CLEAR Act.

In This Issue:

  1. George Lakoff calls upon Obama to support the CLEAR Act
  2. Obama declares he will find the votes for a clean-energy bill
  3. Reid pushes to move energy bill in July
  4. Seattle “moms in tennis shoes on it day in and day out”
  5. Flathead, Montana residents press their Senators on climate change bill
  6. Fifth Sonoma County, Ca. town endorses CLEAR Act
  7. MIT study analyzes “distributional implications of alternative U.S. GHG control measures”

#1  George Lakoff calls upon Obama to support the CLEAR Act

In an article, “Obama’s Missing Moral Narrative,” posted on, George Lakoff, professor of linguistics and a prominent political analyst, called upon Obama to “support the Cantwell-Collins CLEAR ACT, which will actually cut gasoline consumption radically by 2050 and carbon emissions by 80% by 2050, while stimulating the economy by providing significant financial dividends to all adult citizens, eliminating government imposition on business, and making those who profit from selling polluting fuel pay to clean it up and develop alternative energy. CLEAR is far superior to cap-and-trade alternatives.”

For the full article, go to:

#2  Obama declares he will find the votes for a clean-energy bill

During a major speech on June 2nd in Pittsburgh, President Obama, “seizing on a disastrous oil spill to advance a cause, called on Congress to roll back billions of dollars in tax breaks for oil and pass a clean-energy bill that he says would help the nation end its dependence on fossil fuels. Obama predicted that he would find the political support for legislation that would dramatically alter the way Americans fuel their homes and cars, including placing a price on carbon pollution, even though such legislation is politically divisive and remains bogged down in the Senate. ’The votes may not be there right now, but I intend to find them in the coming months,’ Obama told an audience at Carnegie Mellon University. ‘I will continue to make the case for a clean energy future wherever and whenever I can, and I will work with anyone to get this done. And we will get it done.’”

For the full Associated Press article go to:

#3  Reid pushes to move energy bill in July

On the day after Obama’s Pittsburgh speech, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid “alerted Senate committee chairmen that he plans to move comprehensive energy legislation in July. Reid asked the chairmen to recommend legislation to deal with the Gulf oil spill before July 4 so that leaders can include those ideas in the comprehensive energy package. Reid has said he would meet with his committee chairmen next week to discuss how to proceed on energy reform. He has said he would then convene a meeting of the entire caucus during the week of June 14 to talk about it.”

For the full article go to:

#4  Seattle “moms in tennis shoes on it day in and day out”

In a letter published in the West Seattle Herald, Beth Doglio and Terri Glaberson explain that “we are two moms in tennis shoes beating the pavement to reduce our community’s carbon footprint with a fierce determination to leave a healthier planet for our children. Whether it be working to encourage other moms to find less energy intensive ways to cart kids around, run a household or pass polices aimed at curbing global warming, we’re on it day in and day out. The debate in the US Senate is finally in full swing about the policy we need – a cap on carbon. Senator Cantwell has introduced the CLEAR Act and Senator Kerry has introduced the American Power Act. For our children’s sake, we’re counting on our Senators Murray and Cantwell to continue their relentless work in pressing their colleagues to pass a comprehensive climate bill this year.”

For the full letter go to:

#5 Flathead, Montana residents press their Senators on climate change bill

In an article in the May 23rd Flathead Beacon about local residents traveling to Washington to lobby their Senators, Kyla Wiens is quoted in support of the cap-and-dividend approach: “the Montana Environmental Information Center [does not] see the Kerry-Lieberman bill as the best climate change legislation in Congress at present. ‘We definitely agree with the goals in the bill, which is to reduce carbon emissions,’ Kyla Wiens, who tracks federal climate bills for MEIC, said. ‘Beyond that, we don’t like the way that it’s structured. ’The MEIC has long favored a ‘cap-and-dividend’ approach, where a price is set on carbon emissions and all proceeds go back to the public.”

For the full article go to:

#6  Fifth Sonoma County, Ca. town endorses CLEAR Act

On June 2nd the town council of Windsor, Ca. unanimously decided to endorse the CLEAR Act. This made them the fifth city in Sonoma County to do so. To see a picture of the Windsor council and the other councils, go to:

#7  MIT study analyzes “distributional implications of alternative U.S. GHG control measures”

A just released, 48 page study by the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change looks at the impacts of “recently proposed legislation includ[ing] the Waxman-Markey House bill, the similar Kerry-Boxer bill in the Senate that has been replaced by a Kerry-Lieberman draft bill, and the Cantwell-Collins Senate bill that takes a different approach to revenue allocation. We consider allocation schemes motivated by these recent proposals applied to a comprehensive national cap and trade system.”

For the full study go to:

CCAN encourages readers of the Cap and Dividend Policy Update to distribute it to others who might be interested. We welcome input on the contents of this publication and ideas for what could be included. Send to Ted Glick at To find out more about CCAN go to