Cap and Dividend Policy Update #29

From the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Mike Tidwell, director

Compiled and edited by Ted Glick, CCAN National Campaign Coordinator

April 9, 2012

The Chesapeake Climate Action Network supports efforts to advance the policy known as “cap and dividend,” first introduced by Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Susan Collins (R-ME) in December, 2009. Learn more at Since that time, this bipartisan approach has continued to attract interest and coverage. CCAN continues to produce and distribute this periodic newsletter to keep the clean energy community updated on those developments.  

Click here to view past Cap and Dividend Policy Updates.


In This Issue:

#1: Don’t Blame Marc

#2: Goodbye Cap and Trade, Hello Fee and Dividend?

#3: Bipartisan Support Grows for Carbon Fee as Part of Debt Deal

#4: How to Restore the Middle Class

#5: The Clean Energy Dividend

#6: Reuters: California Eyes Dividends, Deficit Cuts from Cap-and-trade

#7: Where is Obama’s Climate Change Agenda, a discussion with James Boyce and Joe Romm

#8: At Last, a Bill to Tax Carbon

#1   Don’t Blame Marc:  “And he is right that Obama is not responsible for high (or low) gas prices and that many of us believe the very best solution to both our economic and climate crises is a carbon tax.  What Marc left out is the “two” in the “one-two punch” and that is the dividend.
For the full article:

#2   Goodbye Cap and Trade, Hello Fee and Dividend?

“One of those ideas re-emerged last month when MSNBC talk-show host Dylan Ratigan invited Treehugger’s Brian Merchant onto his show to talk about Merchant’s piece on the true cost of fossil fuels. The idea? ‘Fee and dividend.’”
For the full article:

#3   Bipartisan Support Grows for Carbon Fee as Part of Debt Deal

“I don’t think, however, a debt deal is going to include anything that looks like a tradable carbon allowance — either cap-and-trade or ‘cap-and-dividend.’ A ‘fee’ is much more likely because of its simplicity. The vast majority of the money raised would have to go to deficit reduction for this to be politically viable.”
For the full article:

#4   How to Restore the Middle Class, by Peter Barnes

“Alaska’s model can be extended to any state or nation, whether or not they have oil.  Imagine an American Permanent Fund that pays dividends to all Americans, one person, one share.  A major source of revenue could be clean air, nature’s gift to us all. Polluters have been freely dumping ever-increasing amounts of gunk into our air, contributing to ill-health, acid rain, and climate change. But what if we required polluters to bid for and pay for permits to pollute our air, and decreased the number of permits every year? Pollution would decrease, and as it did, pollution prices would rise. Less pollution would yield more revenue. Over time, trillions of dollars would be available for dividends.”
For the full article:

#5   The Clean Energy Dividend

“There’s no concept of ‘carbon offsets’ in a Clean Energy Dividend system: no polluter can reach for indulgences to cheaply avoid the fee imposed. It’s a direct, simple mechanism, and one that can be easily explained to the average voter. It’s also something that’s hard to inveigh against as a partisan scheme (though no doubt some will try)”
For the full article:

#6   Reuters: California Eyes Dividends, Deficit Cuts from Cap-and-trade

“Revenue raised by California’s greenhouse-gas emissions trading program could be distributed to state residents to offset higher fuel costs or used to reduce the state’s projected deficits, a state budget watchdog agency said on Thursday. ‘Our analysis indicates that such revenues could be returned directly to Californians – such as in the form of a check – as a dividend that would be intended to offset their increased expenditures on goods and services that ultimately would become more expensive as a result of the cap-and-trade program,’ the Legislative Analyst’s Office said in a report.”
For the full article:

#7   Where is Obama’s Climate Change Agenda, a discussion with James Boyce and Joe Romm

“And I personally think that had the Democrats taken a different tack and had they gone for a cap and dividend policy that would have auctioned the permits, rather than giving them away, and would have used the money to protect the real incomes of American families, I think the bill might have had a better chance of getting through this Congress, and certainly would’ve had a better chance of enduring for the 40-year energy transition. It’s my hope that when this comes back on the agenda, this is the way we’re going to go.”
For the full article:

#8   At Last, a Bill to Tax Carbon

“If enacted, Stark’s bill would generate massive amounts of revenue, a tantalizing prospect in cash-strapped Washington. But rather than spend the money on a plethora of pet projects or sops to the fossil fuel industry, the Save Our Climate Act would divvy up most of the revenue and return it to American consumers as an annual payment.  The ‘dividend’ from the carbon tax would therefore offset rising energy costs that households will experience from the carbon tax. And the more people do to reduce their carbon footprint — increasing energy efficiency, driving electric or hybrid vehicles — the more dividends they get to keep.”

For the full article:


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