Washington, D.C. is at the forefront of cities nationwide when it comes to promoting clean energy and tackling the climate crisis head-on. Now it’s time for D.C. to lead again—not only in cutting fossil fuel pollution but in creating a more just and sustainable economy for all.
That’s why, starting in 2015, we have been working with partners across the District to put a price on carbon. By making fossil fuel polluters pay for the real and damaging costs of their emissions, we can unleash the clean energy solutions we need, and make D.C. families better off in the process.
Sign your business onto the campaign: Click here to find our how your business can add its support for a D.C. Carbon Fee and Rebate.
How Would a Carbon Fee Work For D.C.?
We know that putting a price on carbon is one of the most straightforward and cost-effective ways to fight climate change and spur more clean energy. Here’s how it could work in D.C.:
1) Make polluters pay:
Companies that buy and sell fossil fuels in the District would pay a fee on each ton of heat-trapping pollution they cause. The price, rising steadily over time, would reflect the damage these emissions inflict on our health, air and water, and climate.
2) Rebate nearly 100% of the revenue to D.C. residents:
Starting on day one, nearly all of the money raised would be returned in equal amounts—through a quarterly “rebate”—to every D.C. resident. This would put more money into the pockets of D.C. families, ensuring that low-income and middle class residents are better off in the transition to clean energy. The rebate would more than offset any rise in consumer prices for the vast majority of residents. In fact, an initial analysis of a D.C. carbon fee set at a mere $20 per ton would yield about $225 per resident per year, increasing steadily over time to over $1,100 by year eight of the program.
3) Ensure cleaner air and a healthier economy:
A carbon fee will mean less carbon pollution wrecking our lungs and our atmosphere, more investment into energy efficiency solutions, and a faster transition to clean, renewable energy sources. D.C. families would benefit both economically and environmentally from cleaner air and water, new jobs created in energy efficiency and renewable energy, and more money in family bank accounts.
D.C. Can Lead the Way to a Just and Sustainable Economy
By pledging to slash greenhouse gas emissions 50% by 2032, D.C. has already committed to one of the boldest climate action goals in the county. By putting a price on carbon pollution and rebating nearly all proceeds back to District residents, the city could turn that goal into a reality and make D.C. the healthiest, greenest, and most livable city in the United States.
D.C. can be a trailblazer on the East Coast for progressive climate policy—sending a strong message to our national leaders on Capitol Hill—while ensuring D.C. families gain better health and economic security in the process.
And D.C. will join a growing movement of cities and states across North America. Boulder, Colorado enacted a carbon fee in 2006. The province of Alberta passed one last year. And carbon fee proposals are under consideration in statehouses from New York to Oregon.
For more information, and to get involved in building the campaign, contact Camila Thorndike, CCAN’s Carbon Pricing Coordinator, at email@example.com.
Tell Mayor Bowser and the D.C. Council to support a Carbon Fee and Rebate Program: Click here to sign the petition.
Add your business to the growing D.C. Put A Price On It Coalition: Click here to join the coalition and to learn more about how your business can amplify the campaign.
News & Resources
Climate Activists Propose D.C. Carbon Fee. The GW Hatchet. February 2017.
“Put A Price On It D.C.” Is Taking Off! CCAN Blog Post. February 2017.
Pricing Pollution in the District: The Carbon Fee and Rebate. CCAN Fact Sheet. January 2017.
D.C. Renewable Energy Programs for Businesses. CCAN Fact Sheet. January 2017.
Lobby training builds people’s political power for 2017 and beyond. Citizens’ Climate Lobby Blog. January 2017.
D.C. Carbon Fee Sign-Up Sheet for Campaign Events. Volunteer Resource.