Cap and Dividend Policy Updates #25

From the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Mike Tidwell, Director

Compiled and edited by Ted Glick, CCAN National Campaign Coordinator

March 24, 2011

The Chesapeake Climate Action Network produces and distributes this periodic policy update on 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). In December, 2009 these Senators introduced the Carbon Limits and Energy for America’s Renewal Act, or CLEAR Act. Learn more at

Click here to view past Cap and Dividend Policy Updates.


In This Issue:

#1 The State Column on Maria Cantwell’s confirmation as chair of Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy

#2 New York Times: California Judge Calls Time Out for Climate Change Law

#3 Sojourners Magazine: Taxes and the Common Good

#4 An open letter to President Obama from the Basic Income Network

#5 The Libertarian Climate Conundrum

#6 Another libertarian for a carbon tax, or the CLEAR Act

#1 The State Column on Maria Cantwell’s confirmation as chair of the Subcommittee on Energy for the second consecutive Congress

“Since coming to the Senate, one of Cantwell’s top priorities has been making our nation’s energy system cleaner, more efficient, and more diverse. She is co-author of the bipartisan Carbon Limits and Energy for America’s Renewal (CLEAR) Act, a breakthrough bipartisan, alternative climate bill which uses a simple, market-based system to spur clean-energy job growth, protect Americans from energy price increases, and reduce global warming pollution. The CLEAR Act’s ‘cap-and-dividend’ framework will harness American innovation and enterprise to create jobs and spur new technologies, guard all low and middle income households from energy rate increases through monthly rebates, get government out of the business of picking energy technology and special interest winners and losers, and avert the worst dangers of global warming.”
For the full article go to:

#2 New York Times: California Judge Calls Time Out for Climate Change Law, by Felicity Barringer

“In faulting the Air Resources Board’s consideration of alternatives, Judge Goldstein sounded like a teacher saying that a student had neglected one essay test question almost entirely: ‘Most notably, the scoping plan fails to provide meaningful information of discussion about the carbon fee (or carbon tax) alternative in the scant two paragraphs devoted to this important alternative. The brief 15-line reference to the carbon fee alternatives consists almost entirely of bare conclusions justifying the cap-and-trade decisions. Informative analysis is absent.’”
For the full article go to:

#3 Sojourners Magazine: Taxes and the Common Good, by Chuck Collins

“Perhaps the most critical tax intervention to slow climate change would be to put a price on dumping carbon into the atmosphere, from our transportation, energy, and other sectors. A gradually phased-in tax on carbon would create huge incentives to invest in energy conservation and regional green infrastructure. Proposals include a straight carbon tax or a “cap and dividend” proposal that would rebate 50 percent revenue to consumers to offset increased costs of some products and still generate $52 billion per year.”
For the full article go to:

#4 Basic Income Network, open letter from Karl Widerquist

“Basic Income is the simple idea of a small, government-ensured income for all citizens. Many opportunities exist to introduce a similar program at the federal level. The Cap-and-Dividend and Tax-and-Dividend approaches to global warming include a small Basic Income. The inclusion of this dividend can help counter the argument (used against the Cap-and-Trade approach) that taxes on carbon emissions will hurt average American families.”
For the full letter go to:

#5 The Libertarian Climate Conundrum

“A Fee-and-Dividend approach would be more transparent, less vulnerable to special interest pleading, more conducive to investment in technological innovation (because it would avoid the price volatility produced by cap-and-trade), would be easier to implement within existing trade rules (and would not require a new international agreement for this purpose), and — if implemented as Hansen suggests— be less costly to most Americans. (Emphasis mine) Yes, a Libertarian agrees with James Hansen’s free market approach to dealing with climate change.”
For the full article go to:

#6 Another libertarian for a carbon tax, or the CLEAR Act

“Reason [Magazine’s] Ronald Bailey is sort of the exception. He believes in global warming and favors a carbon tax. . . You will not see very many nice things written in Reason about carbon emissions-limiting legislation proposed by congressional Democrats. But Bailey did basically endorse the Cantwell/Collins CLEAR act, which would’ve limited carbon emissions through permit auctions, and that proposal once looked like it had a slight chance at going somewhere.”
For the full article 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