Report: Taxing Carbon and Giving the Revenue Back to Families Can Boost the Economy, Lower Carbon Emissions, and Save Lives

  • A 2013 report from REMI, a consulting firm commissioned by Citizens Climate Lobby, shows that taxing carbon and rebating all of the revenue back to families is a net benefit for the U.S. economy (in each year, economic output is higher than in a scenario without the policy).

  • The report finds that this "carbon fee and dividend" approach reduces five times as much carbon emissions in 2030 than the Clean Power Plan.

  • The report also shows that the policy can prevent over 13,000 premature deaths and give the average family of four a $350 monthly check to compensate them for higher energy prices by 2030.

U.S. Transportation Just Overtook Power Plants as Top Polluting Sector

Takeaway: while much attention is rightly paid to reducing emissions from power plants, we need to also focus on reducing transportation emissions.
  • For the first time in recent history, U.S. transportation became the most polluting sector, emitting more carbon dioxide since January 2015 than power plants (2,327 metric tons for transportation vs. 2,324 metric tons for power plants).

  • Transportation emissions are projected to remain at the top spot through 2030, at which point it is expected to exceed power plant emissions by 11%.

  • Power plant emissions are projected to fall much faster than those of the transportation sector, unless additional greenhouse gas reduction policies are passed.

EPA Says Clean Power Plan Will Reduce Power Sector Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 32%. We've Already Reduced Them by 21%.

Takeaway: the majority of emissions reductions expected by 2030, relative to 2005, are expected to happen regardless of whether the Clean Power Plan exists.
  • Relative to the Clean Power Plan's greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals for power plants in 2030 (32% below 2005 levels), the U.S. is already two-thirds of the way there (21% below 2005 levels).

  • Without the Clean Power Plan (CPP), the Department of Energy projects power plant GHG emissions will stay roughly constant, at 20% below 2005 levels in 2030.

  • Thus, the CPP is the difference between emissions staying constant and declining slightly.