June 2, 2021

Energy Innovation Bill Would Put Fee on Carbon and Return Funds to Households

To the Editor:

Princeton is clearly a community that cares about the environment and big issues like climate change. And yet, with all we do, it’s easy to wonder whether our actions are equal to the climate emergency. Our congresswoman, Bonnie Watson Coleman, has taken a step that is equal to the climate challenge by cosponsoring the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, HR 2307. The bill would put a steadily rising fee on carbon and return the funds to households.

The third thing the bill would do is to establish a border adjustment. “The border adjustment might actually be the most important feature,” according to Citizens Climate Lobby Executive Director Mark Reynolds, “because what the border adjustment essentially says [to] other countries [is], ‘If you don’t put a price on carbon in your country, we’re going to impose it here.’”

While costs at the gas pump and energy bills would rise, most households, especially low and moderate-income households, would come out ahead, and so would the planet and our families. According to researchers at Duke University, the bill would save 4.5 million lives over 50 years due to reduced air pollution.

Please join me in thanking Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman for cosponsoring the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, HR 2307, and in urging Senators Cory Booker and Robert Menendez to introduce a companion measure in the Senate. Princeton residents should continue to take all of the important steps we are already taking, and reach out to our elected officials to assist us in doing the heavy lifting.

Sam Daley-Harris
Dorann Avenue

The writer founded the anti-poverty lobby RESULTS, the Microcredit Summit Campaign, and Civic Courage and is author of Reclaiming Our Democracy.