US leaders need to and can do much more to stabilize the climate and improve their economy. The 2017 US administration and Congress should work urgently to build bipartisan support for a carbon-fee-and-dividend (CFD) law, which would enact a rising fee on coal, oil and gas production and imports, and send the revenue to American households through equal monthly dividends. By the twentieth year, this law would cut US carbon emissions by twice as much as promised in the United States’ 2015 pledge to the United Nations, while simultaneously expanding the US economy and improving Americans’ health.
New legislation is possible. Business and the public have shifted. The kernel of a winning bipartisan coalition has emerged in each house of Congress.
This remedy has the best chance of passing Congress because it embodies core values of both conservatives and progressives. CFD will benefit most US economic sectors and occupations. And CFD is more likely than any other legislative option to survive repeal attempts.
Situations of hostility and distrust have occurred before. Leaders in some situations have reached agreements on particular issues while continuing to fight over others. US leaders should reduce political risks by recruiting a broad coalition of economic, environmental, health and faith organizations to support a historic bill.