A bipartisan group of members, including U.S. Reps. Dave Reichert (WA-08), Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI), Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-IL), and Rep. Bob Inglis (R-SC) today introduced the Consumer Assistance Rebate for Energy (CARE) Act, legislation designed to return to consumers 100 percent of the revenue made by reducing CO2 emissions under federal climate change legislation.
"Action is needed to address global climate change, but we must make certain that any legislation to do so considers the potential economic impact, particularly on the pocketbooks of American families," said Reichert. "This commonsense bill would be a good first step toward ensuring that the interests of these families and small businesses are considered as climate change proposals are debated in Congress."
Human activity has contributed significantly to the earth's climate increase in recent decades. Because climate change could seriously impact human health, ecosystems, wildlife, weather and agriculture, Congressional action to reduce national emissions of greenhouse gases contributing to climate change is necessary.
Due to the fact that consumers could see an increase in the price of energy, further increasing the price of transportation and consumer goods, the CARE Act requires that any climate legislation provide consumers a rebate - through individual taxes, increases in social security or unemployment benefits, as well as other means - to offset these costs. The bill would ensure that all revenue from the sale of allowances or credits, taxes or fees imposed on greenhouse gas emissions would be returned to the American people.
"Climate Change is a serious issue," said Rep. Kind. "This bill will control costs for consumers, helping to maintain family budgets while at the same time reducing harmful green house gas emissions. It is vital that we keep the economic needs of consumers in mind as we forge a new American energy plan."
"Anything the government collects from polluters should go back to American taxpayers in the form of lower taxes and increased Social Security benefits," said Congressman Dan Lipinski. "We should not get caught up in a fight over how to divvy up the money collected by a cap-and-trade scheme or carbon fee. I think that's something both Democrats and Republicans can agree on."
"Cap-and-trade is a massive tax increase in the midst of a recession, which almost no economist would recommend," Inglis said. "Any climate bill should be revenue-neutral which means that we would cut taxes somewhere else before we impose a tax (in equal amount) on emissions. I'm opposed to a cap-and-trade tax increase, but I'm excited about a tax swap. If we change what we tax, free enterprise will create new-energy jobs, we'll clean up the air and we'll improve our national security."