A Student Government Association resolution has been proposed in support of a national carbon fee and dividend policy.
This policy, proposed by Citizens’ Climate Lobby, aims to put a price on greenhouse gas emissions by imposing an initial $15 fee per ton on carbon dioxide emissions or equivalent pollution which would increase by $10 each year.
The policy differs from many other taxes because it is revenue neutral. All the funds from the fee would also be returned to citizens monthly.
In 2014, Regional Economic Models Inc. released a study projecting the impacts of a similar carbon fee of $10 per ton of carbon which would increase by $10 each year. The study predicted that if this tax was implemented in 2016, by 2025 it would generate approximately 300 dollars of rebates per month for a family of four.
The study predicted that if this tax was implemented in 2016, by 2025 it would generate approximately $300 of rebates per month for a family of four.
Contrary to the common perspective that tax harms the economy, Regional Economic Models Inc. estimated net growth in both jobs and gross domestic product under the tax, although only by a small percentage.
When it comes to global warming mitigation, the Regional Economic Models Inc. study found that if such a tax was implemented, carbon emissions would reduce 33 percent by 2025 , reaching a 52 percent decrease by 2035.
The idea of the resolution was first brought to student government by Robert Abrahamian, senior water resources and political science major, and Environmental and sustainability affairs director for SGA.
Abrahamian was encouraged to bring the concept of Carbon Fee and Dividend to student government after attending the Citizens’ Climate Lobby International Conference in Washington D.C. last summer.
Once the idea was brought forward, Lucy DeLain, freshman mathematics major, and senator for the College of Professional Studies, worked with Abrahamian to write the resolution.
Abrahamian said that being revenue neutral gives a Carbon Fee and Dividend policy more bipartisan support, and expects the rebates to positively benefit consumers. He said that one of Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s goals is for college campuses to endorse this policy.
“There definitely have been social movements that have started out of college campuses that have dictated state and local policy,” Abrahamian said.
DeLain said that if the resolution is successfully passed through student government, it will be sent to politicians ranging from President Trump and Vice President Pence to Wisconsin senators and representatives.
If students are interested in the issue, DeLain encourages them to check out Student Government Association.