Van Hollen Introduces the Healthy Climate and Family Security Act of 2015
Today Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen introduced the Healthy Climate and Family Security Act of 2015. This legislation is a simple, fair, and effective way to combat climate change while supporting economic growth and a thriving middle class. To read the text of the bill, click here.
The bill caps carbon pollution and reduces CO2 emissions gradually but steadily, auctions carbon pollution permits to the first sellers of oil, coal, and natural gas into the U.S. market, and returns 100 percent of the auction proceeds electronically each quarter to every American with a valid Social Security number in the form of a Healthy Climate Dividend. The “cap and dividend” approach taken by this legislation will enable the United States to achieve scientifically driven reductions in greenhouse gas emissions while supporting vibrant economic growth and actually increasing incomes for an estimated 80 percent of American households.
“Two of the most pressing challenges we face as a country are the economic and health risks of climate change and the middle class squeeze, and this bill offers a way to address both,” said Congressman Van Hollen. “This approach achieves necessary greenhouse gas reductions while boosting the purchasing power of families across the country. This bill is good for the climate, good for families, and good for the economy.”
“Sierra Club supports the Van Hollen bill because it puts a declining cap and a price on all US carbon pollution; two things that are essential to truly addressing climate change in the long-term. We see this as complementary to the near-term actions in the President’s Climate Action Plan which we also strongly support,” said Sierra Club Federal Campaign Director Debbie Sease.
“The Van Hollen Healthy Climate and Family Security Act is the gold standard when it comes to reducing carbon emissions. It’s the only way to assure we meet science-based emission reduction goals in a timely manner,” said entrepreneur and author Peter Barnes.
“The basic idea that we own the sky, not Exxon, is a key part of the endgame in the climate debate. I'm glad it’s getting a Congressional hearing,” said 350.org Founder Bill McKibben.
The Healthy Climate and Family Security Act of 2015 will:
- Put a market-based price on carbon pollution by auctioning permits to the first sellers of oil, coal, and natural gas into the U.S. market
- Use a declining cap to reduce C02 emissions to 80 percent below 2005 levels by 2050
- Return 100 percent of auction proceeds in the form of a Healthy Climate Dividend to every American with a valid social security number, thereby increasing annual income for an estimated 80 percent of American households
- Include robust border adjustment protections to ensure U.S. companies are not disadvantaged when competing against foreign competitors at home or abroad
- Achieve additional greenhouse gas emissions reductions through the Clean Air Act and other relevant authorities
Original co-sponsors of the legislation include Congressman Don Beyer (VA-08), Congressman Matt Cartwright (PA-17), Congressman Alan Lowenthal (CA-17), Congressman Gerald Connolly (VA-11), Congressman Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC), Congressman Raul Grijalva (AZ-03), Congressman Peter Welch (VT-At Large), Congressman Charles Rangel (NY-13), Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (CA-19), Congressman Adam Schiff (CA-28), Congresswoman Grace Napolitano (CA-32), Congressman Mike Honda (CA-17), Congressman John Conyers (MI-13), Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13), and Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11).
Congressman Van Hollen, Co-Chair of the Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change and member of the Safe Climate Caucus and the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition, is a leading supporter of congressional efforts to address global climate change.