Oberlin is first city to support carbon fee

By Laurie Hamame - lhamame@aimmediamidwest.com

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to correct errors in the membership numbers for the Climate Solution Caucus.

With a unanimous vote, Oberlin became the first city in Ohio to support placing a fee on carbon emissions.

City council passed a resolution May 4 calling on Congress to introduce and then pass a carbon fee and dividend legislation.

Oberlin resident John Sabin presented the idea to council April 2. He’s the leader of the Oberlin chapter of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that focuses on taking effective action to address global warning.

The Climate Solutions Caucus in the House of Representatives has grown to 72 members, including 36 Republicans and 36 Democrats, which Sabin said clearly shows increased bipartisan support for climate action.

The policy aims to place a steadily rising fee on fossil fuels at the well, mine, or port of entry. All revenue, minus administrative costs, would be returned to American households on a per capita basis as a monthly dividend.

To maintain the competitiveness of American businesses, a border adjustment would be made, assessing a fee or rebate on goods traded with countries without a comparable carbon price.

The resolution states that a carbon fee policy will:

• Send a clear price signal to entrepreneurs and existing businesses to invest in a clean energy economy.

• Protect lower and middle-income households, as two-thirds of families, especially low and middle-income families, are expected to break even or receive more in dividends than they would pay in higher living expenses.

• Create jobs and economic growth, as the dividend puts money back into local economies and improves the health and productivity of citizens.

• Discourage domestic businesses from relocating where they can emit more carbon dioxide and encourage other nations to adopt an equivalent price on carbon.

Laurie Hamame can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @HamameNews on Twitter.

By Laurie Hamame