WASHINGTON, June 20, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A diverse group of energy industry leaders are backing the formation of Americans For Carbon Dividends (AFCD), a new 501(c)(4) political campaign launched today to promote a revenue-neutral carbon dividends plan co-authored by former Secretaries of State James A. Baker, III and George P. Shultz, among others.
AFCD is co-chaired by Senators Trent Lott and John Breaux, with Joe Lockhart and Mark McKinnon as Senior Advisors, and Karen Hughes Of Counsel. Squire Patton Boggs will lead lobbying efforts, Hill+Knowlton will lead communications, and Republican fundraiser Margaret Lauderback will lead fundraising efforts.
"This free market climate solution is an opportunity for the GOP to gain the high ground on a major environmental issue while cutting regulations, shrinking government and benefiting the American people," said AFCD co-chair Trent Lott. "The Baker-Shultz plan allows all parties to realize an important victory in a bipartisan fashion, and should be embraced by Democratic and Republican leaders alike," said AFCD co-chair John Breaux.
AFCD has raised a seven-figure annual budget from a range of energy industry leaders, including Exelon, First Solar and American Wind Energy Association, among others. It expects to attract additional corporate contributions in the coming months.
"As the nation's largest producer of emissions-free energy, we have long supported action on climate change because we firmly believe it is essential to protect the well-being of our customers and all Americans," said Chris Crane, president and CEO of Exelon. "A carbon dividends policy that returns proceeds to consumers will unleash innovation and investment in new and existing technologies and put us on course to reduce emissions in the fastest and most economical way possible, while also protecting American jobs and the security of our energy supply."
The Climate Leadership Council, the 501(c)(3) organization that introduced the Baker-Shultz plan in February 2017, announced today the addition of 8 new Founding Members. New individual Founding Members include former Fed Chairs Ben Bernanke and Janet Yellen and former EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman. New corporate Founding Members include AECOM, Allianz, Exelon, First Solar and MetLife.
"The addition of these prominent Founding Members to our remarkably broad coalition re-affirms that the Baker-Shultz Carbon Dividends Plan is fast emerging as the inevitable climate solution, and the most promising basis for a much-needed bipartisan climate breakthrough," said Ted Halstead, Chairman and CEO of the Climate Leadership Council.
Today, the Climate Leadership Council issued A Winning Trade, a new study that shows the Baker-Shultz Carbon Dividends Plan could achieve over three times the emissions reductions from 2016 onwards of all Obama-era climate regulations, had they remained in place. The Baker-Shultz Plan, if implemented by 2021, could also exceed the 2025 US Paris commitment, according to the study.
A new national poll of 2,000 voters released today by Hill+Knowlton Strategies shows that Americans support the Baker-Shultz Carbon Dividends Plan by a 2 to 1 margin. The survey also found that the plan is popular among Republicans, by a 23-point margin between those who approve over those who do not. "This poll confirms that the Baker-Shultz plan is the most popular national climate solution among the American people and among Republicans," said Dick Keil, Managing Director at Hill+Knowlton. Additional polling results will be released in the coming weeks.
About the Climate Leadership Council: Launched in February 2017, the Climate Leadership Council is an international policy institute founded in collaboration with a who's who of business, opinion and environmental leaders to promote a carbon dividends framework as the most effective, equitable and politically viable climate solution. For additional information, visit www.clcouncil.org.
About Americans for Carbon Dividends: Co-Chaired by former Senators John Breaux and Trent Lott, Americans for Carbon Dividends (AFCD) is an educational and advocacy campaign to build support for the Baker-Shultz Carbon Dividends Plan. Senior Advisors include Joe Lockhart and Mark McKinnon, with Karen Hughes Of Counsel. For additional information, visit www.afcd.org.
Media contact for Climate Leadership Council: Greg Bertelsen, SVP, [email protected]; (202) 864 2553
Media contact for Americans for Carbon Dividends: Dick Keil, Managing Director, Hill+Knowlton, [email protected]; (202) 251 4470
THE FOUR PILLARS OF THE BAKER-SHULTZ CARBON DIVIDENDS PLAN
A gradually rising and revenue-neutral carbon tax;
Carbon dividends for all Americans, funded by 100% of the revenue;
The simplification of carbon regulations that are no longer necessary; and
Border carbon adjustments to level the playing field and promote American competitiveness.
INITIAL PLAN CO-AUTHORS
The Climate Leadership Council's carbon dividends plan was introduced in February 2017 through the publication of The Conservative Case for Carbon Dividends, co-authored by: former Secretary of State James A. Baker, III, former Secretary of State George Shultz, former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, former Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Martin Feldstein, former Council of Economic Advisers Chairman N. Gregory Mankiw, former Walmart Chairman Rob Walton, Climate Leadership Council Chairman and CEO Ted Halsteadand former U.S. Ambassador and Sequoia Capital partner Thomas Stephenson.