Market-based climate solutions gaining momentum in Utah

Over 100 Utah business, policy, and community leaders convened on March 24, 2021 for a briefing hosted by the Utah Climate and Clean Air Compact exploring market-based solutions to climate and air quality. The briefing featured former Republican Congressman Ryan Costello of Pennsylvania and representatives from the bipartisan Climate Leadership Council who are the lead authors of the ­“B­aker-Shultz” Carbon Dividends Plan. The Plan is a market-based climate solution gaining traction nationally that would put a price on greenhouse gas emissions and refund all of the proceeds to American families.

Scott Anderson, President and CEO of Zions Bank and a leading member of the Utah Climate and Clean Air Compact, introduced today’s briefing, and recently endorsed the Baker-Shultz Carbon Dividends Plan. “With this plan, Utah has the opportunity to lead on climate and put America on a path to a clean energy future. Utahns have a long history of leading on the pressing issues of our time. Our elected representatives can show the rest of the country that on climate action Utahns can put forth an even better solution that showcases the power of markets and the conservative principle of limited government,” Anderson writes in Utah

Today’s virtual event was the latest in a collection of local activities supporting market-based solutions to climate change. Local business and community leaders recently founded Utahns for Carbon Dividends dedicated to advancing a carbon fee, and Utah Senator Mitt Romney recently told reporters that he is seriously considering and reviewing the merits of a carbon fee that would return the revenue to taxpayers.

Economists agree that an escalating carbon fee offers the most cost-effective emissions reduction solution, sending a powerful price signal to steer businesses and consumers towards a low-carbon future. Carbon pricing is an important piece of a broad portfolio of national climate policy action that can spur innovation and investment in Utah’s clean energy industry while also improving public health through reduced emissions. 

“A well-executed carbon pricing policy is a market-based solution that will benefit every U.S. citizen. It achieves both emission reductions and economic opportunity, which is vital to any climate policy,” states Sarah Wright, Utah Clean Energy Executive Director.