Utahns for Carbon Dividends coalition recently sent a letter to the entire Utah congressional delegation. The letter encourages Utah’s congressional leaders to lead and advance the market-based climate solution known as the Baker-Shultz Carbon Dividends Plan.
The Utahns for Carbon Dividends coalition is co-chaired by Zions Bank president and CEO Scott Anderson and Larry H. Miller Group of Companies board member Greg Miller. See a complete list of co-chairs and supporters here.
This bipartisan plan has earned support from major U.S. companies, top environmental organizations, thousands of economists, conservatives and younger voters. It would cut U.S. emissions in half while unlocking innovation, simplifying regulations and growing the economy.
Leading economists believe that a price on carbon will be the fastest and most effective way to spur all facets of clean tech innovation across the whole economy, as well as demand for low-carbon and energy-efficient solutions. This solution would give American companies the market certainty they need to develop and deploy the next generation of clean technologies.
A recent poll by Public Opinion Strategies shows that some 70% of Utahns— including two-thirds of Republicans and 65% of conservatives—support the carbon dividends plan.
The letter is below:
Dear Senator Lee, Senator Romney, Representative Stewart, Representative Curtis, Representative Moore, and Representative Owens,
Utahns for Carbon Dividends is a coalition of business and community leaders who support a market-based climate solution known as the Baker-Shultz Carbon Dividends Plan. We are writing to respectfully ask you to lead and advance this common-sense policy in Congress.
The impact of rising temperatures has never been so apparent in Utah as it was these past few months. Salt Lake City experienced its hottest summer on record. Smoke rolling in from California’s enormous wildfires drove air quality in the Wasatch Front to some of the worst levels in the world. And severe and prolonged drought shriveled the Great Salt Lake and many other water sources throughout Utah causing ranchers, farmers and many fellow Utahns to take drastic economic actions.
It’s clear that piecemeal interventions at the state or local level are not enough to turn the tide on our air quality and climate problems. We need a national strategy to address one of the root causes: carbon emissions. This is how we can protect Utah’s economy, pristine landscapes and our way of life.
As we write, Congress is debating significant climate measures. As a red state with a culture of innovation, Utah has a vital role to play in this debate. Specifically, we can add our voice to the growing consensus in the business community in favor of an economy-wide price on carbon.
A nationwide carbon fee is not only the fastest and most business-friendly way to cut emissions – it is also rooted in the conservative principles of free markets and limited government. By championing it, Utah can help the Republican Party seize back the environmental high ground and steer the country away from so-called solutions that would burden our economy while doing little to help the climate.
As you might have already heard, the Baker-Shultz Plan centers on a carbon fee that would slash U.S. emissions in half in just 15 years while streamlining regulations, holding other countries accountable and enhancing the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers. All the revenues from the carbon fee would be returned to Americans, raising incomes for the vast majority of households in Utah and every state.
One of the plan’s most compelling features is a border carbon adjustment that applies a similar fee on imports at the border. Since U.S. manufacturers are more efficient than their producers overseas, they would gain an instant competitive advantage when carbon is priced at the border. And countries like China, India and others with less efficient operations would face a choice: lower emissions or lose a piece of the U.S. market. This is the type of transformative policy that America needs to strengthen our economy and unlock opportunity as we cut emissions.
It’s time for Utah to get off the sidelines and champion a globally effective climate solution that puts American businesses and workers first. We hope you will support the Baker-Shultz Plan.
President and CEO, Zions Bank
President and CEO, Draper Chamber of Commerce
President and CEO, Utah’s American Latino Chamber of Commerce
Owner, Unishippers of Salt Lake
Western Region Vice Chair, Young Republican National Federation
Regional Director, YCCD
Vice Chairman, Utah Federation of College Republicans
Luke McDermott, Jr.
McDermott Company & Associates
President, SGW Investments
Mayor Kelleen Potter
Mayor, Heber City
Representative Raymond P. Ward Utah State Representative, House District 19
Executive Director, Heber Valley Chamber of Commerce
Chair, Utah Valley University College Republicans
Planner, Mountainland Association of Governments
Public Policy Director, Utah Young Republicans
Global Director, Ferrado Group
Small Business Owner
Small Business Owner
Vice President, Utah Valley University College Republicans