Non-profit

Americans for Carbon Dividends (AFCD)

Website:

www.afcd.org

Location:

WASHINGTON, DC

Tax ID:

82-4807057

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(4)

Formation:

2018

Type:

Carbon Tax Advocacy Group

Managing Director:

Ryan Costello

Americans for Carbon Dividends (AFCD) is a lobbying organization that works to promote a carbon tax and is targeted towards a right-leaning audience and Congressional Republicans. The group is run by former Republican U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello (R-PA) and it promotes a plan endorsed by former Republican U.S. Secretaries of State James Baker and George Shultz.

The group is backed by various business interests, including energy companies. It has also worked to promote its plan with like-minded organizations.

AFCD is the 501(c)(4) advocacy arm of the Climate Leadership Council (CLC), a right-leaning carbon tax group headed by liberal activist Ted Halstead.

Overview

Americans for Carbon Dividends is an organization that promotes a proposed carbon tax and dividend plan that is often sold as a conservative approach to climate change. It works to promote the Baker-Shultz carbon tax and dividend plan, which imposes a carbon tax that is paid to the American people through a dividend in exchange for ending all EPA greenhouse gas regulation and protecting big oil companies from lawsuits. [1]

The plan, endorsed by former Republican Secretaries of State James Baker and George Shultz, would charge a $40 per ton carbon tax on all carbon dioxide emissions. [2] All of the revenues collected from the tax would be redistributed to taxpayers as a “dividend.” [3] The plan would also eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases and protect oil companies from lawsuits as a result of damages brought by climate change. [4]

The plan was developed by the Climate Leadership Council, AFCD’s 501(c)(3) fundraising and research arm, and has been endorsed by leading left-wing leaders such as former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Obama administration Energy Secretary Steven Chu, and Obama National Economic Council Director Lawrence Summers. [5]

Leadership

The organization is based in Washington, D.C. and is co-chaired by former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS) and former Senator John Breaux (D-LA), who are registered lobbyists for the group. [6] [7]

The organization’s managing director is former Rep. Ryan Costello (R-PA), a moderate Republican who retired from Congress in 2018 to found Ryan Costello Strategies, a government affairs firm. While in Congress, Costello belonged to the Climate Solutions Caucus, which is backed by the center-left carbon tax group Citizens Climate Lobby. [8] Costello also opposed the U.S. withdrawal from the 2015 Paris Climate Accords, entered into by President Obama and withdrawn from by President Trump in 2017. [9] “Climate change should be a top priority of Republicans in Congress, and that is why I am leaning in on this,” Costello said in an interview. [10]

Funding

Corporate Support

Americans for Carbon Dividends has received support from a number of oil- and natural gas-producing companies. ExxonMobil has contributed $1 million to support the group’s efforts. [11] The donation has brought criticism of the company from radical environmentalists.  “[I]f you get beyond the smoke and mirrors of Exxon’s public relations, you’ll see this effort for what it is: yet another coverup [sic] by Exxon to allow it to continue its dirty ways and avoid accountability for its past,” wrote David Turnbull of the radical environmentalist group Oil Change International. [12]

ConocoPhillips has reportedly contributed $2 million in support of Americans for Carbon Dividends. [13]

Lobbying Expenditures

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Americans for Carbon Dividends spent $300,000 on lobbying Congress in 2018 and $150,000 in 2019 as of May 2019. [14] [15] The group hired the firm Squire Patton Boggs, which has both Trent Lott and John Breaux on its payroll. [16]

Financial Documents

AFCD’s determination letter was filed in November 2018, granting the group IRS-recognized 501(c)(4) tax exempt status. The determination letter is available here.

References

  1. Lauer, Daniel, and Hayden Ludwig. 2018. “The Myth Of The Conservative Carbon Tax: Creative Accounting And Redistribution”. Capital Research Center. https://capitalresearch.org/article/the-myth-of-the-conservative-carbon-tax-part-3/. ^
  2. Lauer, Daniel, and Hayden Ludwig. 2018. “The Myth Of The Conservative Carbon Tax: Creative Accounting And Redistribution”. Capital Research Center. https://capitalresearch.org/article/the-myth-of-the-conservative-carbon-tax-part-3/. ^
  3. Lauer, Daniel, and Hayden Ludwig. 2018. “The Myth Of The Conservative Carbon Tax: Creative Accounting And Redistribution”. Capital Research Center. https://capitalresearch.org/article/the-myth-of-the-conservative-carbon-tax-part-3/. ^
  4. Lauer, Daniel, and Hayden Ludwig. 2018. “The Myth Of The Conservative Carbon Tax: Creative Accounting And Redistribution”. Capital Research Center. https://capitalresearch.org/article/the-myth-of-the-conservative-carbon-tax-part-3/. ^
  5.  Lauer, Daniel, and Hayden Ludwig. 2018. “The Myth Of The Conservative Carbon Tax: Creative Accounting And Redistribution”. Capital Research Center. https://capitalresearch.org/article/the-myth-of-the-conservative-carbon-tax-part-3/. ^
  6. “Lobbying Spending Database – Americans For Carbon Dividends, 2018”. 2019. Center for Responsive Politics. Accessed May 6, 2019. https://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/clientsum.php?id=F316601&year=2018. ^
  7. Lauer, Daniel, and Hayden Ludwig. 2018. “The Myth Of The Conservative Carbon Tax: Creative Accounting And Redistribution”. Capital Research Center. https://capitalresearch.org/article/the-myth-of-the-conservative-carbon-tax-part-3/. ^
  8. Siegel, Josh. 2019. “Fresh Out Of Congress, Republican Ryan Costello To Promote Carbon Tax”. Washington Examiner. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/energy/fresh-out-of-congress-republican-ryan-costello-to-promote-carbon-tax. ^
  9. Siegel, Josh. 2019. “Fresh Out Of Congress, Republican Ryan Costello To Promote Carbon Tax”. Washington Examiner. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/energy/fresh-out-of-congress-republican-ryan-costello-to-promote-carbon-tax. ^
  10. Siegel, Josh. 2019. “Fresh Out Of Congress, Republican Ryan Costello To Promote Carbon Tax”. Washington Examiner. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/energy/fresh-out-of-congress-republican-ryan-costello-to-promote-carbon-tax. ^
  11. DiChristopher, Tom. 2018. “Exxon Mobil Pledges $1 Million To Campaign To Promote Carbon Tax”. CNBC. https://www.cnbc.com/2018/10/09/exxon-mobil-pledges-1-million-to-campaign-to-promote-carbon-tax.html. ^
  12. Turnbull, David. 2018. “Don’t Be Fooled By Exxon’s Carbon Fee Public Relations Scheme”. Oil Change International. http://priceofoil.org/2018/10/12/dont-be-fooled-by-exxons-carbon-fee-public-relations-scheme/. ^
  13. Harder, Amy. 2018. “Exclusive: Oil Giant Conocophillips Backs Carbon Tax Push”. Axios. https://www.axios.com/conocophillips-backs-carbon-tax-push-a0c47c65-7a0e-4ec6-85c6-771687849a97.html. ^
  14. “Lobbying Spending Database – Americans For Carbon Dividends, 2018”. 2019. Open Secrets. Accessed May 6, 2019. https://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/clientsum.php?id=F316601&year=2018. ^
  15. “Lobbying Spending Database – Americans For Carbon Dividends, 2019”. 2019. Open Secrets. Accessed May 6, 2019. https://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/clientsum.php?id=F316601&year=2019. ^
  16. “Lobbying Spending Database – Americans For Carbon Dividends, 2018”. 2019. Center for Responsive Politics. Accessed May 6, 2019. https://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/clientsum.php?id=F316601&year=2018. ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Ryan Costello
    Managing Director
  2. Ted Halstead
    Notable Person
  3. John Breaux
    Lobbyist
  4. Mark Mckinnon
    Senior Adviser
  5. Karen Hughes
    Senior Adviser
  6. Trent Lott
    Lobbyist
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: November 1, 2018

  • Available Filings

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Americans for Carbon Dividends (AFCD)

    1900 M ST NW STE 825
    WASHINGTON, DC 20036-3508