Political Party/527

Americans for Carbon Dividends (AFCD)

Website:

www.afcd.org

Americans for Carbon Dividends 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. Representative Ryan Costello (R-Pennsylvania) and it promotes a plan endorsed by former Republican U.S. Secretaries of State James Baker and George Schultz.

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

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-Schultz 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 Schultz, would charge a $40 per ton tax on all carbon dioxide emissions. [2] All of the revenues collected from the tax would be redistributed to the American people 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 originally developed by the Climate Leadership Council and has been endorsed by leading left-leaning 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]

People

The organization is based in Washington D.C. and is co-chaired by former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Mississippi) and former Senator John Breaux (D-Louisiana). [6]

The organization’s managing director is former Congressman Ryan Costello (R-Pennsylvania), a moderate Republican who retired in 2018 rather than face reelection. While in Congress, Costello belonged to the Climate Solutions Caucus, which is backed by Citizens Climate Lobby. [7] Costello also opposed the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accords. [8] “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. [9]

Corporate support

Americans for Carbon Dividends has already picked up the support of a couple of energy companies. ExxonMobil has contributed $1 million to support the group’s efforts. [10] 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 by Exxon to allow it to continue its dirty ways and avoid accountability for its past.” wrote David Turnbull of Oil Change International. [11]

ConocoPhillips has reportedly contributed $2 million in support of Americans for Carbon Dividends. [12]

Lobbying expenditures

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Americans for Carbon Dividends spent $300,000 on lobbying Congress in 2018[13] and $150,000 in 2019 as of May. [14] The group hired the firm Squire Patton Boggs, which has both Trent Lott and John Breaux on its payroll. [15]

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.  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/.
  7. 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.
  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. 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.
  11. 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/.
  12. 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.
  13.  “Lobbying Spending Database – Americans For Carbon Dividends, 2018”. 2019. Open Secrets. Accessed May 6. https://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/clientsum.php?id=F316601&year=2018.
  14. “Lobbying Spending Database – Americans For Carbon Dividends, 2019”. 2019. Open Secrets. Accessed May 6. https://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/clientsum.php?id=F316601&year=2019.
  15.  “Lobbying Spending Database – Americans For Carbon Dividends, 2018”. 2019. Open Secrets. Accessed May 6. https://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/clientsum.php?id=F316601&year=2018.

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Mark Mckinnon
    Officer/Board Member
  2. Karen Hughes
    Officer/Board Member
  3. Ryan Costello
    Officer/Board Member
  4. Trent Lott
    Officer/Board Member
  5. Ted Halstead
    Officer/Board Member
  See an error? Let us know!