FLORENCE — The City Council has endorsed a congressional bill that places a fee on carbon content and provides dividends to Americans.
The council unanimously voted to endorse the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (H.R. 763) that is being presented to Congress.
Council President Dick Jordan said the members of the local Citizens' Climate Lobby chapter talked to the council about the bill and asked them to approve a resolution favoring it. The council did so during a meeting earlier this month.
"It's something the council felt would benefit everyone and the environment, too," Jordan said.
He said the bill would assist in dealing with environmental issues, including climate change, as the environment continues to have a major impact on the world.
"It's going to affect everyone from now into the future," Jordan said.
Tom Gillis, co-group leader for the Northwest Alabama chapter of the Citizens' Climate Lobby, commended the council for approving the resolution.
"We thank the Florence City Council for its forward thinking and recognition of the urgency of addressing climate change," Gillis stated in a release.
In the release, former University of North Alabama president, William Cale, also advocated for the bill's passage. Cale added he hopes the action encourages U.S. representatives Mo Brooks and Robert Aderholt, whose house districts including the Shoals, and Alabama's U.S. senators Doug Jones and Richard Shelby to support the legislation.
According to the congressional website Congress.gov: "This bill imposes a fee on the carbon content of fuels, including crude oil, natural gas, coal, or any other product derived from those fuels that will be used so as to emit greenhouse gases into the atmosphere."
Producers and importers of the fuels pay the fees, with exceptions of the military and those who use the fuels for agricultural are non-emitting purposes, according to the summary on the website.
"The fees must be deposited into a Carbon Dividend Trust Fund and used for administrative expenses and dividend payments to U.S. citizens or lawful residents," the summary states.
According to the climate lobby, the act would decrease carbon pollution in the United States by 40% in the first 12 years and 90% by 2050.
The Florence Council is among more than 1,000 entities to publicly endorse the proposed legislation, according to the lobby release, which lists the Environmental Defense Fund, World Resources Institute, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Alliance for Market Solutions among them.