WASHINGTON (March 10, 2021) -- A new bill would establish a price on carbon emissions to fund grants and loans for projects that address climate change -- with a focus on low- and middle-income communities, fossil-fuel-dependent communities transitioning to more renewable energy sources, and the use of working lands to store carbon. The America’s Clean Future Fund Act, introduced by Sen. Durbin (D-IL), attempts to reconcile the need to impose costs for carbon pollution while still investing in conservation and the well-being of communities that have historically shouldered the worst effects of climate change.

“Realizing a cleaner future for both people and wildlife requires that we use every tool at our disposal, but we must do so in a way that doesn’t create further harm,” said Michael Obeiter, senior director of federal climate strategy at the National Audubon Society. “Sen. Durbin’s proposal is a step in the right direction to address the urgent needs presented by a changing climate, a recovering economy, and environmental justice."

The bill is a revised version of similar bill introduced by Sen. Durbin last year. The revamped carbon pricing proposal returns 75 percent of revenues to low- and middle-income households, and sets aside 40 percent of the remaining funds to address the long legacy of inequitably siting highly polluting power plants in those communities. The bill also expands eligibility of carbon-reducing projects to include farmland and forestry, supporting the agricultural sector in using existing lands to capture and store carbon.

“This bill recognizes that many sectors need to work together and support each other to take on an issue as big as climate change,” said Obeiter. “We look forward to working with members of Congress from both sides of the aisle to further develop equitable policies for reducing that hold industries accountable for their emissions while protecting communities and wildlife.”

About Audubon
The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. Audubon works throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. State programs, nature centers, chapters, and partners give Audubon an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire, and unite diverse communities in conservation action. A nonprofit conservation organization since 1905, Audubon believes in a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Learn more at www.audubon.org and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @audubonsociety.

 

Media Contact: Robyn Shepherd, robyn.shepherd@audubon.org  

 

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