Development Council, Alderman Back Carbon Fee and Dividend Resolution

Published February 27, 2019

McKinley Park neighborhood groups and leaders have recently thrown their support behind a proposed, non-binding Chicago City Council resolution to encourage national adoption of Carbon Fee & Dividend legislation. This measure addresses climate change by charging fees for carbon dioxide emissions of fossil fuels at the point where they enter the U.S. economy, returning funds to citizens in the form of a monthly payment.

"Carbon Fee & Dividend will significantly reduce carbon emissions, create jobs, grow the economy, save lives and protect households from higher energy prices," the McKinley Park Development Council said in a letter to 12th Ward Alderman George Cardenas, who it encouraged to back the proposed resolution. Thanks to this and other advocacy — notably engagement from Horizon Science Academy students — Cardenas is supporting the measure and working to schedule a March committee meeting to take action on it, said Liliana Escarpita of the 12th Ward office.

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The McKinley Park Development Council had previously hosted a presentation on Carbon Fee & Dividend by members of the Citizens' Climate Lobby at the council meeting on November 28, 2018. Horizon Science Academy high school students also attended and advocated for adoption of the policy at this and succeeding council meetings. Engagement with the students also took place at the ward level, Escarpita said, and students will remain engaged throughout the legislative process. 

The proposal for Carbon Fee & Dividend was also addressed In spring 2018, when the McKinley Park News published an opinion/editorial piece by Dr. Noah Paulson detailing this policy and advocating for its adoption.

The council's letter noted the benefits of Carbon Fee & Dividend, including how the policy encourages green energy investment, discourages offshoring of fossil fuel pollution, supports the economy and delivers more money back to most citizens than increased costs from higher fossil fuel prices. According to the most recent G7 Fossil Fuel Subsidy Scorecard, the U.S. government spends over $26 billon each year in subsidies to support the fossil fuel industry.

Ed. note: McKinley Park News publisher and article author Justin Kerr is a board member of the all-volunteer McKinley Park Development Council.

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