When I think of climate change legislation, I think of Senator Kerry (D-MA) and his climate bill that was just killed in the Senate.  I think of the hope for introduction comprehensive climate change legislation that would change the way we do business and provide for developing countries.  Yet Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA) has introduced several pieces of legislation in the pat few years directed at doing something about climate change.

HR 5783 was introduced earlier this year.  Called the “Invest in our Future Act”, the bill seeks to place a 0.005% tax on currency exchanges.  The money generated from that tax would go to investing in children, global heath, and global climate change adaptation.  This small tax could raise up to $28 billion in funds.

Opponents say that the tax won’t do anything to raise funds, blame liberals for increasing taxes, and claim that this would harm the economy (forget for a moment that this tax would primarily affect those who contributed to the financial crisis through currency speculation) and are generally outraged that this money would go overseas to give aid in global situations.

While this is an excellent start, most climate activist agree that at least $100 billion would be needed to have a positive impact on global climate change adaptation, and most agree that is a fairly conservative estimate.  If this were to pass, we would need other legislation that would raise more funds to meet the need of developing countries.

Last year Rep. Start also introduced the Save Our Climate Act, which “Amends the Internal Revenue Code to impose an excise tax on the carbon content of any taxable fuel sold by a manufacturer, producer, or importer. Sets the amount of such tax at $10 per ton of the carbon content in such fuel, with annual increases in the amount of such tax until the second year after the level of carbon dioxide emissions in the United States for the calendar year does not exceed 20% of the level for 1990. Defines “taxable fuel” as coal (including lignite and peat), petroleum and any petroleum product, and natural gas. Exempts from such tax the sale or in-kind exchange of fuel for deposit in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and certain exports or resales of such fuel.” (from OpenCongress.org)

Both of these bills could be huge steps forward in the discussion about climate change in the United States, and heavily influence the United States’ position at the UNFCCC talks in Cancun, Mexico later this year. However, both of these bills have little “chatter” going on about them, and have pretty much flown under the radar so far.  Spread the word about these bills and check back here for updates on what’s going on with them!!

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