Recently retired Pennsylvania Rep. Ryan Costello announced this week that he’s joining Americans for Carbon Dividends, a bipartisan group launched in June to advocate for the carbon dividend plan proposed by former Secretaries of State George Shultz and James A. Baker.
“My party will never earn the votes of millennials unless it gets serious about finding [climate] solutions,” Costello wrote in an opinion piece published by the Wall Street Journal. “If Republicans don’t adapt by offering meaningful solutions, the midterm losses could be only the beginning.” In Congress, Costello was a member of the House Climate Solutions Caucus. He referred to climate change “the issue of our time” after President Trump dismissed the Fourth National Climate Assessment, a report issued by his own Administration.
The carbon dividend is a mechanism by which a gradually rising fee is imposed on carbon dioxide emissions at the point where those emissions enter the economy. The proceeds will then be returned to Americans as quarterly dividend checks.
“Any time you talk about solving a really big complicated issue, a lot of Americans ask how will you get into my pocket on this one,” Costello said in a Washington Examiner interview. “The response here is we will actually put money in your pocket and over the long-term address climate change…I don’t see a solution to climate change other than this.”