Center for Study of Responsive Law

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The Climate Action Now Act of 2018


Whereas the science of climate change proves that the combustion of fossil fuels is by far the primary cause of climate change: and


Whereas climate damage is already an extreme weather reality in the form of widespread draught off the chart hurricanes and rising sea levels already causing billions of dollars of damage; and


Whereas the science reveals that the combustion of fossil fuels must be steadily reduced to near zero over the next 30 years- starting now- otherwise climate damage is likely to make the earth largely unlivable; and


Whereas electricity from solar and wind, backed by storage technology, is a commercial reality that can completely replace all the current polluting and dangerous sources of energy without increasing the cost to consumers over time; and


Whereas economic technology exists to utilize such renewable electricity to drive our motor vehicles, railroads, and heat our buildings and water; and


Whereas the profitable investment in this transition to a clean energy, free fuel economy over the next 30 years, starting now, will create millions of well-paying jobs in the manufacture, and installation of this clean energy economy;


Therefore, be it resolved that:

I.     Electric Power

       A.  Effective January 1, 2022, any new electric power generating unit larger than 1 megawatt initiating operation after

             that date shall not emit any greenhouse gases.

             The owner of any power plant in violation of this law will be fined a federal (or state) tax of $100 per ton of

             greenhouse gas emitted.


       B.  Every owner of electric generating capacity shall reduce the total emission of greenhouse gases from such plants at

             least 4 per cent of their 2020 emissions each year for the next 25 years beginning in 2021.

            To the extent such reductions are not achieved in any year, such owner will be fined a federal (or state) income tax of

            $100 per ton of greenhouse gas emitted above the 4 per cent reduction.

       C.  Every Owner of a fossil fueled power plant in excess of 1 MW or a coal mine with 10 or more employees shall 

             prepare and finance a plan to provide a just transition when the plant or mine ceases operations. Such plan shall

             prepare and finance a plan to provide a Just Transition, to include the following:

             1. Severance plan for employees of at least 50% of their most recent annual compensation

             2. Access to affordable health care

             3. Training for skills in demand in the job market

             4. Payments to nearby communities in lieu of taxes previously paid for 2 years after closure

             The above stated plans shall be filed with and subject to the Department of Labor in the state, or with approval of

             states where the project is located.

II.     Transportation

        A.  Every manufacturer of passenger motor vehicles shall steadily increase the manufacture and sale of the per cent of

              all vehicles sold that are all-electric at least as follows:

              2021- 5%

              2023- 10%

              2025- 25%

              2028- 35%

              2030- 45%

              2032- 60%

              2035- 80%


        B.  Every manufacturer of commercial driverless motor vehicles shall reach all electric as 100 per cent of all vehicles 

              sold by 2015.

        C.  Manufacturing companies that fail to comply will be fined a federal (or state) income tax of $10,000 for every

              vehicle powered by fossil fuels in whole or in part that exceeds the per cent of such vehicles allowed in that year.

        D.  Effective January 1, 2025, any motor vehicle that is used to transport people for a fee (taxicabs, Uber, Lyft, etc.) and

              any driverless vehicle shall be zero greenhouse gas-emitting and the owner of such a GHG-emitting vehicle is

              subject to a flat $10,000 Federal (or State) tax.

III.    Railroad Electrification Authority

        A.  Every railroad is hereby required, by January 1, 2022, to complete a detailed plan for converting its railroad system

              to electric power by 2030 and submit the plan to the Department of Transportation for approval.

        B.  The Federal Government is authorized and directed to guarantee loans for the financing the implementation of

             approved plans.

        C.  All railroads will be fined $100 per ton for all GHG emitted after 2030.


IV.    Airlines


        A.  The Secretary of Transportation, in cooperation with American aircraft manufacturers, shall submit to Congress, no

              later than January 1, 2022, a detailed plan for the design and construction of all new aircraft completed after 2030

              to be fueled by renewable hydrogen or alternative zero GHG emission fuel.

        B.  Such a plan shall include a ban on any new aircraft after that date that emit greenhouse gases.

        C.  The penalty for violation of this law shall be $100/ton federal income tax for all GHG emitted by non-complying

              aircraft assuming they fly 20,000 miles per year.

V.     Heating of Buildings and Water

        A.  Effective January 1, 2022, all new buildings shall be designed to be heated and provide heated water by energy

              sources such as electricity that do not emit any GHG.

        B.  Effective January 1, 2025, all buildings of over 300 square feet shall be retrofitted to be heated and provide hot 

              water with zero emission of GHG.

        C.  The cost of retrofitting any building to meet the zero GHG requirement, shall be entitled to a federal income tax


VI.  A Federal Green Bank


A Federal Green Bank is hereby created to guarantee loans for the financing of railroad electrification, the construction of renewable electricity power plants, and other zero emission technologies as the Bank may determine.



Authored by S. David Freeman                                                                      


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