We are a broad network of groups building consensus around a price on carbon pollution.
The Pricing Carbon Initiative (PCI) grew out of a three-day retreat organized by the Tom Stokes (Climate Crisis Coalition) and Charles Komanoff (Carbon Tax Center), in July 2011 in Garrison, New York. Fifty leaders from a broad spectrum of national environmental, social justice and business organizations met to seek common ground on the need to price carbon emissions. Those discussions have continued with Tom coordinating PCI’s network which has grown to over 150 people representing 80 advocacy groups, conservative and progressive think thanks, and other associations for off-the-record discussions about the policy and politics of pricing carbon emissions.
Over the past 3 years, we have convened 17 half-day meetings in Washington, DC to explore how taxing CO2 emissions might be included in broader tax and fiscal reform and attract bipartisan support. Since a number of the parties involved have remained unwilling to publicly acknowledge their interest in pricing carbon, confidentiality has been an important ingredient to the success of these candid and often revealing discussions.
Starting in early 2014, with limited prospects in the 113th Congresses, the focus on pricing carbon has been threefold: 1) state initiatives which could become a model for national legislation and serve as a key component to state implementation plans needed to comply with the Obama EPA Clean Power Plan; 2) international efforts and mechanisms that could be key to a post-Kyoto accord; 3) exploring and developing pricing carbon opportunities that may arise in the 114th Congress and beyond.
In October 2014, our more active participants convened for a two-day strategic-planning retreat near Washington DC. The meeting was pivotal both in reinforcing the value of PCI’s ongoing dialogues and in establishing new projects, which include: 1) a carbon-tax design matrix; 2) an information-sharing network for state-based carbon-pricing initiatives; 3) communications (language and messaging) between differing constituencies; 4) business outreach.
PCI’s subsequent dialogues, on November 19, 2014 and on March 12, 2015 have reflected a growing sense of finding strength and common cause in our diversity, especially between progressives and conservatives. Additional Washington DC meetings in 2015 will be held in June, October and December. Notwithstanding our differences on many issues, we focus on pricing carbons mechanisms that we can concur on as politically viable, conducive to tax reform, and effective in containing carbon emissions.