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Sens. Jeff Flake and Chris Coons co-introduce bill to fight climate change

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., left, and Sen. Christopher Coons, D-Del., address the crowd at the 2018 Global Citizen Festival in Central Park on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

PHOENIX — U.S. Sens. Jeff Flake and Chris Coons co-introduced a bill Wednesday that aims to fight climate change through cutting emissions.

The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act would place a $15 fee on each metric ton of carbon dioxide emitted.

The fee would rise by $10 each year, and all of its net revenues would be given back to taxpayers as a monthly dividend.

Any imported fossil fuels or other carbon-intensive goods would carry an equalization fee if the country of origin does not have a carbon fee in place, while exported goods would receive a fee refund.

The House version of the bill was introduced last month.

Coons said in a press release that the legislation would create 2.1 million new jobs and aims to reduce carbon emissions by 33 percent in 10 years.

Coons tweeted that the act would “raise the incomes of the working and middle class by sending all Americans a monthly carbon dividend check.”

Flake called the bill “an honest path to clean energy.”

“With the administration’s recent climate assessment and skeptical response from the president, Republicans need to be at the forefront of addressing climate change,” Flake said in the release.

“This free-market solution will reduce carbon pollution and encourage American innovation.”

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