The Renewable Energy Project (Green New Deal)

Urgent action is needed in response to the climate crisis – and that action is not likely to come from the federal government any time soon! (view video below)

The scientific community has been warning us for some time now that we must act dramatically, and soon, to address the threat posed by the climate crisis.  We must stop burning coal and oil and move to clean, renewable energy.

According to the predictions made by climatologists, global warming and the resulting changes in the climate of our planet are being caused in large part by human activity.  Climate change will lead to disastrous and potentially catastrophic consequences, including widespread exceptional droughts that will drastically reduce food production and lead to widespread starvation, which in turn, will lead to conflict within and between nations that will ultimately threaten the very fabric of civilization itself.

This initiative would create an agency known as “The Renewable Energy Project” within the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations in the state of Missouri.  Workers would be hired to plan and carry out “New Deal” type projects to improve energy efficiency in homes and businesses, to manufacture wind turbines and solar panels, to construct wind farms and solar farms, and to plant trees.

Funding for these projects would come from a tax on long-term capital gains and qualified dividends.  The rationale for taxing capital gains at a lower rate than ordinary income was based on the (false) claim that doing so would result in job creation.  This “trickle down” theory has been thoroughly discredited by decades of failure.  “Job creators” do not create jobs because they have extra money in the bank.  Jobs are created when the demand for a company’s products or services exceed the supply.  When more and more workers are unemployed or struggling to make ends meet, demand does not expand.

Taxing long-term capital gains and qualified dividends at the same rate as other forms of income and using the money raised to put unemployed and under-employed workers to work on socially useful jobs, is a much more effective and direct means of moving toward full employment.

The “New Deal” jobs programs of President Franklin Roosevelt proved the effectiveness of socially useful public sector jobs in reducing unemployment during The Great Depression.

This initiative proposal, if passed into law, would demonstrate the power and the benefits of this approach in addressing the threat posed by the climate crisis and yield immediate benefits by providing a powerful boost to the economies of the states enacting a Green New Deal.

This petition has been approved by the Secretary of State for circulation in Missouri.  If enough signatures are obtained by May 16, 2018, it will be on the ballot on November 6, 2018.  If approved by the voters, it will be effective 30 days later.

If you want to help gather signatures for this and/or our other petitions, click on “Join the Campaign” in the side-bar.  

To print copies of this petition, go to the “Print Petitions” tab.  Be certain to read the “Instructions for Circulators” before you begin gathering signatures.

This is the full text of this proposed law:

Be it enacted by the people of the state of Missouri:

Two new sections of the Missouri Revised Statutes are hereby enacted, to be known as sections 286.131 and 143.012, to read as follows:

286.131.  1. A program to be known as “The Renewable Energy Project” is hereby created within the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.

2. Funding for The Renewable Energy Project will be provided through revenues from a tax on long-term capital gains and qualified dividends, as provided for in Section 143.012.

3. The Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations shall, within one (1) calendar year of the effective date of this section, promulgate rules necessary for the administration of this section, including a method for the expenditure of the funds collected pursuant to section 143.012 in a manner that balances cost-effectiveness, amount of carbon emissions to be avoided, economic development, and employment.

4. Funds collected pursuant to this section and section 143.012 shall be used only for the purposes of improving energy efficiency in buildings, constructing and installing renewable energy resources as defined by section 386.890.2(6), modernizing public infrastructure to utilize energy from renewable energy resources, and planting trees on public lands.

5. Once the state of Missouri is producing 90% or more of its electricity from clean, renewable sources, the funds generated by this tax on long-term capital gains and qualified dividends may be used, as directed by appropriate legislation, to replace funds generated by the state sales tax so that sales taxes may be reduced or eliminated.

6. All subsections and all clauses of this Section, and the phrases, and the words within them, are severable. If any of the provisions within them are found by a court of competent jurisdiction to be unconstitutional or unconstitutionally enacted or invalid, the remainder of those provisions shall remain valid and the application of such provisions shall not be affected thereby.

143.012.  1. Beginning with the 2019 calendar year, a tax on capital gains and qualified dividends will be imposed, with the funds collected dedicated to providing funding for The Renewable Energy Project.  The amount of the tax will be the difference, expressed as a percentage, of the rate paid to the federal government by each taxpayer on long-term capital gains and qualified dividends earned, and the tax rate that would have been paid for an equal amount of marginal ordinary income, based on each taxpayer’s tax bracket.

2. Any taxpayer whose total family income is less than 110 percent of the dollar amount of the poverty threshold, based on the poverty guidelines published by the Department of Health and Human Services, is exempt from this tax.  

3. All subsections and all clauses of this Section, and the phrases, and the words within them, are severable. If any of the provisions within them are found by a court of competent jurisdiction to be unconstitutional or unconstitutionally enacted or invalid, the remainder of those provisions shall remain valid and the application of such provisions shall not be affected thereby.