The Rural Investment to Protect our Environment (RIPE) Roadmap is a federal policy framework and stakeholder engagement process that merges rural interests in economic development with urban interests in environmental policy, thereby enabling a rural-urban and bipartisan coalition that is able to advance federal policy that can withstand political transitions. Specifically, the RIPE Roadmap achieves the following goals, simultaneously:
- Fairly compensate farmers with a reliable revenue stream that communities can rely upon in an era of declining rural economies, volatile commodity prices & disrupted access to international markets. Farmers can earn profitable payments for their voluntary stewardship efforts, with practices such as these potential qualifying measures. The specific payment level will be established through stakeholder conversations and scientific insights. Funding can come from a variety of options, as to be determined by stakeholders, with possibilities including: a carbon price or permit sales on energy sectors, tax breaks such as 45Q, general funds from reconciliation process, bonds, etc. Financial figures used on this website are based on a carbon price levied on energy companies at $42/ton with about a quarter of the revenue allocated to farmers. That funding structure enables farmers to earn in the range of $100/acre.
- Close the digital divide in rural America. Provide modern internet access to rural communities within 1-4 years.
- Invest in economic development programs for urban and rural communities. The RIPE Roadmap can invest tens of millions annually in urban, rural, and environmental justice communities.
- Invest in voluntary sustainable agriculture to improve drinking water quality, water conservation, & sustainable agriculture. All residents will benefit from cleaner and more abundant water.
- Comprehensively address climate change by making polluters pay while protecting households from potential energy costs. The polluting energy companies will pay for their share of pollution, under a carbon price, thereby enabling clean energy to fairly compete in the market. This will reduce air pollution to the level that scientists say is needed to stabilize the climate, which will benefit all citizens. RIPE recommends that roughly half of the revenue be allocated to household rebates in order to protect consumers from energy cost increases that polluting energy firms may try to shift onto consumers.