House Democrats released a “discussion draft” of carbon tax legislation Tuesday and requested feedback on whether pricing per ton of carbon should result in a $15, $25, or $35 tax, as well as whether the price per ton annual increase should be 2% or up to 8%.
“Let’s send a signal to big polluters that it’s past time to start putting a price on carbon pollution,” said Rep. Blumenauer (D-OR). “This proposal has a great deal of potential to help protect the environment, reduce the deficit, create jobs, and support the transition to clean energy sources and low carbon transportation options."
Reps. Henry A. Waxman (D-CA) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Brian Schatz (D-HI) circulated the carbon tax bill.
“For far too long, carbon polluters have pushed the true cost of their pollution onto the American people in the form of dirty air, acidified water, and a changing climate,” said Whitehouse. “This framework is the beginning of a collaborative process to craft legislation that will reduce carbon pollution while also upholding an important principle: that all of the revenue generated through this carbon fee will be returned to the American people.”
Carbon tax critics argue that such a tax would hurt consumers, as companies would simply pass the tax along to them in the form of higher prices.
A report last year by the conservative Heritage Foundation found that a carbon tax would disproportionately hurt lower-income Americans, stymie American manufacturing, and would fail to reduce carbon emissions.