Guest essay by Eric Worrall
At least one Republican congressman believes the USA needs more taxes. Carlos Curbelo, U.S. representative for Florida’s 26th congressional district has introduced legislation to charge $24 / ton for CO2 starting in 2020.
Curbelo Receives Praise for Leadership on Market Choice Act to Address Climate Change
Washington, D.C., July 25, 2018 | Joanna Rodriguez (202-225-2778)
Representative Carlos Curbelo (FL-26), sponsor of H.R. 6463, “The Market Choice Act,” welcomed support of his efforts to move forward a market-based approach to valuing carbon from 34 diverse companies representing a wide cross section of the U.S. economy.
“I appreciate all the messages of encouragement in response to the Market Choice Act
filed earlier this week,” Curbelo said. “This new and innovative solution invests in American infrastructure, accelerates the transition to clean energy, repeals discriminatory taxes, and provides regulatory relief and stability that shows protecting our environment and strengthening the economy are not mutually exclusive. I look forward to the continued discussion around this proposal and thank all those offering support and adding to the constructive dialogue this bill has begun.”
“We welcome your demonstrated commitment to finding common ground on federal policies that can mitigate the effects of climate change,” the business leaders wrote in a letter to Curbelo and original co-sponsor Representative Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-8). “Your recently introduced legislation, the MARKET CHOICE Act (H.R. 6463), represents an opportunity for both parties to engage in substantive dialogue on the risks and opportunities posed by climate change, and to craft legislative solutions that benefit citizens in many different areas of the United States.”
The letter was signed by: Aspen Skiing Company, BP America, Burton Snowboards, Calpine Corporation, Campbell Soup Company, Clif Bar & Company, Danone North America, DSM North America, The Dow Chemical Company, DTE Energy, DuPont, EDP Renováveis, Equinor US Gap Inc., General Motors, IKEA North America Services, LLC, Ingersoll Rand, JLL Levi Strauss & Co., Lyft, Inc., Mars Incorporated, National Grid, New Belgium Brewing Company, Outdoor Industry Association, PG&E Corporation, Schneider Electric, Seventh Generation Shell, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Stonyfield Farm, Inc., Symantec Corporation Unilever, Vail Resorts, and Worthen Industries.
Environmental and energy groups across the political spectrum also praised Curbelo’s effort. Curbelo announced the introduction of H.R. 6463, the Modernizing America with Rebuilding to Kick-start the Economy of the Twenty-first Century with a Historic Infrastructure-Centered Expansion Market Choice Act at an event with Columbia University Center for Global Energy Policy on Monday. According to an analysis by Columbia University, Curbelo’s proposal would reduce carbon emissions by 27–32 percent in net greenhouse gas emissions levels by 2025 and 30–40 percent by 2030. The analysis also suggests the proposal would have little economic disruption, and that lowest-income households benefit from the proposal with 10% of revenues being used for transfers/dividends to offset higher energy prices.
A PDF of the letter is available here and the text of the letter is available below.
July 25, 2018
The Honorable Carlos Curbelo
The United States House of Representatives
1404 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Representative Curbelo,
As businesses that understand the critical nexus between environmental and economic interests and strongly support a collaborative, non-partisan solution to address climate change, we write to thank you for your leadership in advancing a constructive dialogue. This issue impacts our employees, our customers and the communities that we serve regardless of political affiliation—and of course, it impacts our businesses in very direct ways.
We believe that an economy-wide, market-based approach to valuing or pricing carbon, when carefully crafted, can both strengthen our economy and reduce carbon emissions by encouraging technological innovation and stimulating new investments in infrastructure, products, and services. A market-based approach provides companies, such as ours, with much-needed certainty to aid us in making long-term investment decisions that can further mitigate climate-related risks for our companies, supply chains, and the communities in which we live and work.
We welcome your demonstrated commitment to finding common ground on federal policies that can mitigate the effects of climate change. Your recently introduced legislation, the MARKET CHOICE Act (H.R. 6463), represents an opportunity for both parties to engage in substantive dialogue on the risks and opportunities posed by climate change, and to craft legislative solutions that benefit citizens in many different areas of the United States.
While we are not endorsing H.R. 6463, we appreciate your thoughtfulness, as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, in introducing market-based legislation that will drive a robust, non-partisan dialogue on how valuing or pricing carbon and strengthening the economy are not mutually exclusive – something we, as businesses, have understood for many years.
Thank you again for your leadership and we look forward to constructive conversation with you and other Members of Congress on policy solutions to address climate change.
CC: The Honorable Brian Fitzpatrick
This move does not appear to be representative of the Republican Party’s position as a whole. Reuters reports that Last week, the House voted 229-180 to approve a resolution expressing “the sense of Congress that a carbon tax would be detrimental to the United States economy.”
Nevertheless in my opinion this unfortunate move demonstrates that even Republican politicians are not immune to the lure of toxic tax ideas.
Taxes aimed at encouraging renewables have no hope of improving people’s lives. Legislation which unnecessarily drives up the price of energy almost always ends with voters rejecting the politicians who caused the pain – as just happened in Ontario.
The only genuinely viable alternative to fossil fuels is nuclear power. The evidence that renewables are useless is incontrovertible – even über green Google Corporation’s top engineers could not find an economically viable roadmap for the world to transition to renewables.
In voting districts where green policy support is strong, support for a carbon tax might be good for a quick political victory, but once voters discover there is no hope of renewables bringing energy prices down they tend to turn against the politicians who made their lives more difficult.