A South Florida Republican congressman plans to introduce legislation aimed at stalling dramatic climate change by creating an escalating tax on carbon emissions, while pausing certain federal regulations, an energy and environment website reported this week.
The proposal would get rid of the federal gas tax, and replace it with a tax on carbon emissions at $23 per ton. The tax would be levied on emissions from refineries, cola mines, gas processing plants and certain other industrial facilities starting in 2020. The tax would increase at 2 percent above inflation after that.
The goal would be to see a 27 percent reduction in carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels in five years and a 30 percent reduction by 2032.
Most of the revenue from the proposed tax would replace the revenue lost by eliminating the gas tax.
What industry would get in return would be a moratorium on Clean Air Act regulations.
There are some center-right interest groups that have pushed for a carbon tax. E&E reported this week on a new one, Americans for Carbon Dividends, but noted it is funded by wind and solar power interests who have a financial stake in taxes on carbon emitters they compete against. The new group has hired former Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott, among others, to lobby on its behalf.