The Carbon Tax is a policy the left has pushed for years, and now some well-known republicans are pushing for this tax as well. Former Secretary of State James A. Baker III, former Secretary of State George P. Shultz and former secretary of Treasury Henry M. Paulson Jr, are the top republicans who are pushing for this policy. The men argue that the carbon tax is a ‘conservative’ policy, and it’s based on ‘free market principles’.
James Baker met Wednesday with president Trump’s top economic advisor Gary Cohn, Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, and senior aide Kellyanne Conway for 45 minutes. He also met with Vice President Mike Pence briefly. There is no word yet on if the white house is going to support this or not.
The carbon tax of course is popular with democrats, and would probably have full democratic support in congress. Of course since democrats don’t currently hold the majority in Congress, the only way it could pass is if more Republicans push for it.
Surprisingly, Mitt Romney praised the idea on twitter Wednesday.
“Thought-provoking plan from highly respected conservatives to both strengthen the economy & confront climate risks.”
The top republicans who are trying to pass the carbon tax have a detailed plan on the Climate Leadership Council website, and they entitle it “The Conservative Case for Carbon Dividends.”
The plan is then set into four pillars.
First, they call for a gradually increasing carbon tax. The implementation of the tax begins where the fossil fuels enter the economy (mines, well, or port). The taxes beginning rate is $40 a ton, and the plan is to gradually increase the tax over time, but it is never mentioned how much they want to raise it, and how long before they begin to raise it.
The second pillar is about returning the proceeds of this tax into carbon dividends for all Americans. This plan includes giving the money back on a quarterly basis through dividend checks, direct deposits, or contributions to their personal retirement accounts. According to the creators of this plan, “a family of four would receive approximately $2,000 in carbon dividend payments in the first year.”
The plan then calls for border adjustments for carbon content, which is supposed to protect, “American competitiveness and punish free-riding by other nations, encouraging them to adopt carbon pricing of their own.” So imports from countries who don’t have carbon pricing systems would face fees for not having a plan for cutting the amount of carbon dioxide.
The last pillar to this plan is eliminating regulations that existed to try to help the environment, since these regulations won’t be needed, because the carbon tax solved the problem these regulations were trying to solve. The plan is to take the power from the EPA, and just allow the tax to take care of it.
This newest carbon tax plan is coming from the right, maybe this will become a bi-partisan effort, or maybe republicans in congress will keep their promises of not increasing taxes or adding any new taxes. No one knows what will happen next.
If you want to learn more about the Republican’s ‘free market’ carbon tax check out Climate Leadership Council, where the republicans have their plan laid out in greater detail.