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concurrent resolution Progress


  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Senate Committee on Finance
  • The house Passed July 19th, 2018
    Roll Call Vote 229 Yea / 180 Nay
      house Committees
      House Committee on Ways and Means
    IntroducedApril 26th, 2018

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What is it?

This resolution would express Congress’ opposition to a federal carbon tax due to concerns that it would raise prices on essentials like food, gasoline, and electricity while having a negative impact on U.S. economic growth. In general, a carbon tax seeks to reduce emissions by taxing carbon-based fossil fuels like coal, oil, or natural gas at a given stage of the fuel’s product lifecycle.

While there are no impending votes on legislation that would impose a carbon tax, the lawmakers supporting this resolution outlined their specific concerns that such a policy:

  • Would impact the budgets of families and consumers across the board through higher prices, but would especially harm the poor, the elderly, and those on fixed incomes;

  • Would increase the cost of all goods manufactured in the U.S. while restricting the global competitiveness of America’s economy;

  • Would restrict domestic energy production and inhibit or reverse the job creation and investment that the energy industry has contributed to the U.S. economy.

As a concurrent resolution, this legislation could be passed by both chambers of Congress, but it wouldn’t go to the president’s desk for a signature as it wouldn’t have the force of law.

Impact

Americans who would be affected by a carbon tax; lawmakers that support a carbon tax; and Congress.

Cost

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) introduced this resolution to give Congress an opportunity to oppose attempts to enact a carbon tax in the U.S., which he believes would be detrimental to the economy:

“Working with President Trump, this Congress is leading America toward energy dominance and strong economic growth, yet some liberal Washington special interests continue to pursue a radical agenda that includes imposing a job-killing carbon tax, which would raise costs on everything we buy from electricity and gasoline to food and everyday household products. The resolution I’m introducing today with Congressman McKinley would yet again put Congress on record against a carbon tax, which would result in massive job losses, lead to higher prices for American families and small businesses, and jeopardize America’s energy security. I applaud President Trump for reversing eight years of failed energy policy, and finally putting America on a strong path to energy dominance and economic security for all Americans. Our resolution will affirm the position of Congress that a carbon tax would run counter to the goals of American energy dominance and national security."

Proponents of a carbon tax argue that dealing with climate change will be a costly endeavor no matter what, and that it could be a more efficient way of reducing emissions. Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) has advocated for a carbon tax since his election in 2014, and thinks it could still have a future:

“Republicans tend to hate regulations... And yet, putting a carbon tax in place could, in many ways, be a more efficient way to accomplish these goals, and with more flexibility.”

This legislation has the support of 42 cosponsors, all of whom are Republicans.


Of Note: Back in August 2013 the House passed legislation that would have prevented the White House from imposing a carbon tax without congressional approval, but it failed to receive a vote in the Senate before the end of the 113th Congress.

There is no federal carbon tax on the books in the U.S., although such taxes have been implemented to a limited degree at the state and local level.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: egdigital / iStock)

Official Title

Expressing the sense of Congress that a carbon tax would be detrimental to the United States economy.

    I mean they should, but isn't hurting the fossil fuel based economy the point of the policy? Proponents of a carbon tax know it will hurt the economy. It's their aim. They don't care.
    Like (15)
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    A carbon tax could be implemented with the revenue being returned to households to offset any increased costs. There is no solid argument to oppose this tax.
    Like (178)
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    If GOP really believe carbon tax would hurt the vulnerable, they should not try to take the health care, medicare, medicaid and our social security away! Read the statement issued by Secretary of Treasury Steve Swampy Mnuchin on the official website people! Don’t get sidetracked!
    Like (113)
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    There shouldnt be much discussion when we are talking about the actual health of the people and environment of this country, and the tax could even help the economy if it were earmarked for infrastructure spending.
    Like (64)
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    Isn't America great enough to thrive economically, without damaging the earth that we all - rich,and poor alike - have to live on?
    Like (53)
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    Global warming is a bigger more pressing issue
    Like (31)
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    It would change the economy but ultimately improve it.
    Like (31)
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    The House should be spending its time working to impeach our criminal, incompetent, treasonous president, not legislating anti-scientific canards.
    Like (27)
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    Done effectively (i.e. with a revenue neutral return to households), the impact of a carbon tax could actually be
    Like (25)
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    This is more obfuscation of reality by the fossil fuel industry. A carbon fee with all the revenue returned to families would actually increase jobs and GDP while cutting our CO2 emissions in half while saving 100s of thousands of premature deaths due to air pollution. What is hurting the economy is these deniers blocking legislation that would help the economy.
    Like (23)
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    The argument that a carbon tax is bad for the economy is false for several reasons. 1) It ignores the negative impact on the economy of letting fossil fuel companies spew CO2 emissions into the atmosphere at no cost, which the IMF has estimated at $5 trillion. Fully 3/4 of that is the medical and lost productivity cost of air pollution from fossil fuels and the remainder is the economic cost of heatwaves, forest fires, droughts, hurricanes, superstorms, floods and diminished crop yields. 2) A fee on the carbon content of fossil fuels speeds the transition to renewable energy, which creates more jobs than fossil fuels, jobs which pay a living wage. 3) Economists and climate scientists favor charging a fee on the carbon content of fossil fuels and dividing up the collected fee among all households as a monthly payment to offset the rising price of fossil fuels. A study of this proposal found that for most people the carbon dividend payment would more than cover increased prices, so they come out ahead.
    Like (21)
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    Well, let’s think about this for 30 seconds. Fresh healthy air to breath, smog filled economic relief. I hope the “ peoples branch” of our government will side with what amounts to a healthy environment over the Corporatist distraction.
    Like (19)
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    This is a political stunt throwing a bone to those who do not believe in climate change despite mountains of empirical data to the contrary. No such tax has yet been proposed. Funny that this resolution is a mere few months prior to midterm elections....or is it?
    Like (18)
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    It will not hurt the economy.
    Like (14)
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    A carbon tax that is fully refunded to American households would stimulate the economy and create jobs. Economists across the political spectrum favor the approach.
    Like (13)
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    Climate change is the biggest threat to humanity. Economists widely agree that pricing carbon is the most effective thing we can do to stop climate change. With a fee placed on carbon, it's true costs are accounted for. Fees can be returned to every
    Like (13)
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    The solution to pollution is delusion, until it is saturated, air, water and ground. The economy does better under democrats, than republicans. Republican spend and give tax cut to corporations and wealthy, telling the 99% how great it’s for them! Democrats tax corporations and the wealthy if they could and yes they support social programs that help the economy creating demand. Look at stock economic history related to political party. Surplus under Clinton, recovery under Obama
    Like (13)
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    A carbon tax is an artificial, but necessary method for capturing the societal cost of exploiting our natural resources. The fact that the oil and coal companies have gotten a mostly free ride up until this point should not excuse them from behaving responsibly now.
    Like (13)
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    We need to have clean air and water.
    Like (12)
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    The U.S. needs to take a leadership role in addressing climate change by transitioning us from fossil fuels to clean energy. A price on carbon is one way to help facilitate that transition. We cannot continue dumping 110 million tons of pollution in the atmosphere every day. We must transition off fossil fuels as soon and as much as possible.
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