We blinked and it’s November… how did that happen? We’d like to blink and see a carbon tax enacted!
Conservatives push carbon tax: As Congress turns to tax code overhaul, conservatives are pushing for lawmakers to consider a carbon tax in the mix. “This is a major policy proposal that Mr. Baker and Mr. Shultz and others have proposed,” Greg Bertelsen, senior vice president of the Climate Leadership Council said. “Like any major proposal, it’s going to take time to build support and educate policymakers.” Former Secretaries of State George Shultz and James A. Baker are proponents of a plan that would tax carbon and return the revenue to Americans as a dividend. “Adding a carbon tax is a way to do tax reform and balance the budget at the same time,” added our own Bob Inglis said. “The idea is to tax pollution, not profits. It’s completely consistent with what conservatives have long advocated.” No Republican lawmaker has indicated support for advancing a carbon tax as part of the reform package.
Alaska’s balancing act: Alaska’s Independent Governor Bill Walker created a state climate change committee, charged with recommending responses to thawing permafrost and sea level rise. The 15-member panel is tasked with delivering a report by September 1, 2018. Walker said “climate change is not going to be set aside” to wait for the state to consider other pressing priorities. Meanwhile, Senator Lisa Murkowski, chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, is preparing to bring before her committee a proposal to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to oil and gas drilling. While some have criticized her stance as contradicting her climate position, Murkowski pointed to the “awareness” Alaskans have that they “are seeing the impacts of climate change perhaps more readily than in other parts of the country because of our Arctic environment.”
“But we’re also a place where we recognize that in order to stay warm, we have to have a resource that can keep us warm, and oil has been a mainstay for us,” she said in defending her support for ANWR drilling. “We’ve provided it to the country and that has allowed for jobs and revenues, it has allowed for schools and roads and institutions that everybody else around the country enjoys.”
House floor statements: A bird rumored that House members from both parties would take to the floor today to speak about the need for climate action. At the time of posting, no statements were heard, but we will continue to tune in (so you don’t have to). If we hear something good, we’ll post it here tomorrow. See you then!