On Thursday, Florida Rep. Francis Rooney, co-chair of the House Climate Solutions Caucus and conservative leader on climate change, is expected to introduce his much-talked about carbon tax bill.
Unlike a previous bill he co-sponsored, which returned revenue to Americans in the form of a dividend, the new version would use 70 percent of collected revenues to offset payroll taxes. “The idea is to have several of these carbon tax bills on the table for debate,” Rooney said in an interview with the Washington Examiner. “All are legitimate and each has its own constituency. I would think this one would be easier to sell for Republicans because it’s supportive of business and jobs rather than just giving it back to families.” The remaining revenue will be directed toward priorities such as R&D on energy efficiency, clean energy technology, and mitigation.
The bill would set a carbon tax of $30 per metric ton, increasing five percent per year, assessed upstream, which means coal is taxed at the mine, natural gas at the processing plant, and petroleum at the refinery. The measure would also bar new regulations on power plants meeting emissions targets set by the bill. According to a one-pager on the bill and reported in The Hill, “if emissions do not meet minimum reductions, then the carbon price can increase or the regulatory moratorium can be phased out.”
Rooney is one of a growing number of conservative lawmakers committed to enacting free market solutions to climate change. He’s looking to attach his name to a series of carbon tax-related bills.