The Democratic Party added a carbon tax to a plank on its party platform Tuesday, addressing so-called man made global warming, despite warnings from one of the party’s wealthiest benefactors.
“Democrats believe that carbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gases should be priced to reflect their negative externalities, and to accelerate the transition to a clean economy and help meet out climate goals,” the Democratic Party platform now reads.
The section on the carbon tax continues: “Democrats believe that climate change is too important to wait for climate deniers and defeatists in Congress to start listening to science, and support using every tool available to reduce emissions now.”
The carbon tax is a smack in the face to environmentalist billionaire Tom Steyer, who has issued warnings in the past that a carbon tax is too much of a wedge issue for Democrats.
In an interview with ClimateWire Monday, the former hedge fund manager said swapping the Clean Power Plan for a carbon tax is essentially a death knell for Democrats in states heavily tied to natural gas development.
“That’s a huge wedge issue,” Steyer said of a carbon tax. “I think it’s a critical issue as to whether they turn out.”
The platform also reiterates the party’s commitment “defending, implementing, and extending smart pollution and efficiency standards, including the Clean Power Plan,” as well as extending research fleshing out new clean energy fuels.
Democratic operatives added a provision to the party platform in June calling for the Department of Justice to investigate companies that disagree with Democratic policies addressing global warming.
“Another joint proposal calling on the Department of Justice to investigate alleged corporate fraud on the part of fossil fuel companies who have reportedly misled shareholders and the public on the scientific reality of climate change was also adopted by unanimous consent,” according to the Democratic National Convention’s website.
The new plank will essentially sacrifice battle ground states heavily dependent on fracking to the Republicans this presidential election, Grover Norquist, Americans for Tax Reform, said in a press statement following the decision.
“When counting to 270 – the number of electoral votes needed to win the presidency – the Republicans may have already won the election in five short words: ‘We oppose any carbon tax.’ Note the overlap between new fracking states – Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Colorado – and the swing states to reach 270 for any candidate,” Norquist said.
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