Energy

WaPo Calls Gas Tax Push A Potential Victory Against Global Warming

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Chris White Tech Reporter

The Washington Post floated the ideas that increasing the federal gas tax could behave as a “rough” carbon tax designed to help fight global warming.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s half-hearted campaign to convince the Trump administration to impose higher gas taxes might benefit activists who want a carbon tax. The chamber believes increasing the tax will help pay for a nearly $1 trillion infrastructure proposal.

American drivers “would pay about $108 more per year” if the tax goes through, while also helping to offset the costs of building better roads. “It’s also a rough — too rough, admittedly — proxy for a carbon tax, which would help the environment,” WaPo’s Editorial Board wrote in a piece Thursday.

The chamber, a business lobby group not known for supporting sales taxes, announced earlier this month a campaign for a 25-cents-per-gallon increase, phased in over five years and indexed to inflation. It has also supported similar proposals in the past. Congress could pass the plan via a voice vote, which would then need to be signed by President Donald Trump.

The general fund could become insolvent unless it slashes planned spending by $138 billion. A gas tax increase would raise $394 billion over the next decade, which would be enough to restore the trust fund to solvency, WaPo wrote.

Trump, for his part, suggested in May 2017 that he would “consider” raising the federal gas tax to pay for his promised increase in infrastructure spending. National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, meanwhile, reportedly floated the idea of a 7-cent-per-gallon hike.

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