Energy

Conservative Groups Rally GOP Opposition To A Carbon Tax

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Jason Hopkins Immigration and politics reporter

In response to growing demands for a carbon tax, various conservative organizations are banding together and calling on Congress to suppress such an effort.

The American Energy Alliance (AEA), a nonprofit advocacy group, is partnering with other free-market organizations to urge the House of Representatives to pass a resolution that would put lawmakers on record as opposed to a carbon tax. The conservative coalition group has formulated a letter, addressed to House Speaker Paul Ryan and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, that outlines their position.

“Despite recent attempts to market several carbon tax policy proposals as ‘conservative,’ it is also important to note the striking similarities between those proposals and carbon tax legislation being pushed by liberal Members of Congress,” reads a portion of the draft letter, obtained by Axios.

AEA wants a vote on House Majority Whip Steve Scalise’s resolution, introduced earlier in 2018, that would formally announce the House’s opposition to a carbon tax. While non-binding, the measure would hold large symbolic value.

This effort follows other conservative groups that have signed on to the idea of a tax on carbon emissions, believing it to be a free-market approach to tackling climate change. A carbon tax — a fee levied on companies according to the amount of CO2 they release into the air — has been touted as a better alternative to strict environmental regulations. Democratic lawmakers and a handful of environmentally minded Republicans have supported the concept. (RELATED: Conservative Groups Stand Against Carbon Tax)

Americans for Carbon Dividends — a bi-partisan group led by former Republican Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott and former Democratic Senate Deputy Majority Whip John Breaux — is lobbying a carbon tax that incrementally rises while revenue is distributed back to consumers. They are funded by numerous renewable and nuclear energy companies — some of fossil fuel’s biggest competitors. They are joined by conservative green groups such ConservAmerica and republicEn.

If a carbon tax bill were somehow able to pass both chambers of Congress, it would likely fail to earn a signature from President Donald Trump, who is currently working to loosen regulations in the energy industry.

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