Several dozen Republican lawmakers wrote to the newly-elected Speaker of the House asking him to repeal an emissions reduction program from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), according to a copy of the letter obtained exclusively by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Rep. August Pfluger of Texas wrote the letter, which urges House Speaker Mike Johnson and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to repeal the IRA’s Methane Emissions Reduction Program (MERP) natural gas tax before the year’s end by including the MERP repeal in a possibly forthcoming legislative package. Pfluger and other prominent Republican signatories, such as Reps. Dan Crenshaw of Texas, Byron Donalds of Florida and Jeff Duncan of South Carolina, slammed the MERP as an excessive and unwieldy regulation that would stymie innovation and drive up costs for the American energy industry.
“The MERP is an inappropriate and highly unworkable tax on methane emissions,” the letter states. “If implemented, the ill-conceived natural gas tax will handicap technological innovation, reduce supplies of affordable energy, and increase both costs and emissions,” the letter continues, adding that “in order to lower costs for American families, we must repeal burdensome regulation, secure supply chains and unleash American energy.” (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: GOP Rep Urges Biden Official To Visit Region Where Admin Is Seeking To Curb Drilling To ‘Save A Lizard’)
Dem’s New Spending Bill Imposes Methane Tax To Fund ‘Environmental Justice’ Programs https://t.co/qUY46FNZfk
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) July 30, 2022
The MERP imposes a tax on emissions beyond 25,000 annual tons of carbon dioxide or an equivalent amount of pollution, according to the letter. Companies will be forced to collect the relevant data and pay a fee of $900 for every metric ton above 25,000 starting in 2024, which increases to $1,200 per extra metric ton in 2025 and then $1,500 per extra ton in 2026 and beyond.
“Through Congress’s historic investments in America, the Methane Emissions Reduction Program provides significant resources to states and stakeholders to reduce releases of harmful methane pollution, particularly in overburdened communities, to protect public health and slow the rate of climate change,” an EPA spokesperson told the DCNF. “The Biden-Harris Administration through EPA is implementing the program as Congress intended, working closely with states and industry to deploy resources and develop solutions that will cut emissions at their source.”
The tax is a “statutory codification” of the forced collection of emissions data under a specific sub-section of the Clean Air Act, according to the letter. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is looking to overhaul that particular section of the Clean Air Act such that the agency can increase the scope and costs of the MERP.
New fees or taxes on energy companies will raise costs for consumers, creating a burden that will fall most heavily on lower-income Americans,” the letter states. “In fact, this tax alone will drive up the cost of household energy bills for the 180 million Americans and 5.5 million businesses that rely on natural gas. At a time of persistent inflation and record energy prices, this increase is unthinkable for consumers.”
The White House did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
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