EXCLUSIVE: Dozens Of Energy Orgs Ask Congress To Kill Bill They Say Would ‘Inevitably’ Lead To Carbon Taxes

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Dozens of energy policy and advocacy groups signed a Monday letter to Congress to express their opposition to a bill they say could be the first step toward carbon taxes or tariffs.

The letter urges House lawmakers to vote against the PROVE IT Act, a bill that has not yet been introduced in the lower chamber but is expected to be soon. The PROVE IT Act — which has already been introduced in the Senate — would have the Department of Energy (DOE) study the carbon intensity of goods, including aluminum, steel, plastic and crude oil, produced in the U.S. and the carbon intensity of products from other countries, according to E&E News.

The bill’s proponents typically describe it as a way to reward American companies for producing goods more cleanly than other countries who pay less heed to the environment. Its opponents — including the organizations that signed on to the Monday letter — consider the bill to be a potential stepping stone to carbon tariffs and domestic carbon taxes in part because it effectively instructs the government to set a price of carbon with potentially inadequate restrictions placed on what the government can do with that metric in the future. (RELATED: Washington Gov. Jay Inslee Unveils Near Billion Dollar Plan To Steer Tax Dollars To Green Energy Industry)

“Through the creation of this federal administrative framework, Congress would be removing one of the biggest obstacles to the imposition of carbon taxes on both imported and domestically produced goods,” the letter reads. “It is clear that this information would then be used to impose new “climate” taxes, similar to what Democrats in Congress did during the summer of 2022.”

“Many of the bill supporters expressly admit that the legislation would be used to develop carbon taxes of some kind,” the letter continues. “Once a carbon tax on imported goods is created, the U.S. would inevitably impose a domestic carbon tax. This is due both to trade law obligations and because environmental groups and others would not stay silent as domestic industries fail to meet similar greenhouse gas reduction commitments.”

The letter further criticizes the PROVE IT Act as a bill that would impose new taxes, penalize energy use and hit lower-income demographics especially hard. Republican Utah Rep. John Curtis, who is running for Senate in Utah, is the primary GOP sponsor of the yet-to-be-released House version of the bill, according to E&E News.

Among others, some of the organizations that signed the letter include the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the American Energy Alliance, Americans for Prosperity, the Commonwealth Foundation and the Domestic Energy Producers Alliance. While the groups that signed the letter and some Republicans oppose the PROVE IT Act, some Republicans and the American Petroleum Institute (API) are in favor of the bill.

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