Carbon Tax Legislation Introduced


Source: SOCMA
Related Topics: Climate Change

Yesterday, Representative Jim McDermott (D-WA)  introduced legislation – The Managed Carbon Price Act of 2012 – which would impose a first-time tax on carbon dioxide emissions.  Aimed specifically at fossil fuel producers and importers, the bill would create a “flexible price system”  for taxing GHG emissions while accounting for volatility in the energy markets.  The legislation seeks to reduce CO2 emissions to 80% of 2005 levels within 42 years; the first tax would be imposed two years  after enactment of the bill.  The legislation would require the Secretary of the Treasury to issue emissions permits for each quarter of a ton of CO2-equivalent, and targets 25% of the revenues toward deficit reduction and 75% for tax dividends  to help consumers pay for increased energy costs. 

The issue of a carbon tax has received renewed attention in recent weeks as some Republicans such as former Representative Bob Inglis (R-SC) and the American Enterprise Institute think tank have been revisiting the issue.  However, prospects for passage  of this legislation in the near-term are virtually nonexistent.  Even the few Republicans who might consider such a tax would be loath to do so unless the legislation contained provisions which would strip EPA of its  authority to regulate greenhouse gases; the new bill does not contain such provisions. 

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