…Congress Introduces Carbon Tax…
Rep. Theodore Deutch, (D-FL) introduced H.R.7173: Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2018.
“This bill amends the Internal Revenue Code to impose a fee on the carbon content of fuels, including crude oil, natural gas, coal, or any other product derived from those fuels that will be used so as to emit greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.”
“The fee is imposed on the producers or importers of the fuels and is equal to the greenhouse gas content of the fuel multiplied by the carbon fee rate. The rate begins at $15 in 2019, increases by $10 each year, and is subject to further adjustments based on the progress in meeting specified emissions reduction targets. The bill also imposes a specified fee on fluorinated greenhouse gases.”
“The bill includes:
- exemptions for fuels used for agricultural or non-emitting purposes,
- rebates for facilities that capture and sequester carbon dioxide, and
- border adjustment provisions that require certain fees or refunds for carbon-intensive products that are exported or imported.
“The fees must be deposited into a Carbon Dividend Trust Fund and used for administrative expenses and dividend payments to U.S. citizens or lawful residents. The fees must be decommissioned when emissions levels and monthly dividend payments fall below specified levels.”
A reading of the text indicates:
- Payments from the Carbon Dividend Trust Fund are taxable.
- The carbon fee is to end when greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions have been reduced by approximately 90% from 2015 levels.
- The first target year will be the year 2022 and will require a reduction in GHG emissions of 5% of 2015 emissions. The 5% annual target continues until 2031 when the target is reduced to 2.5%.
- The carbon fee in 2022 would be $55 if the Bill is enacted during 2019.
US Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) introduced a similar bill in the Senate.
Legislation imposing a carbon fee on GHG emissions in the United States has been introduced in Congress and is currently in various Committees. It has sponsors from both parties.
It should be noted that the bills were introduced in the last Congress and will need to be reintroduced. This is likely to take place soon given the rhetoric of new members of Congress.
At present, all U.S. citizens will be eligible for payments from the Carbon Trust Fund, less administrative expenses. Payments will be taxable.
Past discussions had indicated low-income persons would receive the bulk of payments, though the Bill does not indicate this.
Carbon fees on GHG emissions will result in higher costs for all products stemming from the use of carbon fuels. The cost of electricity will obviously increase, however building and construction costs and any product that uses energy or materials dependent on energy, for example, plastic bottled water, will also increase.
Housing costs will rise because of higher costs for materials, which will surprise the supporters of the Green New Deal.
The Bill demonstrates that the effort to control energy production and use, and to impose more government regulations on Americans, has support in Congress.
It is part of the Green New Deal tied to Socialism. See Climate Change and Socialism
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