By Laura Barron-Lopez - 10/28/14 05:38 PM EDT
Sen. Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseMoney for nothing: Rethinking CO2 Dem takes Exxon fight to GOP chairman's backyard Anti-trade senators say chamber would be crazy to pass TPP MORE (D-R.I.) is preparing legislation that will put a price on carbon and he plans to introduce it next month.
Whitehouse announced the legislation during a conference at New York University on Tuesday, claiming it would “generate significant new federal revenue.”
“My legislation will generate significant new federal revenue—perhaps as much as two trillion dollars over the first decade. Every dollar of this revenue should be returned to the American people,” he added.
Whitehouse argued that like the 97 percent in the scientific community who back the science behind climate change, a majority of economists back a carbon fee on industrial sources of pollution.
“What does not receive as much attention is that there’s even greater consensus amongst economists, starting from Milton Friedman and moving into the most left-wing economists that you could find, that the obvious correct public policy solution to this is to put a price on carbon,” he said.
Whitehouse said there are a number of places the revenue stream can go toward including “relieving student loans debt, boosting Social Security benefits to seniors, [and] providing transition assistance to workers in fossil-fuel industries.”
Previous attempts to pass a carbon tax bill have failed in Congress, and Whitehouse’s bill is sure to receive fierce opposition from Republicans.