Rahall is the top Democrat on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
Carbon tax proposals have gained fresh attention in policy and climate activist circles in recent months as a way to curb emissions and perhaps raise new revenue, although some proponents say they should be offset by lower individual taxes.
But the idea has not gained political traction. The White House has flatly said it won't propose a carbon tax, while the entire House GOP leadership team also rejects the idea.
The fresh opposition follows several recent reports that environmentalists and some Democrats are using to bolster calls for more aggressive action to fight climate change.
2012 was the hottest year on record in the contiguous United States and among the top 10 hottest ever worldwide, according to federal scientists.
A major draft report by a federal advisory committee last week found that climate change is already harming U.S. residents, and that global emissions increases could raise temperatures by as much as 10 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century.