Senate Environment panel to take up Sen. Sanders’s carbon tax bill in July

A Senate panel will begin consideration of a carbon tax bill as part of a broader hearing on climate change in mid-July.

{mosads}Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) told reporters in the Capitol on Thursday that Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) climate bill will surface during that hearing.

Boxer has said she wants to get the legislation to the floor this summer. But it faces a tough path in the Senate, and is likely dead on arrival in the GOP-controlled House.

While liberal Democrats have revived previously moribund climate change discourse in recent months, Republicans and centrist Democrats have their heels dug in against measures that would hike the cost of fossil fuel energy.

A majority of the Senate — 53 members — voted in March to oppose a carbon tax in an amendment to the nonbinding Senate Democratic budget plan.

That tally likely foretells the fate of Sanders’ bill — though bringing it to the floor could put Republicans on record regarding climate issues.

The legislation would impose a carbon fee on the some of the nation’s largest fossil fuel producers at point of production, rather than emissions. The former affects drillers and importers, while the latter hits power plants.

The fees would raise $1.2 trillion through the next decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Sanders’ bill would return 60 percent of those revenues to residents to help offset costlier energy.

The idea of a carbon tax has gained steam in policy circles as a way to boost revenues while slashing greenhouse gas emissions, but it has little traction on Capitol Hill.

Aside from the congressional gridlock on the issue, the White House has said that it won’t pursue a carbon tax.

Tags Barbara Boxer Bernie Sanders

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