Energy & Environment

White House: Trump isn’t considering a carbon tax

Wikipedia

The Trump administration isn’t considering advocating for a tax on carbon dioxide emissions, a White House official said Wednesday.

The official sought to clarify the administration’s position after White House press secretary Sean Spicer seemed to be unclear on the matter at a Tuesday press briefing.

“I think there’s a robust debate going on with respect to comprehensive tax reform,” Spicer said in response to a reporter’s question on whether a carbon tax is under consideration by President Trump.

{mosads}

“Obviously, there’s a lot of people who recognize that we haven’t [had] comprehensive tax reform since 1986 and that there’s a lot of pieces in this that we need to examine and get to and there’s a lot of voices and opinions that get shared with him,” he continued.

The White House official shot down the possibility.

“The Trump administration is not considering a carbon tax,” the official said.

Top White House advisers, including National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, met last month with a group of ex-GOP officials led by James Baker, the former secretary of State and Treasury, who pitched them on the idea of a carbon tax with proceeds going to individuals.

The White House said meetings like that are a normal part of the economic advisers’ job.

“Part of the NEC’s responsibility in coordinating economic policy for the president is to listen to a range of viewpoints on various issues,” the official said.

Carbon taxes or other pricing mechanisms for greenhouse gases have long been popular among Democrats and some conservative economists as a simple way to discourage the use of fossil fuels and fight climate change.

But elected Republicans are nearly united in their opposition to a carbon tax, owing both to skepticism of the science of climate change and the economic impact of a significant new tax.

Politico reported late Tuesday that the carbon tax issue is causing a rift among White House advisers, causing officials like Trump’s chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, to be skeptical of Cohn and others for taking the meeting.

Tags Carbon tax Climate change
See all Hill.TV See all Video