Conservative groups push for House vote on anti-carbon-tax measure

Conservative groups push for House vote on anti-carbon-tax measure
© Anna Moneymaker

Conservative groups are pushing GOP House leaders to allow a vote on a non-binding resolution to condemn carbon taxes.

Eighteen organizations, including Americans for Tax Reform, the Competitive Enterprise Institute and FreedomWorks, say it is important for House Republicans to vocally denounce potential taxes on carbon dioxide emissions, even as some push for conservatives to endorse the idea.

House Majority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseOvernight Energy: Trump reportedly opposes royalty cuts for oil, gas companies | House GOP presses Saudis to ease oil production | Exxon Mobil cuts budget amid industry slump House Republicans threaten pushback on Saudi Arabia amid oil market slump House GOP leaders back effort to boost small-business loans MORE (R) introduced the resolution in April. It states that it is Congress’s opinion that “a carbon tax would be detrimental to American families and businesses, and is not in the best interest of the United States.”

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A similar measure passed the House in 2016, with all Republicans and some Democrats supporting it. Scalise hails from Louisiana, whose economy is dependent on offshore oil and natural gas drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. The use of fossil fuels like oil and gas contributes to the carbon dioxide emissions that warm the Earth.

The conservative groups cheered Scalise’s resolution and pushed for quick consideration of it.

“A carbon tax is a policy with one definable goal: to raise the cost of traditional, reliable, affordable sources of energy. This includes the domestically produced gasoline, diesel, coal, and natural gas that fuel our cars and trucks, power our homes and keep our economy going strong every day,” they wrote.

“Despite recent attempts to market several carbon tax policy proposals as ‘conservative,’ it is also important to note the striking similarities between those proposals and carbon tax legislation being pushed by liberal members of Congress,” they continued.

Carbon taxes have long been supported by many Democrats and environmentalists as a way to discourage the use of fuels that contribute to climate change, and some conservative economists have also backed the idea.

Since President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenators demand more details from Trump on intel watchdog firing Overnight Health Care: Trump steps up attack on WHO | Fauci says deaths could be lower than first projected | House panel warns federal stockpile of medical supplies depleted | Mnuchin, Schumer in talks over relief deal Trump says he'll look into small business loan program restricting casinos MORE took office, a handful of conservative campaigns have tried to move Republicans towards carbon taxes, including one backed by former Secretary of State James Baker, but with little apparent success.