Buttigieg climate plan includes carbon tax

Buttigieg climate plan includes carbon tax

Presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg (D) wants to tax carbon emissions as part of his climate action agenda.

The South Bend, Ind., mayor listed pricing carbon from polluters as one of his campaign policy initiatives on his website.

Speaking to theSkimm on Thursday, he said the plan to tax carbon polluters and distribute the profits as dividends back to Americans would allow the public to "actually see more money in our pockets."

"We no longer have the luxury of debating whether to prepare for climate change, it's on us," he said.

Buttigieg, who has risen to prominence in national polls, also listed investing in solar and wind technology as well as carbon capture as other areas of importance.

"Because we need to do both," he told theSkimm.

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Buttigieg is the first presidential candidate to expressly list a carbon tax as a campaign initiative. While other Democrats have championed the idea of pricing carbon emissions, the concept has seen mixed acceptance in states and neighboring countries like Canada. Most Republicans also staunchly oppose it.

Washington Gov. Jay InsleeJay Robert InsleeThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democrats clash over future of party in heated debate 5 takeaways from fiery Democratic debate Left off debate stage, Bullock all-in on Iowa MORE (D), another 2020 hopeful, championed a carbon tax in his state last fall, but the ballot initiative failed to pass. He has since said he's considering a different route, and has not included specific language about a carbon tax or fee in the two climate policy plans he released this month.

Buttigieg joins the ranks of other Democratic hopefuls who have announced specifics about how they would tackle climate change if elected president. Former Texas Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeO'Rourke responds to Buttigieg's gun criticism: 'That calculation and fear is what got us here in the first place' Sunday shows - Guns dominate after Democratic debate O'Rourke says pushback to his mandatory gun buyback proposal shows Washington's 'screwed up priorities' MORE (D) and Inslee are the only two candidates to release fleshed-out policy plans on climate change.

Climate change has risen to the top in polls as a major voting issue for Democrats. A new poll released Thursday found that nearly 40 percent of registered U.S. voters say a candidate’s position on climate change is “very important” to them in deciding who they’ll vote for in 2020.