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GOP congressman introduces bipartisan carbon tax bill

GOP congressman introduces bipartisan carbon tax bill
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A new bill introduced by Republican Rep. Brian FitzpatrickBrian K. FitzpatrickDivided citizenry and government — a call to action for common ground OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Down ballot races carry environmental implications | US officially exits Paris climate accord  Fitzpatrick wins reelection in Pennsylvania MORE (Pa.) would place a price on carbon and invest revenue in infrastructure.

The bipartisan Market Choice Act co-sponsored with Democratic Reps. Salud CarbajalSalud CarbajalGOP Rep. Dan Newhouse tests positive for COVID-19 Colorado Democrat Ed Perlmutter tests positive for coronavirus Bustos tests positive for COVID-19 MORE and Scott PetersScott H. PetersTrump's illness sparks new urgency for COVID-19 deal Moderate Democrats push leadership to pull marijuana legislation One doctor's thoughts on a hopeful future MORE of California aims to reduce emissions and invest in infrastructure projects such as those for highways and bridges. It would do so by replacing the federal gasoline tax with a tax on carbon emissions from sources of fossil fuel combustion like power plants.

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“Efforts to reduce climate risk should protect our Nation’s economy, security, infrastructure, agriculture, water supply, public health, and public safety and there is bipartisan support for pursuing efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through economically viable, broadly supported private and public policies and solutions,” the text of the bill reads.

The bill calls for a tax of $35 per metric ton of carbon dioxide emissions starting in 2021 with rates increasing cumulatively thereafter.

“We are at a crossroads with regard to infrastructure and climate change,” said Fitzpatrick in a statement Thursday.

“Legislative action taken — or not taken — by this Congress on these issues will be felt for generations. With the American public overwhelmingly seeking fixes to our crumbling roads and bridges while searching for solutions to mitigate the dangerous effects of climate change, our bipartisan bill is a dynamic solution that seeks to tackle both problems. It doesn’t have to be a tough choice,” he said.

The bill mirrors one introduced with the same name by former GOP lawmaker Carlos CurbeloCarlos Luis CurbeloHouse Hispanic Republicans welcome four new members House adjusts format for dinner with new members after criticism Former GOP congressman calls for Biden to receive presidential briefings MORE of Florida in 2018. Curbelo at the time was the first Republican to introduce a national carbon pricing bill in almost a decade. Fitzpatrick co-sponsored that bill. Now he is a leader of the bipartisan House Climate Solutions Caucus.

The new bill tasks the administration with measuring overall annual emissions from the taxed entities.

“The report shall determine whether the cumulative amount of annual emissions reported for the period beginning in calendar year 2021 and through the end of the preceding calendar year were less than the emissions levels specified in the following schedule,” the bill reads.

The majority of the tax revenue collected would go towards infrastructure projects.

Fitzpatrick's bill is the latest addition in a growing slew of bipartisan carbon bills being introduced in the House and Senate. 

The push to regulate greenhouse gas emissions comes as both Democrats and Republicans face pressure from their constituents, and in some cases the fossil fuel industry itself, to regulate carbon emissions that lead to climate change.