Conservative groups tell Congress: 'We oppose any carbon tax'

Conservative groups tell Congress: 'We oppose any carbon tax'

A group of 75 conservative organizations and leaders on Monday sent a letter to Congress expressing their opposition to a carbon tax, pushing back at an idea that has received support from politicians and policy experts on both sides of the aisle as a way to combat climate change.

"We oppose any carbon tax," states the letter, which was signed by Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist, Club for Growth President David McIntosh and FreedomWorks President Adam Brandon, among others.

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"A carbon tax raises the cost of heating your home in the winter and cooling your home in the summer," they added. "It raises the cost of filling your car. A carbon tax increases the cost of everything Americans buy and lowers Americans’ effective take home pay. A carbon tax increases the power, cost, and intrusiveness of the government in our lives."

Supporters of a tax on carbon dioxide emissions argue that such a tax could be a market-based solution to tackling climate change. Some carbon-tax proposals call for redistributing revenue raised by the tax back to citizens in the form of a dividend, in an effort to offset any increased costs to consumers from the tax.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced a bill to create a carbon tax late last year, and the legislation was reintroduced earlier this year. Democratic presidential candidate and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegSanders tears into Trump in response to campaign kickoff rally Sanders tears into Trump in response to campaign kickoff rally Biden, Sanders to be center stage at first debate MORE has included a carbon tax in his climate action plan. Additionally, a number of oil and gas companies back a carbon tax.

But carbon taxes have long been aggressively opposed by many anti-tax conservatives, and politicians have struggled to enact them even in Democratic-leaning states. Washington Gov. Jay InsleeJay Robert InsleePoll: Biden leads Sanders by 22 points Poll: Biden leads Sanders by 22 points Debunking Democrats' claims about fossil fuel tax breaks MORE (D), who is running for president, pushed for a carbon tax in his state last year, but a ballot initiative on the topic didn't pass. Inslee has since said he's looking at a different path to addressing climate change.

The House in 2016 and 2018, while under Republican control, passed nonbinding resolutions to disavow a carbon tax.