Plans are afoot to get bipartisan backing for this bill.
On Thursday, two Democratic U.S. senators are set to unveil a bill which aims to reduce climate change by slapping a fee on oil, natural gas and coal; the bulk of the revenues generated will be delivered to low- and middle-income Americans, said one of the lawmakers.
Senator Dianne Feinstein and Senator Chris Coons stated they will introduce the Climate Action Rebate Act, which aims to generate $2.5 trillion in revenues in the next 10 years starting in 2020. 70% of the money generated will be disbursed to families that make less than $130,000 per year, while the rest will be invested in job retraining for fossil fuel workers, energy infrastructure, and research and development.
Although U.S. President Donald Trump has rejected the science of climate change and has reduced regulations related to oil and gas drillers and coal miners, the issue has cropped up in the 2020 U.S. Presidential race, although none of the senators running have yet signed onto the Coons carbon tax bill.
However, Coons said he is talking with Senate colleagues from both parties and Democrats running for president to build support for the bill.
Incidentally, the Green New Deal, which plans to tackle climate change, and is backed by left-leaning Democrats including Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey, has grabbed the attention of many environmentalists. The Green New Deal offers an aggressive goal of cutting carbon emissions to net zero by 2030. However, the plan faces strong headwinds from wind and solar power companies saying its objectives are unrealistic and politically divisive.
This is where Coons’ bill comes into play. He hopes will bill will channel much of the enthusiasm surrounding the Green New Deal into practical solutions.
The bill is a “serious legislative attempt at taking bold vision and turning it into a specific, enactable, concrete strategy,” said Coons.
The Coons bill aims to cut U.S. carbon emissions 55% by 2030 and 100% by 2050 compared to 2017 levels, a more modest goal than that of the Green New Deal.
Significantly, a carbon tax regime is supported by number of senior Republicans including former Secretaries of State James Baker and George Shultz.
“Any politician serious about passing climate action on the scale we need has got to take note,” of the support for more aggressive action, said Stephen O’Hanlon, a spokesman for the Sunrise Movement, a youth coalition that helped put the Green New Deal in the media spotlight.