By Derek Newberry, Advocacy Fellow
A group of senior GOP officials led by former Secretary of State James A. Baker III introduced a carbon tax to senior White House officials Wednesday. The group, which includes former Secretary of State George Shultz, former Walmart chairman Rob Walton, and a host of other presidential advisors and business leaders stretching back to the Reagan era, argues that this conservative climate proposition follows both the GOP’s laissez-faire and small government ideals while also promoting true progress towards lowered emissions and reducing the risks of climate change.
Their plan involves placing a carbon tax (also known as carbon price) on fossil fuels that starts at $40 per ton of carbon dioxide produced and slowly increases over time. Fossil fuels would be taxed at their point of entry into the economy and likely raise between $200 and $300 billion annually. These funds would be repaid to consumers at an annual estimate of $2,000 per family of four. The plan would also increase the costs of fossil fuel imports from nations that do not have a similar carbon tax system to prevent them from gaining an unfair advantage.
The group has stated that this plan would have been supported by former President Ronald Reagan and should replace the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan. Regardless of the acceptance or strength of the plan, this initiative marks a significant movement towards climate change mitigation, planning, and political acceptance of the issue and will an important factor in the future of federal climate change policy. To read the full report click here. To read more on the issue click here.