Democrats aren't the only ones pushing a carbon tax plan. A Republican House member from Florida is pushing his own plan.
A carbon tax is a fee imposed on the burning of carbon-based fuels such as coal, oil, and gas, the idea being to reduce dependency on fossil fuels for environmental purposes. Representative Carlos Curbelo (R-Florida) has a bill that he wants other members of the GOP to consider, beginning with the 42 other Republicans on the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus. Curbelo co-chairs that caucus and has the support of at least two other Republicans: Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pennsylvania) and Francis Rooney (R-Florida).
OneNewsNow contacted Congressman Curbelo's office for comment and did not hear back. But an article from Washington Examiner says Curbelo wants to use a portion of the money from the carbon tax to help pay for infrastructure. Some of the revenues would be directed to flood-mitigation projects and other initiatives to protect against what Curbelo views as man-made climate change.
"There is a policy reality and political reality, and we try to merge both," Curbelo said at a roundtable meeting Washington Examiner sat in on. "We have the need to act on climate. We also have the need to act on infrastructure. That is the one issue where both parties agree, and maybe the only issue the presidential candidates of 2016 agreed on."
Someone who doesn't agree with the plan is Dan Kish, senior vice president of policy at the Institute for Energy Research (IER).
"We frankly don't think a carbon tax is a good idea – period," he says. "We think Americans have been suffering long enough. The Energy Information Administration just announced that we surpassed Saudi Arabia in our oil production for the first time. We're beginning to see the benefits of this across the board – and to now all of a sudden begin to tax it for something that will not have a demonstrable impact at all on climate change is simply an excuse for Washington to take more money out of people's pockets and use it for projects and things that they want to do."
According to a report from CNN, overtaking Russia and Saudi Arabia as the world's top oil producer can be attributed to the U.S. shale oil boom and how it has reshaped the global energy landscape. "Never bet against the U.S. oil industry," one consultant told CNN.