Prominent Republicans Push Carbon Tax in White House Meeting
A group of prominent Republicans and business leaders, including former Treasury Secretaries Hank Paulson and James Baker, will meet with some of President Donald Trump’s top advisers at the White House Wednesday to push a plan to tax carbon dioxide in exchange for lifting a slew of environmental regulations.
“Unlike the current cumbersome regulatory approach, a levy on emissions would free companies to find the most efficient way to reduce their carbon footprint,” Baker and former Secretary of State George Shultz wrote in a Wall Street Journal opinion article posted online late Tuesday.
“A sensibly priced, gradually rising tax would send a powerful market signal to businesses that want certainty when planning for the future.”
The proponents are set to formally announce their proposal Wednesday at the National Press Club, lending their stature to an approach for addressing climate change that mirrors an idea already advanced by Exxon Mobil Corp.
The self-dubbed Climate Leadership Council pushing the framework says a carbon tax is necessary to respond to "mounting evidence of climate change" that is "growing too strong to ignore."
The plan faces strong political headwinds; both Trump and a majority of the House of Representatives have come out against a carbon tax in the past year. Trump also has pledged to do away with environmental regulations limiting emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that exacerbate climate change.
But the idea of a carbon tax, long favored by economists as the most straightforward way to address climate change, could gain traction as part of a broad tax overhaul on Capitol Hill.