A group of House and Senate Democrats are considering a new carbon tax after Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) rejected the Democrats’ climate plan in the reconciliation bill, according to the New York Times.
A carbon tax, in which polluting industries would pay a fee for every ton (900kg) of carbon dioxide they emit, is seen by economists as the most effective way to cut the fossil fuel emissions that are heating the planet. The likely demise of the clean electricity program at the heart of Biden’s agenda, which comes as scientists say forceful policies are needed to avert climate change’s most devastating impacts has prompted outrage among many Democrats and has led several to say now is the moment for a carbon tax.
“I’ve had a carbon pricing bill in my desk for the last three years just waiting for the time,” said senator Ron Wyden, chair of the Senate finance committee. “What has been striking is the number of senators who’ve come to me about this since early fall – after Louisiana got clobbered with storms, the east coast flooding, the Bootleg wildfires here in my own state,” said Wyden, speaking by telephone Saturday from Oregon.
“Now there are a number of senators, key moderate senators, who’ve said they’re open to this. And a lot of House folks who have said they would support it if the Senate sends it over.” A White House official on Saturday said staff members were still engaging with members of Congress and had not yet agreed to a final version of climate provisions.