Amendment would prevent federal carbon tax

An amendment introduced by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) on Tuesday would prevent federal tax or fees on carbon emissions or products that are direct or indirect sources of emissions.

The amendment was attached to legislation that addresses unemployment insurance in an effort to prevent lower-income individuals from paying higher energy costs.

“America’s most vulnerable families are the hardest hit by costly and burdensome energy policies like a carbon tax,” Blunt said. “Instead of burdening middle- and low-income families with unaffordable home energy costs, we must take an all-of-the-above approach to encourage a more diverse, reliable and affordable domestic energy supply.”

Approximately 40 million households that earn less than $30,000 per year spend 20 percent or more of their income on energy costs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey.

Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and John Thune (R-S.D.) cosponsored Blunt’s amendment.

A carbon tax would result in lower worker income that would be equivalent to 1.3 million to 1.5 million jobs in the United States, according to the National Association of Manufacturers.

“The notion that some policymakers have in Washington that an economy-wide tax of this nature is a good idea is flatly wrong,” NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons said. “Our nation’s economy and family budgets can’t take it. As consumers of one-third of our nation’s energy supply, manufacturers and our employees will struggle with higher energy prices. A carbon tax will severely harm our ability to compete with other nations.”