Climate change is a threat to our environment and our economy, and we cannot afford the risk of inaction. With our free market economy, the best solution is a simple, transparent tax on carbon that unleashes the power of the market and enables America to lead the way toward a new, clean energy economy. Importantly, a carbon tax produces revenues that can be used to help American businesses and families. But there are many options for how to use these revenues. Critics of carbon taxes frequently cite slower economic growth, increasing taxes on the poor, and hurting coal workers as reasons for opposition. But finding a bipartisan solution for how to allocate the revenues from a carbon tax to address these concerns is the best way to address climate change, increase economic growth and ensure that everyday Americans don’t get left behind.
That’s why I introduced the Tax Pollution, Not Profits Act, which applies a tax on greenhouse gas emissions equal to $30 per ton of carbon dioxide or carbon dioxide equivalent. In my legislation, half of the revenues are used to lower the corporate tax rate from 35% to 28%. This will make our businesses more competitive in the global economy and lower consumer prices across the board. My legislation dedicates the other half of the revenues to help American families. Coal workers will be taken care of with funding for job training, health benefits, and early retirement. Low income households will receive monthly payments to make up for increased energy costs and the rest of the revenue will go towards tax credits to middle class households. The legislation is a win for the environment and a win for our economy.