Today, the R Street Institute commends Rep. Francis Rooney, R-Fla., for the introduction of the Stemming Warming and Augmenting Pay (SWAP) Act, which would establish a $30-a-ton tax on carbon dioxide emissions in 2020.
“This legislation shows that conservatives can be serious about tackling climate change,” said R Street Senior Fellow Josiah Neeley. “Prices matter; putting a price on carbon dioxide emissions will spur innovation and lead to lower emissions throughout the economy. A properly designed carbon tax can both mitigate the effects of global warming and lead to increased economic prosperity for the country.”
Neeley also praised the dedication of the majority of the revenues from the bill to tax cuts: “While I personally would have gone further, the use of a tax swap shows that dealing with climate change doesn’t have to be bad for business. Pairing a carbon tax with cuts to taxes on employment and wages can be a win-win for the economy and the environment.”
Among other provisions, the SWAP Act would reduce payroll taxes and suspend the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases.
R Street Energy Policy Director Travis Kavulla added, “There will come a time when conservatives once again will be staring down the barrel of an overbearing regulatory regime for carbon dioxide, and they will wish they had capitalized on a moment when they could regulate carbon emissions in a more efficient manner. Now could be that moment.”