Long-Shot Bill Tees Up Carbon Tax As Election Yardstick
Following the introduction of the MARKET CHOICE Act, a federal carbon tax bill introduced on Capitol Hill on July 23, Senior Policy Advisor Beth Viola discussed her observations with Law360. The legislation's proposal comes from one of the most prominent Republican climate hawks in Congress, Florida Rep. Carlos Curbelo, but many say that the bill—which was pitched just four days after the GOP-controlled House passed a resolution condemning the idea of a carbon tax—is likely dead on arrival.
"This bill is not going to pass," said Ms. Viola. "However, it is an important first step, sends an important signal to markets and other nations, and will serve as a barometer for the upcoming election."
Ms. Viola served on the White House Council on Environmental Quality during the Clinton Administration and as an energy and environmental policy advisor to Vice President Al Gore and 2004 presidential candidate John Kerry.
She also pointed out the bill's significance among industry groups and large corporations that are beginning to realize that exploring carbon-free approaches could be beneficial in the long run. They recognize that their customers and shareholders want "cleaner, greener products and investments" and so complying could lead to higher revenues and changing legislation.
"This bill allows industry leaders to gain a better appreciation for what other members may be willing to do or say on the issue in the future, and possibly the opportunity to see legislation in the future that makes significant investments in decarbonization technology deployment."