Why we need to stand against the radical Left’s war on energy


Prior to the Biden administration, America had become the world leader in energy production and a major exporter of oil and natural gas, strengthening national security and boosting our economy for hard-working families. By reducing taxes and reforming regulations on energy production, Americans saw increased job opportunities, lower electricity bills, and lower prices at the gas pump.

Unfortunately, under the Biden administration, we have seen an all-out assault on American energy and a push to hike taxes on hard-working families and small businesses. But special interest groups want the Biden administration to go even further and impose a costly, job-killing carbon tax that would be devastating for families and small businesses — reversing progress toward achieving American energy dominance and economic prosperity.

This week, we continue to take a stand against an energy tax that would raise the cost of gasoline, home heating and air conditioning, groceries, and everyday goods and services. With the reintroduction of the Scalise-McKinley anti-carbon tax resolution, Congress will have the opportunity to oppose this costly, job-killing new tax on the record.

Forcing people to take more money out of their hard-earned paychecks to fund the extreme Left’s big-government climate agenda is not only wrong, but it also ensures America will fall behind our adversaries such as China and Russia in pursuit of global energy dominance. Yet, that is exactly what a carbon tax would do.

China’s greenhouse gas emissions now exceed those of the U.S. and all other developed nations combined, despite the country pledging to reduce emissions at President Joe Biden’s climate summit last month. The United States not only leads the world in reducing carbon dioxide emissions, but also it does so at nearly twice the rate of the next closest country. Imposing a carbon tax would stifle American innovation while rewarding China by incentivizing manufacturing jobs to move to high-emitting countries overseas.

The last time the U.S. House voted to reject a federal carbon tax, the resolution passed on a bipartisan basis — highlighting the policy’s unpopularity across the political spectrum. Proponents of the carbon tax have so far failed to convince even the most left-leaning states to adopt their job-killing proposal. Ballot initiatives to implement the nation’s first carbon tax in the blue state of Washington were thoroughly defeated in 2016 and again in 2018, with voters rejecting a carbon tax by double-digit margins in each case.

Recent polling from Americans for Tax Reform reaffirms voters do not support more job-killing energy taxes, with 58% of poll respondents stating they are “not willing to pay more in taxes to address climate change.” These results show just how out of touch the radical Left is with the public as it attempts to shove the Green New Deal and other expensive and ineffective climate initiatives down their throats.

A $40-per-ton carbon tax, for example, would immediately raise the price of gasoline by 36 cents per gallon and have a devastating impact on low-income families. What’s worse is that higher energy prices — which create higher utility bills, gas prices, and food costs — tend to hurt poor and middle-class households more than wealthier households.

Make no mistake: Despite its political failures, the big-government Left remains hellbent on imposing a national carbon tax, showing time and again that it is completely out of touch with the public. Case in point: Progressives continue attempts to pass the Green New Deal, which, among other things, aims to get rid of airplanes and cows.

What’s almost as bad is the wild hypocrisy of the “do as I say, not as I do” crowd. Take Biden’s climate czar, John Kerry, for example. He wants everyone to change their lifestyles by halting all fossil fuel use, but it was exposed that he flies around the globe on private jets that emit 40 times more carbon per person than commercial airliners. It’s OK for him to consume fossil fuels — just not you — because as he explained to us, it is “the only choice for somebody like me.” The hypocrisy would be laughable were it not so harmful.

In 2009, with both control of the White House and Congress, House Democrats passed a hidden energy tax under a “cap and trade” scheme. Voters rejected these kinds of liberal policies and gave control of the House back to Republicans in the next election. The far-Left now appears committed to repeating history.

Instead of these radical, job-killing policies, Congress should focus on restoring American energy dominance that grew under the Trump administration and choose to stand with families and small businesses over far-Left environmental groups. A carbon tax would run counter to those goals.

We need to restore common sense to Washington and put an end to the liberal tax, regulate, and spend agenda that is harming our middle class and our nation’s economy.

Rep. Steve Scalise represents Louisiana's 1st Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. Grover Norquist is president of Americans for Tax Reform.

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