Carbon Pricing Causes Rift Among Democrats

Tensions Among Democrats Increase Over Carbon Pricing Talks - Carbon Herald
Source: U.S. Embassy of Ghana Flickr

As the world realizes more and more the pressing nature of the climate crisis and the need to start implementing solutions for it fast, the matter of carbon pricing has yet again become a hot subject among legislators and policymakers.

And the US House and Senate Democrats are hotly debating the subject, as well.

On the one hand, there is Senate Finance Chair Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who is advocating for a carbon fee and dividend system, which in the eyes of top Senate Democrats is one of the key climate policies currently discussed.

And on the other, the House is unwilling to consider the idea of carbon pricing unless there is a concrete proposal drawn up, as they already have a vision for the $3.5 trillion spending package.

Relevant: Germany To Support Aggressive Carbon Pricing

Kathy Castor (D-Fla.), Select Committee on the Climate Crisis Chair Kathy Castor, even pointed out that there has not been any discussion whatsoever on the House side regarding carbon fees, and, therefore, she believes it unlikely for decisions to be reached at this point.

Instead, she argued, the House decision was to take the route of tax incentives, methane fees and a clean energy payment plan.

Carbon pricing is only part of the long list of climate policies that are yet to be discussed with the Senate once the Democrats can agree on the top-line number for the reconciliation package.

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Another issue supporters of carbon tax may face is President Biden’s campaign pledge not to increase taxes on those who earn less than $400,000 per year. This pledge is what put a stop to all attempts to raise the federal gasoline tax and establish new user fees on electric cars.

However, Wyden and others are confident that there are ways to still adopt carbon pricing without violating Biden’s pledge, such as exempting gasoline from such a pricing plan.

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