First Bipartisan Climate Legislation in a Decade is Introduced in the House

Nov 30, 2018

Hot on the heels of the administration’s National Climate Assessment, a small bipartisan group of House members introduced a carbon tax bill this week. The bill, to be titled the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, is the first piece of bipartisan climate legislation to be introduced in 10 years.

Despite the symbolic timing of the legislation, there is very little likelihood of it progressing this congress. Rather, the legislation is the seed planting of a climate strategy that will be pursued once the new Congress starts in January. Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) was joined by Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and Rep. Francis Rooney (R-FL) in introducing the legislation. Among the provisions, Bloomberg notes that the legislation seeks to implement a carbon fee of $15 per metric ton to the oil, gas, and coal industries, but rebate all of the revenue as a dividend to households to shield them from increased fossil fuel costs related to the carbon fee.

“More than a dozen federal agencies just warned us that if we don’t take dramatic action, climate change will knock 10 percent off of our GDP by the end of this century,” Rep. Deutch explained in a statement to Bloomberg Environment. “Putting a price on carbon can help change the behavior of polluters. We hope our bipartisan bill will spur action on climate change before it’s too late.”

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