Sept. 18, 2013: Press Release

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At climate hearing, opponents take aim at Obama’s proposal, but where is their plan?

WASHINGTON, SEPT. 18, 2013 – Opponents of President Obama’s climate action plan leveled a barrage of critical comments at a climate change hearing in the House today. In light of climate-related disasters unfolding in Colorado and California, however, their time would be better spent talking about effective alternatives to the administration’s plan, said Mark Reynolds, Executive Director of Citizens Climate Lobby.

“We understand that conservatives object to the use of EPA regulations to curb greenhouse gases,” said Reynolds. “If that’s the case, and given the rapidly closing window for action on climate change, they should be talking about a market-based alternative, such as a revenue-neutral carbon tax.”

The Energy and Power subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee heard testimony from Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy about the President’s climate plan, which he announced in June. Opponents of the plan focused on proposed regulations from EPA for new and existing power plants, which they say will increase energy costs for consumers and send jobs overseas.

“I’m grateful that Chairman Ed Whitfield convened today’s hearing, and I hope there are more to come in the near future,” said Reynolds. “Having held a hearing to critique the President’s plan, the next hearing should focus on solutions.”

Citizens Climate Lobby proposes a steadily-rising carbon tax, returning proceeds to the public to offset increased energy costs. A number of conservatives have expressed support for this approach and should be called to testify at the next hearing. Among them:

  • Art Laffer, former Reagan economic adviser: “Reduce taxes on something we want more of–income–and tax something we arguably want less of–carbon pollution. It’s a win-win.”
  • Greg Mankiw, economic advisor to George W. Bush and Mitt Romney:  A “proposed carbon fee — or carbon tax, if you prefer — is more effective and less invasive than the regulatory approach that the federal government has traditionally pursued.”
  • Andrew Moylan, R Street Institute: “A revenue-neutral carbon tax coupled with regulatory reform could achieve the same goal the president seeks to address without expanding government or contracting economic opportunity.”

“It’s easy to sit and complain that the President is trying to circumvent Congress. Congress, however, has failed to protect our nation from the risk of climate change. It’s time to stop complaining and take action,” said Reynolds.


Contacts: Executive Director Mark Reynolds; Legislative Director Danny Richter, 408.647.5444.

Steve Valk is Communications Coordinator for Citizens' Climate Lobby. Steve joined the CCL staff in 2009 after a 30-year career with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.