Carbon Pricing in Congress

Carbon Pricing Bills in Congress

Momentum for climate action is building in Congress.

The following carbon pricing bills have been introduced in Congress in 2019-2021.

Additional carbon pricing bills introduced in the current and previous Congress (2019-2021)

Includes an economy-wide carbon price with 75% of revenue returned to households as dividends and the rest invested in clean energy and transition assistance.

Save Our Future Act
Sens. Whitehouse (RI) and Schatz (HI)

Pairs a carbon price with a price on air pollutants. The money from the fee goes as direct payments to Americans, investments in frontline and fossil fuel communities, and block grants to states.

Climate Action Rebate Act
Sens. Coons (DE) and Feinstein (CA)

A carbon price with a high price trajectory, with 70% of revenue returned to households as dividends and the remainder invested in infrastructure, research and development, and transition assistance.

Reps. Fitzpatrick (PA-01), Peters (CA-52), and Carbajal (CA-24)

An infrastructure bill including funding from a modest carbon price.

Congress supports a price on carbon because it is fast, effective, and durable.

Congress is preparing to take action on climate change. They know that putting a price on carbon has many benefits. Additionally, a carbon tax is a politically viable solution. Congress can pass this legislation knowing that it will be implemented quickly and without major legal challenges. A carbon fee and dividend policy will rapidly drive down climate-warming emissions by taxing polluters and then dividing that money into carbon cashbback payments to American households. This incentivizes businesses, investors, and consumers to seek out the best ways to cut emissions without placing an undue cost burden on low- and middle-income Americans.


A carbon tax is quicker to set up than regulations, which require complex bureaucratic systems and infrastructure. Canada implemented its carbon tax within 6 months of it being passed into law. In contrast, EPA regulations require lengthy analysis, public comment periods, and review processes.


A carbon tax works economy-wide, reducing 80% of America’s emissions across all sectors. Many policies focus exclusively on reducing carbon pollution in the electricity sector, which is the easiest sector to decarbonize, but only comprises 25% of U.S. carbon pollution. A price on carbon will drive reductions additionally in the transportation, residential and commercial buildings and industrial sectors.


Congress has clear constitutional authority to levy taxes, so a carbon tax will not face legal challenges. Regulations often face court challenges that can tie them up for years and overturn them. The Clean Power Plan took 6 years to design and develop and was never fully implemented due to challenges in court.