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.
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.
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.
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 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.