Carbon tax: Between infrastructure spending and a dividend check, which would Americans prefer?

  • Published on February 6th, 2019

A University of Chicago’s Energy Policy Institute and the AP–NORC Center for Public Affairs Research survey taken in November demonstrated that a dividend check to Americans is not the most popular way to disburse revenue generated by a carbon tax. Instead, 67 percent of respondents indicated they could support a carbon tax that returned revenues to support environmental mitigation.

Carbon tax for infrastructure vs rebate - who wins?

By Chelsea Henderson
EcoRight News/ RepublicEN

By contrast, only 49 percent indicated support of a carbon tax that returns revenue as a dividend check, otherwise known as the Cap and Dividend plan envisioned by Reagan Administration alum George Shultz and James A. Baker.

Rep. Francis Rooney (R.-Fla.) recently joined delegation mate Rep. Ted Deutch to reintroduce the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, a carbon tax bill which would rebate the revenue.

“To me, it’s an opportunity to lead,” Rooney told the Fort Myers News-Press last month. “I’ll talk to these conservative groups and they’ll say ‘why did you introduce a carbon tax bill’ and I’ll say ‘because I don’t think we need to burn coal.’ And a carbon tax is the most market-oriented, non-bureaucratic, efficient way I can see to kill off coal.”

The carbon tax bill championed by former Rep. Carlos Curbelo last year would have used the revenue for infrastructure. “The benefit of the expenditures needs to be more tangible,” he told Axios.

Curbelo recently joined the Alliance for Market Solutions (AMS) Board of Advisors. AMS executive director Alex Flint noted, “If the revenue is used in a fiscal space it can create a second constituency and the political support necessary to get a deal done.”

(Re-posted from republicEn.org, an organization committed to growing U.S. conservative climate leadership.)

About the Author

republicEn.org is an organization committed to growing U.S. conservative climate leadership. Members of republicEn are conservatives, libertarians, and pragmatists of diverse political opinion. We stand together because we believe in American free enterprise. We believe that with a true level playing field, free enterprise can deliver the innovation to solve climate change. But America's climate policy needs to change. Change requires that conservative leaders step-up and lead. Climate change is real and we believe it's our duty and our opportunity to reduce the risks. But to make a difference, we have to fight climate change with free enterprise instead of ineffective subsidies and regulations.
    Shares