VIDEO: The Rooney carbon tax bill
In late July, Republican Rep. Francis Rooney of Florida introduced his much anticipated carbon tax bill, the Stemming Warming and Augmenting Pay Act — or SWAP Act.
What's in the SWAP Act? Watch republicEn's video explainer to learn all about it:
The SWAP Act, also co-sponsored by Democratic Rep. Dan Lipinski of Illinois, calls for a tax on carbon pollution in exchange for a cut in payroll taxes. The carbon fee would start at $30 per metric ton of CO2 equivalent, and increase 5% per year plus inflation. Of the revenue generated by the carbon tax:
- 70% would go to reducing payroll taxes for working Americans
- 10% would go to supplementing social security for retirees
- 10% would go to assisting low-income households
- 10% would go to funding climate adaptation, carbon sequestration, energy efficiency, and advanced R&D programs
Rooney's proposal is projected to reduce U.S. carbon emissions approximately 41% below 2005 levels by 2030, far outpacing the reductions expected from existing policies.
"Placing a price on carbon emissions allows for individuals and companies to make more informed decisions by factoring in the cost of greenhouse gas pollution to society," said Rooney. "Allowing the market to appropriately respond by reallocating resources to lower-emissions products and behaviors. It is a less costly and more predictable solution compared to increased government regulation, with much more promising predicted outcomes. Shouldn't those that pollute the environment be the ones who pay to clean it up?"