House Votes to Denounce Carbon Taxes. Where Was the Climate Solutions Caucus?
by Marianne Lavelle (Inside Climate News) Only 4 of the 43 Republicans who claim membership in the Climate Solutions Caucus voted against the resolution. All were early members of the group.
The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday passed a resolution denouncing the idea of a U.S. carbon tax as detrimental to the economy, one week before a Republican-sponsored bill to create a carbon fee is set to be introduced.
It was a win for a coalition of groups funded by the petrochemical billionaire Koch brothers and other wealthy, right-wing opponents of climate action. And it revealed weak resolve for bucking GOP leadership among most of the 43 Republican members of the Climate Solutions Caucus.
If the bipartisan caucus had held firm, the resolution would have been handily defeated.
Instead, only six Republicans—four of them caucus members, including Rep. Carlos Curbelo of Florida, who plans to unveil the carbon fee measure next week—joined most Democrats in opposing the resolution. Seven Democrats voted with the GOP.
The 229-180 vote marked a slight erosion in the GOP wall of opposition to climate action. In 2016, an identical measure passed the House 237-163with no Republicans opposed.
Steve Valk, spokesman for the Citizens Climate Lobby, a grassroots advocacy group that favors a carbon tax and that helped bring together the caucus, noted the non-binding resolution has no real effect. Valk said he did not expect that its members would go out on a limb against such a measure, especially since it was sponsored by House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), the No. 3 Republican in the chamber and a potential successor to Ryan, who is retiring.
“Anybody who votes against this resolution—it’s going to be a mark against them in the eyes of the leadership, which decides what assignments you get, whether or not you’re on the committee you want, and who’s chair,” Valk said. “There’s a lot of calculations that go into a decision like this. We’re willing to look at that and say, yeah, it’s not a simple choice for them.
“In my mind, if you can get a handful of Republicans to vote no on this, that’s a victory.”
A series of four reports released this week by Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy calls that argument into question, however, and provides ammunition for carbon tax advocates. The reports analyze various carbon tax legislation scenarios and conclude that they would increase government revenue by hundreds of billions of dollars a year and drive down U.S. emissions, far more than current policy, with minimal effects on the U.S. economy, families or businesses, or even on oil and gas production and consumption.
In addition to Curbelo, Republicans voting against the resolution were Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania and Mia Love of Utah—all members of the Climate Solutions Caucus—and Reps. Trey Hollingsworth of Indiana and Francis Rooney of Florida. The Democrats who joined the GOP in voting for the resolution were Reps. Sanford Bishop of Georgia; Henry Cuellar and Vincente González of Texas; Conor Lamb of Pennsylvania; Stephanie Murphy of Florida; and Tom O’Halleran and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona. READ MORE
CARBON TAXES WOULD DRIVE GHG EMISSIONS REDUCTIONS WITH MINIMAL IMPACT ON U.S. ECONOMY, OIL AND GAS PRODUCTION (Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy)
Most GOP Climate Caucus Members Back Anti-Carbon Tax Measure (Roll Call)
6 Republicans join Dems in opposing carbon tax resolution (E&E News)
House votes to disavow carbon tax (The Hill)
Carbon Tax for Non-Renewable Fuels (Advanced Biofuels USA)
other carbon tax articles
Low-Carbon Jet Fuel and Diesel, at Scale: The Digest 2018 Multi-Slide Guide to AltAir Fuels
by Jim Lane (Biofuels Digest) Established in 2013, AltAir Fuels was created to produce low carbon fuels and chemicals derived from sustainable feedstock. For its first commercial project, AltAir partnered with Alon Energy USA to use its existing refinery in Paramount, California retooling idled refining equipment to increase the nation’s energy supply, while positively impacting the southern California economy. Through process technology developed by Honeywell’s UOP, AltAir retrofitted the existing refinery to produce renewable biofuel.
Now, the facility will convert non-edible natural oils and agricultural waste into approximately 40 million gallons of low-carbon, advanced biofuels and chemicals per year. Ultimately World Energy acquired AltAir and also the Paramount Refinery.
AltAir CEO Bryan Sherbacow gave this illuminating overview of AltAir’s technology, milestones and progress at ABLC 2018 in Washington DC. READ MORE