Small group of MPs submit bill that is pro-tax, anti-energy

Small group of MPs submit bill that is pro-tax, anti-energy

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The PROVE IT Act (S. 1863) is a pro-tax, anti-energy bill that, if passed, would create a carbon tax on imports and a domestic carbon tax.

Last month, a coalition of more than 40 prominent conservative and libertarian organizations made it clear to the House: The conservative community opposes the PROVE IT Act. The letter was sent in anticipation of the introduction of a House version of the bill.

That day has arrived. Today, Rep. John Curtis (R-UT) and Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA) introduced the House PROVE IT Act, with a smaller than expected number of cosponsors. Based on Rep. Curtis’ press release, there are 21 total sponsors (including Curtis and Peters), with 10 Republicans and 11 Democrats.

That is still 21 legislators too many.

But the reality is that there are lawmakers who want carbon taxes. And the PROVE IT Act will help make their dreams of punishing energy use a reality. The bill would require the government to measure the carbon intensity of domestic and foreign goods, laying the groundwork for making carbon taxes a reality.

The coalition letter of June states the following:

Clearly, this information would then be used to impose new “climate” taxes, similar to what Democrats in Congress did in the summer of 2022. In the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which no Republicans supported in either the House or the Senate, Congress took information collected under the EPA’s greenhouse gas reporting program and imposed the first-ever federal methane tax. The Senate passed the IRA on a party-line vote of 51-50, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaking vote.

The House bill’s sponsors apparently have no problem supporting a bill that would, as the coalition explained:

Huge new taxes. It’s not just a domestic carbon tax that would hurt Americans financially. The burden of a carbon tax on imports would fall primarily on American businesses and consumers. It would act as a domestic consumption tax.

Punishing energy consumption. Because more than 80 percent of the world’s energy comes from coal, natural gas, and oil, which produce carbon dioxide emissions, carbon taxes are taxes on the energy that makes modern life possible. Simply put, a carbon tax is a tax on modern life.

Arms hurt. All Americans would suffer from higher prices from these taxes. This would always be harmful, but it is especially harmful now because the United States is experiencing years of inflation. Higher prices from carbon taxes, especially to meet basic needs, would disproportionately affect low-income households.

Embrace the EU’s extreme climate policies. Rather than fighting and rejecting the EU’s disastrous climate policies, the PROVE IT Act embraces what the EU is doing. Many proponents call for a carbon border adjustment mechanism and seek to create a “carbon club” of countries that come together to impose carbon taxes of one kind or another.

The bill’s sponsors will likely point to a provision in the House bill that says it does not create any new tax or mandatory reporting.

Let’s be perfectly clear: No one is saying that the PROVE IT Act authorizes a tax or mandatory reporting. The point is that the act will lead to the tax being implemented, just as the EPA’s greenhouse gas reporting program led to the federal methane tax.

Carbon tax advocates will push hard, as they have done, to get co-sponsors for this bill. Fortunately, nearly every member of the House understood that it is both bad policy and bad politics to support a bill that will result in new taxes, higher prices, and a lower quality of life for Americans.

Members of the House of Representatives, particularly conservatives, should unequivocally and vocally oppose this harmful legislation.

Here’s what leading conservative organizations wrote in last month’s letter:

Americans want affordable, reliable energy, not federal taxation that treats energy use as a sin. This bill, however, would create such taxes and is one of the greatest threats to energy and economic prosperity in recent history.

Therefore, we strongly urge lawmakers to oppose the PROVE IT Act and ensure that it is not incorporated into other legislation in any form.

Let’s hope lawmakers take this advice to heart, for the good of Americans and the good of the country.

Visit CEI’s PROVE IT Act webpage to learn more about this major threat to energy security and economic prosperity.

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