A Republican-backed group is launching a six-figure ad campaign Wednesday to press Congress to pass a carbon tax, a policy to address climate change that has struggled to find bipartisan support.
Americans for Carbon Dividends, the advocacy arm of the Climate Leadership Council, is seeking to shore up support for its carbon tax and dividend proposal as policymakers have gravitated toward other ideas.
Steve Rice, managing director of Americans for Carbon Dividends, said the group aims to capitalize on the fact that big business trade groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and potentially the American Petroleum Institute, are coalescing around carbon pricing.
The ad, running digitally in Washington, D.C., over the coming months, sells a carbon tax and dividend as the “bipartisan climate solution.”
Rice said carbon pricing could be a compromise to sector-by-sector standards and regulations, which have become the preferred policies of Democrats and are expected to be the path pursued by President Biden.
“The ground is shifting because carbon dividends is the fastest and most efficient way to drive deep cuts among the entire economy from day one,” Rice said.
But the shift has not yet been embraced by Republicans in Congress, let alone Democrats.
GOP Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah recently said he is “very open to a carbon tax and dividend,” but the only sitting Republican to introduce carbon pricing legislation is Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania.
The council’s proposal, originally developed by former Republican Secretaries of State James Baker III and the late George Shultz, would impose a carbon tax beginning at $40 per ton, increasing 5% every year, and return the revenue to taxpayers through equal quarterly payments to offset higher energy prices.
A study commissioned by the council found the plan would cut carbon emissions in half by 2036.