Delaney Announces Climate Change Legislation to Reduce Carbon Pollution, Protect Middle Class, Boost Economic Growth
WASHINGTON – On Earth Day, Congressman John K. Delaney (MD-6) announces that he will introduce new legislation this spring designed to respond to the global crisis of climate change in a fiscally-responsible way that ensures that middle class families don’t pay the price for pollution. Delaney’s legislation is a unique solution to the environmental and economic costs of climate change in that it reduces the corporate tax rate and creates a new aid program for coal workers.
The Tax Pollution, Not Profits Act establishes a tax on greenhouse gas emissions; these revenues will then be used to 1) provide monthly payments to low-income and middle-class households 2) reduce the corporate tax rate to increase employment and reduce consumer costs and 3) fund job training, early retirement and health care benefits to coal workers. By utilizing market forces to respond to climate change, Delaney’s legislation positions the United States to become a global leader in new energy technology and production and in environmental policy.
“Climate change is the greatest environmental threat of our time, it is a threat to American jobs and our economy, it is a threat to our food and water supply, and it is a threat to public health and national security. Climate change is real and it is imperative that we do something about it,” said Congressman Delaney. “We must be honest: this is a big problem that demands a big solution. By taxing carbon and using the bulk of the proceeds to improve U.S. competitiveness, we can use one of the most powerful engines on the planet, free-market enterprise and innovation, to create the new energy solutions we need. My framework offers a new pro-growth approach that helps the most vulnerable and strengthens our economy by reducing corporate taxes. The Tax Pollution, Not Profits Act makes an alternative energy economy possible, protects coal workers and working families as we transition to new energy sources and makes the United States a global leader on climate change.”
The Tax Pollution, Not Profits Act
Establishes a federal tax on carbon pollution
- Places a tax on Green House Gas (GHG) emissions at $30 per metric ton of carbon dioxide or carbon dioxide equivalent in 2015, increasing each subsequent year at 4% above inflation.
- New carbon tax uses market forces and private sector innovation to reduce greenhouse gas pollution. Businesses benefit from predictable, market-driven approach.
Lowers the corporate tax rate and returns revenues to the economy
- The legislation reduces the corporate tax rate from 35% to 28%, helping companies mitigate higher energy costs and, importantly, makes U.S. companies more competitive.
- Increasing U.S. economic competitiveness in a global economy will lead to gains in job creation, economic growth and increased domestic investment.
Helps Impacted Coal Industry Workers
- Creates a new multi-billion dollar aid program administered by the Department of Labor (DOL) to assist workers in the coal industry that may be displaced as a result of the legislation.
- The assistance can include: worker retraining programs, financial assistance with relocation expenses, health, early retirement and other benefits.
- There is precedent for the DOL to administer this kind of program. Since 1973 the Department of Labor has administered benefits to coal miners and their survivors impacted by black lung disease.
Protects middle class and working families with an Energy Refund
- To ensure that low and middle-income households are not negatively impacted by the costs of transitioning to new energy sources, a portion of the revenues collected from the pollution tax will be redirected to low-income and middle-class working families via an Energy Refund.
- Households at or below 150% of the federal poverty line will receive direct monthly payments to fully offset increased energy costs.
- Households between 150-200% of the federal poverty line will receive a reduced monthly payment on a sliding scale. Households over 200% poverty level will be eligible for a refundable tax credit, with benefits also on a sliding scale.