Even after Donald Trump pushed irresponsible lies about climate change in the wake of the deadly California wildfires, a bipartisan group of lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives is coming together to propose a “landmark” piece of legislation that would tax fossil fuel corporations for polluting the air.
According to The Hill, “A bipartisan group of lawmakers is introducing a landmark bill that would charge fossil fuel companies a tax for their carbon dioxide emissions.”
If the legislation was signed into law, it could potentially reduce greenhouse emissions by 40 percent over the next decade.
More from the report:
The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, announced by two Republicans and three Democratic members of the House on Tuesday, would charge $15 for each ton of carbon emitted into the air and would increase that fee by $10 every year afterward, in an effort to fight climate change. Other than administrative costs, all of the money would go back to taxpayers.
Supporters say the bill would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent in 10 years, and 91 percent by 2050. That’s a bigger cut than former President Obama’s Clean Power Plan or the United States’ commitment under the Paris climate agreement — a pact Trump has promised to exit.
Introduced weeks before Congress ends for the year, the legislation is unlikely to get serious House consideration in this session. But with Democrats ready to take control of the House in January, the bill is poised for potential future consideration and will likely be a major marker of where lawmakers from both parties can agree on tackling climate change.
The bipartisan proposal comes after Trump blamed California’s wildfires on forest management, then said that raking the forest floors would prevent similar disasters in the future.
In another tweet more recently, Trump responded to dropping temperatures by asking, “Whatever happened to Global Warming?”
Brutal and Extended Cold Blast could shatter ALL RECORDS – Whatever happened to Global Warming?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 22, 2018
Even Republicans are feeling the heat on climate change
Despite Trump’s poor understanding of climate change, the fact that some Republicans are willing to support action to protect the environment suggests that the politics of this issue could be shifting.
While The Hill points out that the legislation is unlikely to get out of the House – especially not while Republicans are in control of it – its very existence could signal that even the GOP is finding it difficult to avoid taking action on climate change.
This is especially true as deadly storms become increasingly powerful and deadly all across the country, in both red and blue states.
Whether or not this bipartisan legislation gets through Congress during its current session, it will likely give Democrats more momentum on this issue as they take control of the House next year.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.