Congressional Democrats introduced legislation right before the August work period to impose a "carbon tax" on the American people. We've been down this road before. It was a bad idea then, and it is now. Let me tell you why.
A carbon tax is an additional tax on the essential fuels that power our economy-- gasoline, diesel, natural gas and electricity. It would cause prices at the pump to increase, electricity rates to go up, and natural gas bills to rise. Because nearly everything we buy is transported by trains or trucks, or grown on farms that use diesel equipment, or derived from oil and gas, significant increases in energy prices will ripple throughout the entire economy.
A carbon tax would be a new tax burden added to commodities that are already over-taxed. The folks trying to sell this idea will spend a lot of time talking about how the revenues from this tax can be offset by reducing other taxes. That is nonsense. Proposed as a small tax, it would be hidden in a way that would make it easy to raise over time, like nearly every other tax.
A carbon tax would be a hardship for consumers and disastrous for the economy, but don't be surprised if this new tax proposal gets a lot of attention in coming months. As a senior member on the Senate Finance Committee, I will fight this idea at every turn.