As President Barack Obama renews his commitment "to moving forward with controversial Clean Air Act regulations to cut carbon dioxide emissions for all new coal and gas-fired power plants," U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) introduced an amendment today to protect American families from skyrocketing energy costs that would result from a carbon tax.
Blunt's amendment -- which was filed to the "Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act," which was introduced by U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.) and Rob Portman (Ohio.) -- would create a Point of Order against any bill that contains a tax or fee on carbon emissions from sources that are direct or indirect sources of emissions. Blunt introduced similar amendments to prevent a carbon tax in April 2014 to the unemployment insurance bill, and in March 2013 to the FY14 budget.
The amendment is co-sponsored by U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (Pa.).
"Middle and low-income families are the hardest hit by costly and burdensome energy policies like a carbon tax -- especially in states like Missouri that depend heavily on coal for affordable and reliable power," Blunt said. "A carbon tax would lead to significant job losses and force American households to pay more at the pump, more to heat and cool their homes, and more for almost every American-made product they buy."
Missouri relies on coal for more than 80 percent the state's electricity needs, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). States like Missouri would see their utility bills increase by 19 percent if a carbon tax was imposed, according to a 2013 study by NERA Economic Consulting the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM).
A 2012 Consumer Expenditure Survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that more than 40 million American households earning less than $30,000 per year spend an average of 20 percent or more of their family budget on utility bills. A 2013 study by NAM found the overall impact of a carbon tax on American jobs would be staggering, with a loss of worker income equivalent to between 1.3 million and 1.5 million jobs in 2013 and between 3.8 million and 21 million by 2053.