U.S. Sen. David Vitter, top Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, responded to the carbon tax bill being introduced by Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today.
"It's not just energy prices that would skyrocket from a carbon tax, the cost of nearly everything built in America would go up," Vitter said. "Let's not lose sight of how big of a dud cap and trade was in 2009, or as it came to be known, cap and tax. This is really no different."
Sen. Vitter has introduced legislation along with 19 cosponsors that expresses the sense of Congress that a carbon tax is not in the economic interest of the United States.
At a November 15, 2012 press gaggle, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said, "We would never propose a carbon tax, and have no intention of proposing one."
At an Environment and Public Works Committee hearing, outgoing Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Jackson said, "I believe the central parts of the [EPA] chart are that U.S. action alone will not impact world CO2 levels."
In response to the carbon tax pressure, and the lack of transparency from the U.S. Treasury Department's involvement in creating a carbon tax, Vitter sent Secretary Timothy Geithner a letter asking for answers on his department's involvement in proposing a "carbon tax." A release of Treasury's emails has been requested under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by the government watchdog organization, Competitive Enterprise Institute. Treasury has since denied the request, even though in a response to Vitter they promised Congress it will work in good faith to produce documents relating to the carbon tax. Vitter is also pressing Geithner for an economic analysis of a "carbon tax." Click here to read a copy of Vitter's letter.
Vitter wrote a column for Roll Call on November 29, 2012, "Carbon Tax Discussions Should Be Done Openly."