Dear Senators Whitehouse and Schatz and Representatives Waxman and Blumenauer:
On behalf of more than two million Americans for Prosperity activists in all 50 states, I write in strong opposition to your proposal to charge a tax on carbon emissions. Your proposed legislation is a massive tax hike masquerading as a climate bill, and it will have a disastrous impact on the economy.
AFP is committed to ensuring all Americans have access to affordable, dependable and abundant forms of energy, and your legislation would prevent this. Your proposal will cause the price of electricity to skyrocket, and it will raise the cost of all the products and services that electricity goes into, too. These carbon taxes will increase the cost of doing business in the United States. Energy-intensive businesses will respond by either passing that cost on to their consumers or will flee the tax regime by relocating overseas. When our economy is still struggling to get back on its feet, this new tax burden is exactly the wrong approach.
Recent research from the Heritage Foundation shows how harmful your proposed policy will be on middle income households. If the federal government started a carbon tax that began at $25 in 2012 and rose by 5 percent per year, it would reduce the average annual income of a family of four by $1,900 in 2016 and $1,400 per year through 2035.
Your proposed legislation would also choke business growth and job creation in the United States. Facing higher costs, companies will not be able to expand and hire on more workers. Many businesses will decide to move their operations overseas, leading them to shed their workforces here at home. According to the Heritage study, the $25 carbon tax would cause the economy to lose more than 1 million jobs by 2016 alone. If lawmakers were serious about boosting employment and reigniting economic growth, then they should look for ways to make the U.S. business climate less hostile to business, not more.
Americans for Prosperity has been a leader in opposing carbon taxes in any form, such as the measure you propose. We are committed to exposing attempts to pass hidden tax hikes in environmental legislation. A climate bill should not be a vehicle for hiding a tax hike. Americans for Prosperity is strongly opposed to your proposal to create a carbon tax, and I urge your colleagues to block it.
Director of Policy
Americans for Prosperity