Florida Republican Rep. Francis Rooney(R) has been making waves since the beginning of the year, but his conservatism has been called into question in recent weeks and the doubts continue.
The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2019 “imposes a fee on the carbon content of fuels, including crude oil, natural gas, coal, or any other product derived from those fuels that will be used so as to emit greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.”
And, as it stands, Rep. Rooney, whose evasive snake hunting skills are second to none, is the sole Republican to cosponsor the bill.
In justifying his support for what many are criticizing as being a large tax increase, Rooney explains that he really does feel the “need to take measures to disincentive the burning of coal.” Furthermore, “the main reason for doing it is to drive natural gas and alternative energy.”
Adding that the bill is “revenue neutral,” Americans for Tax Reform has slammed the bill as nothing more than a exponentially high tax increase on all Americans.
Grover Norquist, Americans for Tax Reform President, released a comment on the bill, saying that “the proposed carbon tax is a gas tax and a tax on your electric bill,” adding that “it increases automatically year after year so the politicians can raise your taxes without ever having to vote.”
Moreover, Norquist detailed that “the tax will be hidden in the price of all goods and services. A hidden tax. A permanent tax. An uncontrolled tax that increases without end.”
In an interview with the Fort Myers News Press, Rooney acknowledged the disagreement from conservative lawmakers and conservative constituents, saying that he understands he’ll “take some heat from our area to do this.”
Rooney further expressed that the bill “is an opportunity to lead. I’ll talk to these conservative groups and they’ll say ‘why did you introduce a carbon tax bill’ and I’ll say ‘because I don’t think we need to burn coal.’”
The Florida congressman concluded by asserting that “a carbon tax is the most market-oriented, non-bureaucratic, efficient way I can see to kill of coal.”