Fitzpatrick, Carbajal, Rooney, Peters Introduce MARKET CHOICE Act

Bipartisan Legislation Seeks to Reduce Carbon Emissions and Spur Infrastructure Investment

September 26, 2019

Washington, D.C.– Representative Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01) was joined by Representatives Salud Carbajal (CA-24), Francis Rooney (FL-19), and Scott Peters (CA-52) to introduce the MARKET CHOICE Act. This legislation seeks to combat climate change through the elimination of the gas tax, and the implementation of a fee on carbon emissions, the revenue from which would provide funding for infrastructure development and enhancement.

Recent public surveys have shown the American public cares deeply about infrastructure investment and greenhouse gas reduction. A poll conducted by Harvard University shows that 79 percent of Americans believe that “increased spending on our nation’s infrastructure” is “extremely important.” Additionally, a recent  survey conducted by the Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation found that over three-quarters of Americans view climate as being, at the least, a “major problem.”

“We are at a crossroads with regard to infrastructure and climate change,” said Fitzpatrick. “Legislative action taken—or not taken— by this Congress on these issues will be felt for generations. With the American public overwhelmingly seeking fixes to our crumbling roads and bridges while searching for solutions to mitigate the dangerous effects of climate change, our bipartisan bill is a dynamic solution that seeks to tackle both problems. It doesn’t have to be a tough choice.”

“We must take climate action now, and the Market Choice Act is a crucial way to move the ball forward while enhancing our crumbling infrastructure,” said Carbajal. “Not only will this bill tackle greenhouse gas emissions, it builds funds for sustainable infrastructure and it supports transitioning communities—like my own on the Central Coast—that are moving toward careers in renewable energy. This bipartisan bill is a smart solution for a crucial issue, and I’m proud we are introducing it today.”

“I have co-sponsored the Market Choice Act because it is a reasonable and feasible solution that avoids a new tax and actually would reduce the burden currently borne by Americans at the gas pump by eliminating the federal gas tax,” said Rooney. “In addition, this bill will create a moratorium on future EPA regulations related to greenhouse gas emissions. Finally, the Market Choice Act furthers the goal of rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges by establishing a trust fund for infrastructure and fully-funding the highway trust fund – both bipartisan ideas that could become law, even in a divided government.”

“We are in a climate emergency. One of the most effective ways to combat climate change is by changing incentives, and this bipartisan bill puts a price on carbon, invests in a low-carbon economy by supporting research, and investing in infrastructure,” said Peters. “It’s time to put aside partisan grandstanding and move the climate conversation from diagnosis to treatment.”

A member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Fitzpatrick in the previous Congress introduced the MARKET CHOICE Act with Representative Carlos Curbelo, who served Florida’s 26th district in Congress from 2015 to 2019. Earlier this year, he teamed up with Representative Jared Huffman (CA-02) to introduce the “Still-In Resolution,”  a bipartisan House Concurrent Resolution to reaffirm that Congress remains committed to the Paris Agreement to combat climate change.

What They’re Saying:

“Big national problems are solved with good policy and that is why EDF applauds Representative Fitzpatrick’s leadership for introducing the Market Choice Act,” said Elizabeth Gore, Senior Vice President, Environmental Defense Fund.

“The introduction of the MARKET CHOICE Act by Representative Fitzpatrick and his cosponsors demonstrates that there are Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle who are determined to take effective action to immediately reduce carbon pollution,” said Lynn Scarlett, Vice President of External Affairs and Government Relations for The Nature Conservancy.  “By placing a price on the carbon emissions that cause climate change and making critical investments in carbon capture technologies and natural climate solutions, the bill is an important first step in putting the U.S. on a path to meeting the climate challenge and making the critical transition to a low-carbon economy.”

The MARKET CHOICE Act of 2019 is a positive development of what was already an innovative approach to addressing some of our nation’s most pressing issues,” said Joseph Majkut, Director of Climate Policy at The Niskanen Center. “We need to update and fund infrastructure for the 21st Century. At the same time, we need to cut carbon pollution without imposing too high a cost or leaving people behind. By transitioning federal infrastructure funding from the gas tax to a carbon tax, the MARKET CHOICE Act will allow us to cut emissions efficiently and effectively while addressing our crumbling infrastructure. It also wisely makes investments to support the nascent carbon capture and clean energy technologies we will need to build a thriving low-carbon economy and the clean jobs of the future. The Niskanen Center applauds the leadership of Mr. Fitzpatrick and his co-sponsors.”

“With the introduction of the MARKET CHOICE Act, Congressman Fitzpatrick has once again demonstrated he is a principled problem solver and a courageous leader,” said former Congressman and now AMS Board of Advisor Carlos Curbelo. “This legislation would drastically reduce pollution while providing the Administration the revenue necessary to deliver on the President’s infrastructure promise.”

“The Market Choice Act represents important progress for a world in crisis that needs immediate relief,” said David Yarnold, president and CEO of National Audubon Society. “We cannot afford to wait for an ideal solution when a warming climate is actively threatening all living things. This is common-sense, bipartisan legislation that is stronger than its predecessor bill from last year, and we support this as a much-needed step forward.”

“Congress has a moral obligation to advance bipartisan climate solutions, and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick’s Market Choice Act makes an important contribution to that dialogue,” said Emily Wirzba, Sustainable Energy and Environment Legislative Manager at the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL). “In addition to making critical investments rebuilding our infrastructure, FCNL is particularly pleased the bill prioritizes assistance for low-income households, aid for displaced energy workers, funding for weatherization programs, and revenue for the Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund. We are also glad to see this bill lay out specific, annual emission reduction goals with built-in mechanisms that ensure the emissions are reduced as-intended. FCNL looks forward to working with all members of Congress to quickly take meaningful action toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

“Americans and wildlife are feeling the impacts of the climate crisis. Increasingly severe storms, droughts, floods and megafires all make clear the urgent need for strong, bipartisan action to reduce carbon emissions and prepare our communities for unavoidable impacts,” said Shannon Heyck-Williams, director of climate and energy policy at the National Wildlife Federation. “Rep. Fitzpatrick and his colleagues should be applauded for their bold leadership putting forth a bipartisan climate plan that harnesses market forces to rapidly and responsibly reduce carbon pollution. We are pleased to see this carbon fee proposal increase investments in clean energy and natural climate solutions that will make communities and ecosystems more climate resilient.”

“Congressman Fitzpatrick’s leadership in introducing the MARKET CHOICE Act is yet another sign of growing support for a market-based solution to climate change, said Greg Bertelsen, Executive Vice President of the Climate Leadership Council. “Putting a price on carbon is the single most powerful tool for unleashing clean energy innovation across the economy, while lowering emissions and giving businesses greater policy certainty. Momentum is building on both sides of the aisle for a practical and effective policy to reduce emissions, and the Climate Leadership Council looks forward to doing its part to advance a solution that is pro-environment, pro-economy and pro-consumer.”

"Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick has recognized the problem of climate change and has proposed an effective solution: a well-structured carbon tax that meets our pollution reduction commitments under the Paris Climate Accord, said The Rev. Mitchell C. Hescox, President and CEO of the Evangelical Environmental Network. “With his leadership as the lead sponsor, Congressman Fitzpatrick has showed that he is a true conservative and patriot. We are honored to support his leadership."