Fitzpatrick, Curbelo Introduce First-of-Its-Kind Legislation to Combat Carbon Emissions, Fund Infrastructure Modernization
WASHINGTON – Congressmen Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-08) and Carlos Curbelo (FL-26), members of the House Climate Solutions Caucus, introduced new legislation to fight carbon emissions and fund infrastructure.
“Since my first day in Congress, I have been committed to finding solutions that protect our environment for future generations,” said Fitzpatrick. “The MARKET CHOICE Act is an important step to reduce carbon emissions that are contributing to atmospheric change, rising sea levels, and more intense natural disasters. This legislation would modernize America’s infrastructure by sparking investment in our roads, bridges, and energy grid while eliminating a regressive gas tax. I’m proud to join my colleague Carlos Curbelo in promoting sustainability through the introduction of this science-driven approach to fund infrastructure and address climate change.”
“Elected officials owe it to every American, and especially to younger generations who are understandably concerned about the future, to work on a comprehensive solution to mitigate and adapt to climate change,” Curbelo said. “This bill captures the political energy of the moment by not only seeking to drastically reduce carbon emissions, but also funding much-needed infrastructure modernization in our country. Despite those invested in the depressing paradigm of bipolar politics who will dismiss this effort summarily, I look forward to the important debate this proposal will spark, and I encourage all my colleagues to give it serious consideration and offer constructive criticisms and ideas to move this conversation forward.”
The Modernizing America with Rebuilding to Kick-start the Economy of the Twenty-first Century with a Historic Infrastructure-Centered Expansion Act, or the MARKET CHOICE Act [H.R. 6463], would:
- Set the United States on a path to reduce carbon emissions and not only fulfill, but exceed the commitments set out under the Paris agreement;
- Raise much-needed revenue to modernize our national infrastructure – a bipartisan priority that remains elusive without a new influx of revenue – by providing an additional $285 billion for the Highway Trust Fund and $18 billion for the Airways Trust Fund;
- Eliminate regressive, inefficient and discriminatory taxes like the gasoline tax and the aviation fuel tax to promote equitable treatment for Americans driving traditional cars and ensures all Americans are contributing their fair share to our country's infrastructure needs;
- Create long-term regulation stability by establishing a moratorium on the EPA from finalizing and enforcing Clean Air Act regulations on greenhouse gas emissions – thus providing much-needed regulatory certainty for utilities and businesses and limiting economic repercussions of additional regulations;
- Hold trade partners accountable by way of a border tax adjustment, protecting American exporters competitiveness abroad; and
- Protect lower income Americans from higher utility bills and assist displaced workers.
According to an analysis by Columbia University, the proposal would reduce carbon emissions by 27–32 percent reductions in net greenhouse gas emissions levels by 2025 and 30–40 percent reductions by 2030. The analysis also suggests the proposal would have little economic disruption, and that lowest-income households benefit from the proposal with 10% of revenues being used for transfers/dividends to offset higher energy prices.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING:
The Nature Conservancy: “Today is an important milestone in the growing bipartisan conversation about finding solutions to the challenges of our changing climate. We are grateful to Mr. Curbelo and Mr. Fitzpatrick for their leadership on this.” (Statement From The Nature Conservancy on the Market Choice Act Introduced By Rep. Carlos Curbelo in the U.S. House of, Lynn Scarlett, Co-chief of External Affairs, The Nature Conservancy, July 23, 2018)
- “Although many will be attracted to the infrastructure and economic gains in this bill, the climate benefits should not be ignored. The bill is designed to ensure actual, measurable pollution reductions are achieved through the inclusion of measurable benchmarks and by retaining EPA regulatory authority as a backstop. While we will need to continue the discussion on how to achieve the long-term emission reductions called for by science, the bill offers real solutions that bring measurable results.” (Statement From The Nature Conservancy on the Market Choice Act Introduced By Rep. Carlos Curbelo in the U.S. House of, Jason Albritton, Director of Climate and Energy Policy, The Nature Conservancy, July 23, 2018)
- “We’re pleased to see a bill that achieves results for people, communities, the economy, and the environment… By placing a price on carbon pollution and making critical investments in low-carbon technologies, the bill is an important first step in putting the U.S. on a path to a prosperous, clean energy future. It will also enable investments in natural and traditional infrastructure to help coastal communities address the impacts of a changing climate and help fund improvements on agricultural and forest lands to store carbon. All these investments also create jobs.” (Statement From The Nature Conservancy on the Market Choice Act Introduced By Rep. Carlos Curbelo in the U.S. House of, Mark Tercek, CEO, The Nature Conservancy, July 23, 2018)
Environmental Defense Fund: “EDF applauds Rep. Carlos Curbelo and the bill sponsors for putting forward an innovative proposal to fund American infrastructure that would also cut climate pollution. The bill marks a welcome and overdue return to bipartisan engagement on policy solutions after years when some in Congress have questioned the basic science of climate change…” (Rep. Curbelo Introduces a Bill to Put a Price on Carbon, Environmental Defense Fund, Fred Krupp, President, Environmental Defense Fund, July 23, 2018)
National Wildlife Federation: “Shout out to @RepBrianFitz for acting to defend wildlife like Magnolia warblers & communities from the threats of climate change by co-sponsoring the MARKET CHOICE Act. We need all #ClimateChange solutions on the table, including a price on carbon!” (Twitter, Wildlife Action Fund, July 24, 2018)
Climate Leadership Council: “Congressman Curbelo’s leadership in introducing the MARKET CHOICE Act is the latest sign that momentum continues to build for a market-based solution to lower carbon emissions. This legislation is an important milestone for conservative leadership on climate policy and an encouraging response to growing public demand for a breakthrough solution.” (MARKET CHOICE Act is Sign of Growing Momentum for Climate Solution, Greg Bertelsen, Senior Vice President, Climate Leadership Council, July 20, 2018)
Evangelical Environmental Network: “Congressman Curbelo 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. With this leadership Congressman Curbelo has shown he is a true conservative and a patriot. We are honored to support his leadership… As conservative pro-life Christians, we stand ready to support Congressman Curbelo and the cosponsors of this legislation as they lead the way. We are grateful for their moral and patriotic leadership.” (Congressman Curbelo Offers Courageous Moral Leadership on Climate Action, Evangelical Environmental Network, July 19, 2018)
Audubon Society: “Carbon Pricing Bill is a Bold Step Forward: The MARKET CHOICE Act, introduced by Representative Carlos Curbelo (R-Florida), is the first major federal carbon reduction legislation lead by a Republican in nearly a decade. This is a thoughtful, serious proposal designed to address the threat that birds, people and the planet face from a changing climate… We hope that, with his release of this proposal, Representative Curbelo sparks a reinvigorated public discussion with decision makers of both political parties.” (Carbon Pricing Bill is a Bold Step Forward, David Yarnold, President and CEO, Audubon Society, July 19, 2018)
Citizens Climate Lobby: “Representative Carlos Curbelo’s Market Choice Act would put a price on carbon, which is one of the most effective climate solutions available to us. At Citizens’ Climate Lobby we share the desire to see American jobs grow and carbon emissions drop. Bipartisan support is ultimately necessary for legislation that stands the test of time. This is a first step toward that conversation.” (Statement from CCL Executive Director Mark Reynolds, Citizens Climate Lobby, July 23, 2018)
Mom’s Clean Air Force: “We welcome @RepCurbelo's #MarketChoiceAct—all solutions should be discussed. When your house is on fire, you don’t turn away the first firetruck that arrives because it is too small to do the entire job. Our house is on fire. @RepCurbelo’s #MarketChoiceAct means conservatives are engaging on this urgent problem.” (Twitter, Mom’s Clean Air Force, July 23, 2018)