Curbelo Introduces First-of-Its-Kind Legislation to Combat Carbon Emissions, Fund Infrastructure Modernization
The MARKET CHOICE Act Would Fund Infrastructure Modernization, Reduce Carbon Emission Levels, Provide Regulation Stability, Repeal Regressive Taxes That Discriminate Lower- and Middle-Income Americans
Today, Representative Carlos Curbelo (FL-26), co-chair and co-founder of the House Climate Solutions Caucus, joined the Columbia University Center for Global Energy Policy to discuss the introduction of his new legislation to fight carbon emission and fund infrastructure.
H.R. 6463, 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, 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.
“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.”
“Since my first day in Congress, I have been committed to finding bipartisan solutions that protect our environment for future generations,” said Representative Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-8), co-sponsor of the MARKET CHOICE Act. “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.”
According to an analysis by Columbia University, Curbelo’s 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 suggest 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.