Jul 25, 2019 - Politics & Policy

Flurry of climate-change bills incoming

Several bills that aim to tackle climate change are surfacing as lawmakers scramble before their August congressional break.

Why it matters: While none of the measures is likely to pass any time soon (if ever), they’re nonetheless a sign of the increasing saliency of climate change among politicians, particularly Democrats, but, in a slowly shifting trend, Republicans, too.

Driving the news:

  1. Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.) are introducing a bill to address emissions from the industrial sector (think cement factories).
  2. Rep. Francis Rooney (R-Fla.) is introducing on Thursday legislation that taxes carbon emissions and uses most of the money raised to lower payroll taxes. He has previously backed similar bills.
  3. Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) is also introducing a bill Thursday that taxes carbon emissions.
  4. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), is planning to introduce a carbon tax bill in September, according to his office.

But, but, but: As I wrote in April, most of these types of big measures are unlikely to become law anytime soon given that Republican lawmakers, and President Trump, typically dismiss the issue, and they control much of Washington right now.

  • Instead, these bills are a sign of a debate, long relegated to Washington’s back burner, re-emerging. Whether that translates into actual policy passing is a big open question — and probably on hold until after the 2020 presidential contest.

Go deeper: The Democrats’ plan to have a climate plan

Go deeper