Cramer's carbon info push
Sen. Kevin Cramer is planning legislation that would help lay the groundwork for a carbon tariff.
Why it matters: Measuring carbon emissions in industrial supply chains is complicated. The idea is to gather enough information to eventually implement a carbon border adjustment mechanism.
Driving the news: Cramer and Sen. Chris Coons plan to introduce a bill soon that would “reconcile what it is, exactly, we need to know,” Cramer said.
- It would focus on federal data on carbon emissions from various types of industrial products.
- “It's not a new concept,” he said in the hallway outside the Senate chamber. “We just know that … we need solid data that everybody's operating with, especially if we want to reconcile this with other countries.”
Context: Cramer and other Senate Republicans are interested in a fee on carbon-intensive imports — without a matching domestic price.
- That makes the policy design more complicated because it requires precise measurements of the emissions from specific goods or sectors, both in the U.S. and in other countries.
- This bill is an attempt to figure that stuff out.
Our thought bubble: Sen. Bill Cassidy is planning a CBAM bill that will be the GOP marker. But Cramer’s legislation is a low-stakes effort that could help get more Republicans interested in the concept.
- Cramer said he hopes to get it attached to an appropriations bill or other must-pass legislation.
Yes, but: The Senate’s CBAM gang remains small, and there’s relatively little interest among House Republicans.
- Still more political coalitions will need to be built before a real carbon tariff bill has any chance of making it through Congress.