The United States Capitol in Washington, DC, USA.
Washington, DC, USA. The United States Capitol in Washington, DC, USA. © Devan King/The Nature Conservancy

Newsroom | The Nature Conservancy

Statement on Carbon Pricing Bills Introduced by Rep. Francis Rooney and Rep. Daniel Lipinski

Arlington, VA

The Nature Conservancy is encouraged by two new pieces of legislation introduced by Reps. Francis Rooney and Dan Lipinski today. Both the  Stemming Warming and Augmenting Pay Act (SWAP Act), sponsored by Congressman Rooney and cosponsored by Congressman Lipinski, and the Raise Wages, Cut Carbon Act (RWCC Act), sponsored by Congressman Lipinski and cosponsored by Congressman Rooney, would establish a price on carbon and  harness private  market forces in identifying the least-cost, greatest-impact ways to reduce carbon pollution.

“The science is clear – climate change is happening now. We must act immediately to significantly reduce carbon emissions," says Lynn Scarlett, Vice President of Public Policy and Government Relations. “The bills introduced today would open up opportunities to build solutions that bring economic opportunities, invest in nature’s solutions, and benefit communities. They mobilize powerful market forces to drive carbon emission reductions right now and ensure measurable results.” 

Both proposals use the carbon tax revenues to reduce the current tax burden on the American public. Congressman Rooney’s SWAP Act would use the bulk of revenue from a $30 per ton price on carbon to reduce payroll taxes for working Americans. The bill would also provide significant funding for state block grants to reduce impacts on low income communities and for climate adaptation, energy efficiency, and advanced R&D programs. Congressman Lipinski’s RWCC Act starts carbon pricing at $40 per ton and in addition to addressing some of the same assistance for low income communities, uses revenues to increase social security payments.

“These latest proposals to put a price on carbon demonstrate the flexibility of carbon pricing policy to achieve significant emission reductions while simultaneously meeting other important policy priorities,” said Jason Albritton, Director of Climate and Energy Policy for The Nature Conservancy. “These bills address multiple goals while alleviating impacts on low-income communities, and particularly indigenous communities and communities of color who are often unfairly burdened. These proposals demonstrate the diversity of ideas that are available to address the climate challenge. If we are to tackle this urgent issue, we need to use all the tools at our disposal.”

“We are grateful to Rep. Rooney and Rep. Lipinski. for their leadership on this urgent issue,” said Lynn Scarlett. “We look forward to working with diverse stakeholders to continue the discussion generated by these bills and all the climate solutions being offered in this Congress.”

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 72 countries, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.