For Immediate Release
Contact: Louisa Tavlas
Niskanen Center Applauds Introduction of the SWAP Act
(Washington D.C., July 25, 2019)— The Niskanen Center applauds Representatives Francis Rooney (FL-19) and Dan Lipinski (IL-3) for their new proposal, the Stemming Warming and Augmenting Pay (SWAP) Act of 2019. If passed, the SWAP Act would levy a tax on carbon pollution in exchange for a reduction in the rate of payroll taxes for employees and employers, and a moratorium on enforcement of the Clean Air Act regulations on stationary sources of greenhouse gas emissions. Combined with a meaningful increase in R&D funding for low-carbon technology, these measures will help reduce the long-term costs of decarbonization and accelerate emissions reductions in the United States.
“The Swap Act is an ambitious initiative that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions far more than the regulatory initiatives launched by former President Barack Obama, taking us a long way towards decarbonization of the economy by 2050,” said Niskanen Center president Jerry Taylor. “The net effect of the bill is to shift the burden of taxation from working Americans to polluters—where it should be—all while harnessing capitalism, not regulatory bureaucracies, to direct the necessary emission reductions. This is what a free market climate solution looks like,” he added.
In embracing pricing carbon emissions through a carbon tax, the SWAP Act, utilizes the best tool Congress has at its disposal for achieving emissions reductions at low cost and the needed scale. By leveraging the power of the private sector and focusing directly on emissions, a carbon price means we won’t leave any particular solution off the table, or trap industry and states in a complicated regulatory environment. By swapping carbon tax revenue for a reduction in the payroll rate, the bill will reduce increased costs to households with an even hand, and help employers and workers.
“We know a carbon price is the approach that will help us fairly and quickly act on climate change, by aligning business interests with decarbonization,” said Joseph Majkut, Niskanen’s director of climate policy. “But getting there hasn’t been easy, because it involves making trade offs and careful deliberation. This bill does a good job aligning all of the pieces and moving the conversation forward.”
“In a time where we hear a lot of big promises about climate action, Ambassador Rooney and Mr. Lipinski have put together a proposal that would deliver. Their colleagues on both sides of the aisle should take note,” Majkut continued.
The Niskanen Center is a Washington, D.C.-based think tank working to change public policy through direct engagement in the policymaking process.