House Energy and Commerce Chairman John Dingell (D-MI) last Thursday unveiled draft legislation that would impose a $50/ton tax on carbon emissions from coal, petroleum/petroleum products and natural gas, as well as a levy of 50 cents per gallon on gasoline, jet fuel and kerosene in an attempt to reduce consumption and lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Both the $50/ton carbon tax and 50 cent/gallon tax would be phased in over five years and adjusted for inflation. Diesel and biofuels that do not contain petroleum products would be exempted from the 50 cent/gallon tax, according to Dingell.

"A fee on carbon emissions requires a tithe from all citizens and industries, but no one entity will be unfairly leveled with a devastating burden," Dingell said. Before formally introducing the bill, he has asked the public to comment on the draft.

Dingell said the proposal is part of his ongoing efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 60% to 80% by 2050 and limit the damaging effects of global warming.

The Michigan Democrat spearheaded the passage earlier this year of a House energy bill that included efficiency provisions that seek to remove more than 10.8 billion tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by 2030. In addition, Dingell noted that he is working to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions by developing an economy-wide cap-and-trade program.

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