First-ever Bipartisan Carbon Pricing Bill Introduced in Utah

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 5, 2018

Contacts:
Ross Chambless, Communications Specialist
Utah House Democratic Caucus
(801) 326-1568 | rosschambless@le.utah.gov

Aundrea Peterson
Utah House of Representatives, Majority Caucus
801-791-3365 | aundreapeterson@le.utah.gov

First-ever Bipartisan Carbon Pricing Bill Introduced in Utah

SALT LAKE CITY – A coalition of bipartisan lawmakers in Utah are publicly rolling out legislation that would put a price on carbon emissions.

Representative Joel Briscoe, D-Salt Lake City, and Representative Becky Edwards, R-North Salt Lake, are cosponsoring HB403, which would put a price on carbon emissions and return the money to Utah residents through dollar-for-dollar reductions in other taxes. Similar legislation has been introduced in a handful of states like New York and Washington. Utah is the first state to introduce bipartisan carbon pricing legislation.

Both lawmakers said they are proud of their groundbreaking bipartisan effort which they plan to work on after the session ends during the interim.  

“This bill helps us achieve things that all of us - Republicans and Democrats alike - hope for,” said Rep. Edwards. “We all want economic security. We all want better funding for things like education, healthcare, and public safety. We all want a promising future for our children as we manage how we grow as a state. This bill supports hard-working Utah families while also engaging in stewardship of our natural environment. It’s common sense.”    

“Utah is breaking the seal on bipartisan efforts to put a price on carbon,” Rep. Briscoe said. “This bill sets a new precedent for cooperation on strong carbon reduction policies among Republicans and Democrats. And it paves the way for Republicans across the country to be leaders on the issue of the changing climate.”

Bob Inglis, former Republican U.S. Congressman from South Carolina and Executive Director of RepublicEn.org, said, "Republican Rep. Becky Edwards and Democratic Rep. Joel Briscoe are modeling for the whole country the spirit and the solutions that America needs to lead the world to climate solutions. Hats off to them for leading, for being willing to stand together and for believing in the ability of free enterprise to deliver innovation through a simple pricing of carbon dioxide."

"HB403 ensures that the real price of fossil fuel consumption is reflected in the market while also guaranteeing that most Utah households are compensated for any increase in energy prices,” said Jerry Taylor, President of the Niskanen Center. “It signals that the Utah legislature takes the changing climate seriously and, likewise, takes the well-being of future generations seriously. Moreover, by relying on market signals rather than government regulation or mandates to address the problem, it is an effective and efficient, Republican-friendly response to the changing climate.”

"This bill is a real life example of state officials forgetting politics in favor of actual leadership. I'm excited to see the changing climate addressed as a people issue, not a party one," said Nick Huey, a BYU student and organizer of The Climate Campaign. "Utah could be the stage from which innovative energy legislation is pioneered by the conservative party."

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