While Congressman Francis Rooney (R-Fla.) and Democrats in Congress push legislation to impose a national carbon tax, they can’t even convince one left-leaning blue state to take the first step by implementing a state level carbon tax. Those calling for a carbon tax just received their latest blue state rejection this week in Maine.
In a committee hearing in the Maine House of Representatives yesterday, Rep. Deane Rykerson (D-Kittery), the lawmaker sponsoring legislation to impose the nation’s first statewide carbon tax, announced that he will be pulling the bill and replacing it a “Carbon Pricing Study Group” that will explore the topic and issue recommendations.
Nick Isgro, mayor of Waterville and vice chairman of the Maine Republican Party, announced this major win for Maine taxpayers on Twitter yesterday:
“Thanks to a bipartisan coalition of grassroots citizens who journeyed with me to Our Capitol, the @MaineDems/@saragideon agenda to raise heating oil prices on Maine families is in retreat! The sponsor now wants the tax bill replaced with a study. Thank you all…WIN! #mepolitics pic.twitter.com/urzsxXSQCT“— Mayor Nick Isgro (@MaineMayorNick) March 1, 2019
“This is a middle- and low-income family crushing tax,” said Mayor Isgro. Yet while proponents of this regressive new tax hike remain unable to convince even one Democrat-run blue state to lead the way on the issue, that isn’t stopping them from trying to take their campaign national.
Today, less than a day after Maine Democrats declined to move forward with a carbon tax, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee (D) announced his bid for president. Gov. Inslee, is an ardent carbon tax proponent, but has seen his proposal rejected by his own constituents twice in the last three years.
In the same elections that Evergreen State voters gave Democrats complete control of state government, they also rejected two ballot measures to impose a statewide carbon tax, one of which was designed to be revenue neutral (environment groups opposed the revenue neutral carbon tax ballot measure because it didn’t raise revenue and grow the size of government, which exposes how emissions reduction is not the real goal of green groups). Mainers are just the latest group of voters to reject the carbon at the ballot box.
This taxpayer victory in Maine is the latest data point documenting how carbon taxes, in addition to being terrible policy that would do the greatest harm to low income families who can least afford it, are also terrible politics, even in blue states.