Mike Palicz

KEY VOTE: ATR Urges a “NO” Vote on H.R. 2, the Moving Forward Act. 

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Mike Palicz on Wednesday, July 1st, 2020, 3:44 AM PERMALINK

Americans for Tax Reform is issuing a Key Vote Alert in opposition to H.R. 2, the Moving Forward Act. 

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives will hold a vote on Speaker Pelosi’s $1.5 trillion green infrastructure bill. Entirely debt-financed, this reckless spending bill proposed by House Democrats is being sold to the public as a coronavirus “stimulus” bill, despite the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently reaffirming that government spending on infrastructure programs is a poor form of economic stimulus. In a May report, CBO concluded that after the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, “seven and a half months after the legislation was enacted, less than 10 percent of the infrastructure funds provided by ARRA had been spent.”

In reality, this legislation is a sweeping expansion of green energy subsidies and handouts to industries politically favored by Democrats. House Democrats have taken the normal bipartisan process of a surface transportation reauthorization bill and turned it into a progressive wishlist of Green New Deal priorities.

As House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio himself stated, this proposal is “a radical departure from highway-focused transportation bills” and instead places “climate resilience at the center.”

Below are key non-highway related provisions included in H.R. 2 that lawmakers should be aware of prior to the full House vote:

  • Includes a $25 billion bailout for the Postal Service including a mandate to purchase electric vehicles and requires every postal facility in the country to have electric vehicle charging stations by 2026. 

  • Extends the investment tax credit (ITC) for wind and solar energy through 2025, contradicting the bipartisan agreement reached in December of 2019 to phase these tax credits out permanently.

  • Expands the electric vehicle tax credit by tripling the cap from 200,000 to 600,000 vehicles per manufacturer.

  • Creates a new tax credit for used electric vehicles capped at $2,500.

  • Authorizes $2 billion per year through 2025 to build electric vehicle charging stations. 

  • Allocates $1 billion in credits annually to colleges and universities that establish an environmental justice program. 

  • Includes a $325 million program for electric school buses.

The inclusion of such provisions clearly demonstrates that H.R. 2 is a performative measure meant to appease progressive constituencies and politically-favored industries rather than a serious attempt to fund our nation's roads and bridges. 

Americans for Tax Reform urges lawmakers to vote “NO” on H.R. 2, which would add roughly $700 billion to the national debt while prioritizing the progressive initiatives of the Green New Deal over the infrastructure needs of the country.

Photo Credit: Marnie Webb

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Democrat’s Climate Action Plan Backs Carbon Tax & Handouts for Wind, Solar & EVs

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Mike Palicz on Tuesday, June 30th, 2020, 12:17 PM PERMALINK

Today, Democrats on the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis released a new climate action plan calling for a national carbon tax and a dramatic expansion of taxpayer subsidies for “green” industries favored by Democrats. 

Among a litany of taxpayer-funded handouts included in the plan, House Democrats would extend and expand subsidies for the wind and solar industries as well as tax credits for electric vehicle owners. Unsurprisingly, the plan is also filled with unrelated treats for labor unions such as prevailing wage requirements meant to satisfy Democrat constituencies. 

Below are just some of the costly provisions included in the report.

Creates of a massive national carbon tax

“Congress should establish a carbon pricing system designed to achieve America’s economywide greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal of net-zero by no later than 2050.” 

House Democrats also dispel the often-repeated myth that a carbon tax would be introduced in exchange for a reduction in existing regulations on emissions.

“Congress should not offer liability relief or nullify Clean Air Act authorities or other existing statutory duties to cut pollution in exchange for a carbon price.”

Subsidies for the Wind Industry

The action plan recommends that  “Congress should extend the Section 45 PTC for wind energy.” 

The plans specifically references the GREEN Act of 2020 (H.R. 7330), which would “preserve the Section 45 PTC at existing phaseout levels through 2020 but would extend the tax credit at 60% through 2025.

The plan also calls for specific subsidies for offshore wind:

“Congress should provide a long-term extension of the Section 48 ITC for offshore wind energy projects. Congress should provide a direct pay option for clean energy tax credits.” 

Subsidies for the Solar Industry

“Congress should extend the Section 48 ITC for solar energy generation. Congress should provide a direct pay option for clean energy tax credits.“

House Democrats also include unrelated provisions meant as a handout to politically favored labor unions. Under their plan to “Expand Low-Income Residential Solar” Democrats mandate that “Federal support for projects should be conditioned on recipients meeting strong labor standards (including Buy America/n and Davis-Bacon prevailing wage requirements), complying with all labor, environmental, and civil rights statutes, and signing community benefit agreements and project labor agreements, where relevant.”

Expanding Electric Vehicle Tax Credits

Democrats recommend Congress “raise the per-manufacturer cap on the electric vehicle tax credit to support the deployment of these vehicles” while also highlighting legislation that would double the value of existing tax credits for EV owners. Specifically, the action plan highlights legislation (H.R. 5393) from Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) that “increases the electric vehicle tax credit to $15,000 for cars costing less than $35,000.”

New $5,000 Tax Credit for Used Electric Vehicles.

“Congress should enact a federal tax incentive and/or create a grant program to facilitate the consumer purchase of used electric vehicles.” 

The plan again highlights legislation from Rep. Speier that “creates a $5,000 tax credit for the purchase of a used electric vehicle.” This means that Democrats are proposing taxpayers foot the bill for up to to $20,000 of the original cost of a $35,000 electric vehicle when combining Rep. Speier’s tax credits for new and used EVs.

Photo Credit: Wind Denmark

More from Americans for Tax Reform

ATR Opposes Government Power Grab of Airfare Refund Policy

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Mike Palicz on Friday, June 26th, 2020, 5:09 PM PERMALINK

Senate Democrats are renewing their push for greater regulation and increased price controls on commercial air travel. Five Senate Democrats, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (MA) and Sen. Edward Markey (MA), have recently introduced legislation that would require major carriers and third-party ticket sellers to offer full refunds, in cash, for any reservation cancelation during the Coronavirus outbreak, even if that cancelation results from an individual deciding not to travel.

The effort is only the latest attempt from Congressional Democrats to assert greater control over the cash-strapped airline industry through regulation and price controls. In March, Senate Democrats delayed the Coronavirus relief package over a host of provisions unrelated to the pandemic. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) insisted that “carbon offsets,” which would deliberately raise airfare costs during a demand crunch, be a prerequisite of any deal. Sen. Markey withheld his support of a deal while publicly insisting on a new batch of regulations ranging from price controls on baggage fees to government mandates on passenger seat size. 

Ultimately, the relief package passed and provided financial assistance to airlines suffering from a dramatic decrease in passenger volume largely due to government-imposed travel bans and stay at home orders. However, this relief did not come without significant strings attached. In order to qualify for assistance, airlines must refrain from involuntary furloughs or reductions in compensation until the end of September, refrain from performing stock buybacks, or issuing dividends for 18 months and must freeze the compensation of company executives. These limitations were the result of a bipartisan agreement meant to cover airline operating costs and keep airline employees on payroll and off of unemployment lines.

Now Senate Democrats are abandoning this agreement and pushing for more regulation. 

While Democrats claim their bill is pro-consumer, the reality is that such legislation will only increase the cost of airfare and reduce the number of flights available. All while increasing the likelihood that taxpayers would be on the hook for an additional round of airline relief funding. 

In reality, market forces have already driven airlines to address the concerns of their customers. Carriers have greatly increased consumer flexibility during Coronavirus, including waiving change and cancelation fees, offering credits for the full value of a reservation, and even extending the life of previously purchased tickets, meaning flights can be rescheduled or used towards future travel. 

Just this week, the largest airline trade association for U.S. airlines announced that its members will fully refund tickets for any passenger who is found to have an elevated temperature during the pre-boarding screening process. These offers from airlines, paired with lower ticket prices from reduced demand and waived ticket taxes, are successfully addressing the concerns of customers as passenger volume begins to increase

Americans for Tax Reform opposes the effort to have the federal government insert itself into the refund policy of private companies and urges Members of Congress to reject this legislation.

Photo Credit: Jason O'Halloran

More from Americans for Tax Reform

There are no related posts.

Pelosi Plan Bails Out Ethanol Producers

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Mike Palicz on Friday, May 15th, 2020, 3:26 PM PERMALINK

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recently released $3 trillion Coronavirus relief package would provide cash payments to ethanol producers.

The bailout, thinly disguised as a “reimbursement program,” would send $0.45 in taxpayer money for each gallon of qualified fuel produced between January 1 and May 1, 2020. Qualified fuels include renewable fuel or advanced biofuels outlined in the Clean Air Act, including renewable fuel from corn starch feedstock. 

Pelosi’s legislation would also extend financial assistance to biofuel producers who failed to produce any quantities of qualifying fuel in this timeframe by paying them for 50 percent of the number of gallons produced in the corresponding month of 2019 at the same rate of $0.45 per gallon. Meaning, House Democrats are proposing to “reimburse” ethanol producers for fuel they never even produced during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Here it is, straight from the bill’s text:

“If the Secretary determines that the eligible entity was unable to produce any qualified fuel throughout 1 or more calendar months during the applicable period due to the COVID–19 pandemic, $0.45 multiplied by 50 percent of the number of gallons produced by the eligible entity in the corresponding month.”

This taxpayer handout to the politically favored ethanol industry was one of few energy provisions included in the House Democrats’ relief package. Other energy provisions were primarily directed towards providing financial assistance to consumers unable to pay their utility bills. 

Photo Credit: Adam Johnson

More from Americans for Tax Reform

There are no related posts.

Good News: EPA Considers Waiving Ethanol Blending Requirements to Aid Recovery

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Mike Palicz on Thursday, April 23rd, 2020, 11:14 AM PERMALINK

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is reportedly considering a temporary waiver of ethanol blending mandates as part of its response to collapsing oil prices caused by the Coronavirus outbreak. 

The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is a market-distorting regulation that requires fuel blenders to use an amount of biofuel beyond consumer demand while raising costs and imposing economic harm, a reality highlighted by the Coronavirus outbreak.

The energy industry is in the midst of a severe demand crunch as travel restrictions and government-imposed stay at home orders have severely curbed consumer need for fuel as gasoline demand has fallen by over 30%. The crisis was only exacerbated by a Russia-Saudi Arabia oil price war that sought to leverage the pandemic to kill off competition. As the sharp demand cut causes production to slow and workers to be furloughed, the RFS forces refineries to comply with standards by using costly biofuels or by purchasing credits based on projected consumption - projections that are now entirely off base for 2020. The cost of compliance with RFS requirements in the face of rock-bottom demand from consumers threatens to push some refineries towards shutting down production entirely, costing thousands of workers their jobs in the process. 

Americans for Tax Reform urges the Trump EPA to use its authority to waive biofuel requirements for the remainder of 2020 and allow blending volumes to match consumer demand. Issuing waivers from RFS requirements is well within EPA’s existing authority under Section 211(o)(7) of the Clean Air Act. Temporary suspension of RFS requirements will reduce artificially added costs for fuel producers (which ultimately get passed on to consumers) and will help them maintain production and keep workers on payroll.

News that the EPA is considering waiving biofuel requirements under the RFS for the remainder of 2020 comes after a bipartisan group of governors urged the EPA to take action in a letter sent last week. 

 The letter, signed by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R), Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R), Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (R), Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon (R) and Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D), argues that "the macroeconomic impacts of COVID-19 have resulted in suppressed international demand for refined products, like motor fuels and diesel.” Having to add ethanol “present[s] a clear threat to the industry under such circumstances,” the governors added.

Temporarily waiving RFS requirements is in line with the host of deregulatory actions taken to remove regulatory burdens dragging down American economic growth – now all the more important in the face of the current global crisis. ATR urges the Trump Administration and the EPA to temporarily suspend RFS requirements and to continue removing barriers to America's economic recovery.

Photo Credit: TexasGOPVote.com

More from Americans for Tax Reform

There are no related posts.

Cutting Domestic Royalty Rates Better Than Imposing New Tariffs on Energy Industry

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Mike Palicz on Monday, April 20th, 2020, 8:42 PM PERMALINK

Oil prices collapsed on Monday, trading below $0.00 for the first time in history as the coronavirus pandemic continues causing consumer demand to plummet.  

Stay at home orders and restrictions on travel have kept demand for oil at rock-bottom levels. The crisis was only exacerbated by a Russia-Saudi Arabia oil price war that sought to leverage the pandemic to kill off competition. Consequently, thousands of energy workers are now in danger of losing their jobs as energy producers prepare to halt production and hundreds of companies are in danger of going bankrupt. 

The Trump administration is reportedly weighing policy options to provide relief to the energy sector, proposals that range from a $3 billion oil purchase for the nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve, to potentially paying oil producers to keep the oil they produce in the ground. Some in Congress have even begun pushing for new tariffs on oil sourced from foreign markets. 

As the Trump administration weighs options for relief to the energy sector, limited government intervention in the market should be the default position of all parties involved. Meddling in questions about supply and demand of oil could do irreparable harm to the ability of the industry to recover long-term. Among the tools at the administration's disposal, however, include tax relief for developers in America. 

Specifically, the Trump administration could suspend or reduce royalty taxes paid by companies extracting and developing energy on federal lands. Doing so would reduce the cost of energy development, helping slow down the rate of companies shutting down production as a result of historic-low prices. By delaying decisions about current development projects, companies might be able to keep thousands of workers on payroll in these tough economic times. 

The key issue policymakers should aim to address is not overproduction on the supply side but rather a severe demand crunch brought on by the suppression of market forces required to fight a public health crisis. Consumers are not currently seeing the benefits of low energy prices because they are under instruction from public officials to stay in their homes and avoid travel. That will change in the coming months. 

At current prices, American energy development is largely a money-losing proposition. Extracting federal tax collections from developers further fuels losses and exacerbates the pressure to close down operations across the country. According to the Government Accountability Office, royalty relief could reduce the cost of resource development immediately by 12.5 to 18.75 percent. This would temporarily provide some of the much-needed relief businesses are searching for as they plot their 3, 6, and 12 month futures in the market.

This is not a solution being sought by major energy executives, who at a recent White House meeting expressed opposition to both a spending bailout and temporary royalty rate tax cuts. Targeted and temporary tax relief is not a "bailout" and should not be viewed as such. 

While federal action to provide relief for American businesses has largely relied upon massive government spending - a tough pill for conservatives to swallow - providing royalty relief is a proposal that cuts taxes and reduces government involvement in energy markets. 

The added benefit of cutting taxes while prices are so low is that the temporary loss in revenue to states and the federal government is minimal. It also may ensure that there is a competitive domestic resource production market once demand re-stabilizes over the coming year by keeping more small businesses active within the industry. Without tax relief, many smaller businesses may find themselves bankrupt and America may find itself more reliant on oil sourced from foreign markets. If this occurs, ramping up domestic production won't simply occur overnight and the Energy Dominance agenda of this administration could falter. 

Under present law, the Secretary of the Interior has existing authority to provide royalty relief and requires no new action from Congress to enact a policy change. The administration can provide this across-the-board relief on a temporary basis while Congress re-examines and compares our own royalty rates against those of our foreign competitors in the years to come. 

Americans for Tax Reform urges the Trump administration and the Secretary of Interior to consider this policy tool as an alternative to heavy-handed intervention in the market that interferes with the natural laws of supply and demand. 

Photo Credit: The White House

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Airline Rescue Package Should Provide Tax Relief

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Mike Palicz on Thursday, March 19th, 2020, 1:09 PM PERMALINK

On Wednesday, President Trump announced that the airline industry “would be the number one priority” for a federal assistance package in response to a demand drop-off following government restrictions on travel to combat the Coronavirus outbreak.

The airline industry now faces a dire situation as flight cancellations are rapidly outpacing new flight bookings. Industry trade groups are estimating that revenue loss could total $113 billion globally. In response to the crisis, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was on Capitol Hill Tuesday meeting with Senators to discuss the terms of a rescue package for the industry.

As the Trump administration and Congress weigh options for an aid package, providing tax relief for airline companies should be at the forefront of policy options.

Specifically, this would include the temporary repeal of excise taxes paid by airline companies. This would include excise taxes on jet fuel, cargo and passenger tickets. Providing relief on excise taxes would also crucially increase consumer demand that has plummeted from the virus’s outbreak. Taxes currently make up over 20% of the cost of a domestic airline ticket. Temporary tax relief will lower airfare costs to increase consumer demand after the outbreak is contained and travel restrictions are lifted. 

Rebates of these same excise taxes that have already been paid by airlines should also be considered. Monthly Treasury reports show that collections of these taxes paid into the Airport and Airway Trust Fund totaled close to $4.3 billion through February. Given the sharp demand drop off experienced in March, it is reasonable to assume that total collections thus far are not significantly higher. Currently, the trust fund has an uncommitted balance approaching $6.5 billion. This means a rebate of excise taxes already collected in 2020 could be paid for with the uncommitted balance of the trust fund.

Given the AATF is funded on a user fee model, the principle should be maintained in reverse to fund any airline relief package. This will reduce the need to fund a package with transfers from general revenue, thus reducing the burden placed upon taxpayers in any relief package.

Photo Credit: Jason O'Halloran

More from Americans for Tax Reform

DOT waives hours of service regulations for truck drivers providing relief to Coronavirus outbreak

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Mike Palicz on Monday, March 16th, 2020, 12:43 PM PERMALINK

As part of the Trump Administration’s response to the Coronavirus, The U.S. Department of Transportation will exempt commercial truck drivers transporting emergency medical supplies from regulations limiting how many hours they can drive.

In a statement released Friday, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced a national emergency declaration to provide hours-of-service regulatory relief to commercial vehicle drivers transporting emergency relief in response to the nationwide Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

This deregulatory action will allow greater flexibility for truck drivers transporting goods such as necessary medical supplies, testing equipment, hand sanitizer, disinfectants and food required for emergency restocking of stores. This action from DOT and FMCSA is part of a larger effort from the Trump administration to reduce regulatory burdens obstructing relief for the Coronavirus outbreak.

Jim Mullen, FMCSA Acting Administrator, thanked President Trump and DOT Secretary Elaine Chao for their leadership in reducing hours-of-service- regulations.

“Because of the decisive leadership of President Trump and Secretary Chao, this declaration will help America’s commercial drivers get these critical goods to impacted areas faster and more efficiently. FMCSA is continuing to closely monitor the Coronavirus outbreak and stands ready to use its authority to protect the health and safety of the American people.”  - FMCSA Acting Administrator Jim Mullen.  

Americans for Tax Reform previously led a coalition of free-market organizations calling for FMCSA to ease hours-of-service regulations imposed upon commercial truck drivers. Such rules impose a top-down, one-size-fits-all approach to regulation where bureaucrats in Washington mandate when drivers must take a break from driving, rather than relying on professional drivers to make that decision for themselves. 

ATR applauds this decision from the Trump administration to provide regulatory relief to commercial vehicle drivers transporting emergency relief in response to the Coronavirus. This action will make crucial supplies and goods more available to the public in a critical time of need.

You can find the full FMCSA emergency declaration on trucking hours-of-service here.

Photo Credit: Randen Peterson

More from Americans for Tax Reform

There are no related posts.

ATR Urges Congress to Reject Any Gas Tax Hike

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Mike Palicz on Monday, February 3rd, 2020, 4:11 PM PERMALINK

Today, Americans for Tax Reform sent a letter to Members of Congress urging them to reject any increase to the federal gas tax.

In the letter, ATR President Grover Norquist states:

“It should be clear to Congress that the public is already paying more than its fair share in gas taxes. American drivers are forced to pay an average tax of 48.06 cents per gallon when combining federal and state gas taxes, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The government has no business asking consumers to pay more in taxes."

The letter comes shortly after a House Ways and Means Committee hearing was held to discuss funding for the $760 billion infrastructure proposal introduced by House Democrats last week.

Please see below for the full content of the letter or click here.

Dear Members of Congress,

Americans for Tax Reform urges lawmakers to reject any increase to the federal gas tax. Raising the gas tax will disproportionately harm lower- and middle-income Americans while encouraging further wasteful spending.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, raising the tax rate on gasoline would “impose a proportionally larger burden, as a share of income, on middle- and lower-income households,” while also imposing “a disproportionate burden on rural households.” Additionally, the CBO found that raising the gas tax would increase the cost of everyday consumer goods that “would increase the relative burden on low-income households, which spend a larger share of their income (compared with higher-income households) on food, clothing, and other transported goods.”

It should be clear to Congress that the public is already paying more than its fair share in gas taxes. American drivers are forced to pay an average tax of 48.06 cents per gallon when combining federal and state gas taxes, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The government has no business asking consumers to pay more in taxes.

Raising the gas tax would also have a severe impact on the U.S. economy. For example, a gas tax hike of 25 cents in 2020 would cause an average employment shortfall of 62,150 jobs, peaking at a shortfall of 364,000 jobs in 2040, according to the Heritage Foundation. According to Strategas Research Partners, 60% of the federal income tax cut would be wiped out by a $0.25 gas tax increase and rising prices.

The gas tax is not a user fee. Supporters of a gas tax hike often incorrectly claim that the gas tax is a user-fee. This wrongly ignores that every 2.86 cents of the 18.4 cent federal gas tax is diverted to mass transit and that over 28% of Highway Trust Fund revenue is siphoned off to pay for non-highway programs. Misuse of HTF revenue has even included diverting funds to pay for squirrel sanctuaries and to finance driving simulators. Instead of increasing taxes on consumers, Congress should prioritize cutting such wasteful spending and ending revenue diversions.

Lawmakers can find further savings through suspending the Davis-Bacon Act, which needlessly increases the cost of infrastructure projects. The Davis Bacon Act requires contractors working on government projects to be paid “prevailing wages.” However, the Department of Labor uses a highly flawed methodology which sets prevailing wages 22 percent above market rates. The CBO estimates that repealing Davis-Bacon would save $12 billion in discretionary outlays by reducing construction cost.

Rather than raising taxes and digging further into the pockets of American drivers, Congress should instead prioritize spending reforms that ensure existing revenues are spent wisely.  


Grover G. Norquist

President, Americans for Tax Reform


Photo Credit: Chris Potter

More from Americans for Tax Reform

10 Things 2020 Dems Would Ban for a "Climate Crisis"

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Mike Palicz, Jordan Leppo on Thursday, January 30th, 2020, 12:55 PM PERMALINK

The 2020 Democratic Primary has revealed the environmental radicalism of the Democratic candidates. As voting is set to begin next week in Iowa, it is worth highlighting all of the things the Democratic field has promised to ban in the name of a "climate crisis." From the natural gas, coal and nuclear energy that powers and heats our homes down to everyday items like plastic bags and straws, Democrats have promised to ban it all. 

  1. Nuclear Power: Despite producing roughly 20 percent of the nation’s electricity, nuclear energy has been in the crosshairs of major Democratic candidates. Elizabeth Warren has called to ban the construction of new nuclear plants and to ultimately end nuclear energy, stating “we won't be building new nuclear plants. We will start weaning ourselves off nuclear and replace it with renewables." Likewise, Bernie Sanders’ climate plan calls for an end to building new nuclear plants and enacts a “moratorium on nuclear power plant license renewals.” Former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg told the Washington Post, “no new plants at this time.”


  1. Gas-powered cars: Senator Sanders has backed legislation to ban the sale of gas-powered cars by 2040. In addition to an outright ban on purchasing gas-powered cars, Sanders would spend $2 trillion in taxpayer dollars to put Americans in electric vehicles. At a campaign event, Elizabeth Warren told a crowd "by 2030, no more cars with carbon emissions." Warren added that she would also disallow the building of homes with carbon emissions by 2028 and ban electricity produced with carbon emissions by 2035. 


  1. Plastic Straws: Although she has now terminated her campaign, Senator Kamala Harris called for a ban on plastic straws at the CNN Climate Town Hall. Likewise, Mayor Pete Buttigieg declared that those who use plastic straws are responsible for climate change and “part of the problem” along with those who eat hamburgers.  


  1. Plastic bags: At a campaign event in Iowa on January 2nd, 2020, Joe Biden agreed “100 percent” with a nationwide ban on plastic bags. Responding to a question from the audience, Biden responded by saying, “I agree with you 100 percent. We should not be allowing plastic. What we should do is phasing it out.” 


  1. Coal Power Plants: At a New Hampshire campaign rally in December of 2019, former Vice President Joe Biden proposed terminating the jobs and economic anchor of thousands of workers of coal-mining communities as part of his plan to combat climate change. Biden said that “Anybody who can go down 300-3,000 feet in a mine sure as hell can learn how to program as well. Anybody who can throw coal into furnace can learn how to program for God’s sake.”


  1. Fracking: Sanders’ website proposes the complete ban of importing and exporting fossil fuels, as Sanders believes that it will “end incentives for extraction around the world.” Elizabeth Warren has also told the Washington Post that she supports a ban on fracking.


  1. Offshore drilling: Presidential-hopeful Bernie Sanders has explicitly stated on his campaign website that he is serious about banning offshore drilling. Sanders’ website states, “If we are serious about moving beyond oil toward energy independence… then we must ban offshore drilling…Congress must not open new areas to offshore oil drilling and ban drilling in the Arctic Circle and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.” Elizabeth Warren has also said she would “end offshore drilling on day one.”


  1. Pipeline Building: When talking to a voter in New Hampshire, Joe Biden stated that he would end both the practice of fracking and the building of new pipelines across America.  Sanders has expressed similar hostility towards pipelines, promising to shutdown both the Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines while in the past saying "We can't afford to build new pipelines that lock us into burning more fossil fuels." 


  1. Exporting fossil fuels: Bernie Sanders’ climate plan would outright ban the import and export of fossil fuels, including coal and natural coals. Elizabeth Warren has also signaled her support ending fossil fuel exports and would ban the exportation of crude oil. Candidates Tulsi Gabbard and Steyer also support ending fossil fuel exports.


  1. Fossil Fuel production on federal lands: From 2017 data,  42 percent of coal, 24 percent of crude oil and 13 percent of natural gas production occur on federal lands. Yet, Elizabeth Warren has promised she will enact a “total moratorium” on fossil fuel extraction on federal lands. Joe Biden’s climate plan calls for “banning new oil and gas permitting on public lands and waters.” Michael Bloomberg has said he will “immediately end all new fossil fuel leases on federal land.”  Bernie Sanders is the bill sponsor of the Keep It in the Ground Act and has stated that “we must keep oil, gas, and coal in the ground.” Amy Klobuchar has also stated her support for ending fossil fuel extraction on federal lands.

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore