Carbon Tax Decade of Failure: Voters Reject Carbon Tax

Submitted by jkartch on Monday, December 30th, 2019, 9,30 AM

Carbon tax pushers have spent the last decade claiming "momentum" as voters -- even in blue states -- thoroughly defeated carbon tax bills and the politicians who sought to impose them:

“A carbon tax raises the cost of gasoline for your car, your home heating and conditioning and hikes the cost of living. Voters throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, and France have sent the same message: NO to any energy tax/carbon tax. Rarely has any policy proposal been so thoroughly tested and rejected over time and by voters around the world,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. 

November 2, 2010 -- South Carolina voters oust carbon-tax supporting congressman Bob Inglis in the Republican primary election. Republican Congressman Bob Inglis proposed a carbon tax and was defeated nearly 3 to 1 in his Republican primary election. His opponent, Trey Gowdy, made it clear he would oppose a carbon tax. To this day, Inglis has a job where he tries to convince Republicans to impose a carbon tax, without much to show for it (see listings below).

September 7, 2013 -- Australia voters kick carbon tax supporting politicians out of office. After opposing the carbon tax during her 2010 campaign, Labor Prime Minister Julia Gillard flip-flopped and introduced a carbon tax once elected. In 2013, Tony Abbott campaigned against Gillard, promising that legislation to abolish the carbon tax would be before Parliament within 100 days of his victory. Abbott defeated Gillard and repealed the carbon tax.

January 7, 2015 -- Center for American Progress founder John Podesta tells colleagues that carbon tax polling “all sucks.” Hillary Clinton campaign chairman and founder of the Center for American Progress John Podesta wrote: "We have done extensive polling on a carbon tax. It all sucks."

March 11, 2015 -- Hillary Clinton’s policy research team writes internal memo concluding that a carbon tax “would disproportionately impact low income households.” Clinton decided against pursuing a carbon tax, based on a detailed campaign research memo which concluded that a carbon tax:

-would have a disproportionate impact on low income households

-would cause gas prices to increase 40 cents a gallon

-would cause electricity prices to increase 12%-21%

-would cause household energy bills to go up $480 a year

-would increase the cost of household goods and services

June 23, 2015 --  Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager admits a carbon tax would be "lethal in the general" election.  Robby Mook didn’t want Clinton’s campaign supporting a carbon tax and said, "to be clear: It’s lethal in the general, so I don’t want to support one.”

November 8, 2016 -- Washington state voters reject carbon tax. True-blue Washington State voters were presented with a carbon tax ballot measure known as Initiative 732. The measure failed big time. It was rejected by voters, 59 - 41.

November 8, 2016 -- Blue state Vermont voters elect anti-carbon tax Republican Phil Scott as Governor. Scott defeated pro-carbon tax Democrat Sue Minter. For voters, there was a clear contrast between the voters on the carbon tax. Scott made clear that if elected, he would veto a carbon tax. Democrat Minter supported a carbon tax.

June 7, 2018 -- In Canada, Ontario voters thoroughly kick carbon tax supporting politicians out of office. Due to her support for a carbon tax Liberal Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne went down in the worst defeat of a governing party in modern Ontario history. Liberal Wynne was in favor of a carbon tax and decisively lost to conservative Doug Ford, who ran on abolishing the carbon tax.

July 12, 2018 -- In Canada, anti-carbon-tax conservative Devin Dreeshen wins Alberta special election. Dreeshen won the Innisfail-Sylvan Lake (Alberta, Canada) special election. He said of the voters: "They voted by huge numbers to send this failed NDP government a message that you’re living on borrowed time and next year we’re going to fire this NDP government and scrap their carbon tax to get Alberta’s economy back on track.”

July 12, 2018 -- In Canada, anti-carbon tax conservative Laila Goodridge wins Alberta special election. By fighting against the carbon tax, Laila Goodridge was elected Member of the Legislative Assembly of Fort McMurray-Conklin in the special election with over 65.9% of the vote. "Tonight, voters overwhelmingly rejected the NDP's carbon tax, their smear and tax hike agendas," said Goodridge.

November 6, 2018 -- Washington State voters reject a carbon tax, again. True blue Washington state voters rejected a carbon tax ballot measure -- Initiative 1631 -- by a margin of 56-44. This is the second consecutive time Washington state voters rejected a carbon tax ballot measure (See the November 8, 2016 entry below).

November 6, 2018 -- Florida voters reject carbon-tax-pushing Congressman Carlos Curbelo. In September 2018 -- with much fanfare at the National Press Club -- Florida congressman Carlos Curbelo introduced a bill to impose a massive carbon tax on the American people. The bill would have imposed a $688 per year hike in household energy costs, hitting lower income households the hardest. If re-elected, Curbelo pledged to hit the road and travel across the country to sell the legislation. Instead, voters kicked him out of office. Just like Inglis, Curbelo now has a job where he tries to convince Republicans to impose a carbon tax, without much to show for it.

December 4, 2018 -- France suspends 2019 carbon tax increase. On January 1, 2019 a steep increase in the fuel and diesel tax was set to take effect, part of President Emmanuel Macron's stated goal of CO2 reduction. The diesel tax was set to rise by 6.5 cents per liter, and the fuel tax was set to rise by 2.9 cents per liter. This was on top of the carbon tax hikes that took effect on Jan. 1, 2018: a tax hike of 7.6 cents per liter on diesel and a hike of 3.9 cents per liter of fuel. The carbon tax increases sparked the Yellow Vest movement, which led to Macron's suspension of the 2019 tax hikes.

February 28, 2019 -- Maine citizens march against Democrat carbon tax proposal, killing the bill. In a committee hearing in the Maine House of Representatives Rep. Deane Rykerson (D-Kittery), the lawmaker sponsoring legislation to impose the nation’s first statewide carbon tax, announced that he was pulling the bill. Nick Isgro, mayor of Waterville and vice chairman of the Maine Republican Party, attributed the change to a bipartisan coalition of Maine citizens who marched to the Capitol to voice opposition to the carbon tax.

As noted by ATR's Patrick Gleason in Forbes:

In the hours-long hearing on Representative Rykerson’s bill, 60 Maine residents testified in opposition to the proposed carbon tax, explaining the harm that the regressive tax would do to Maine families and employers. Only one person testified in favor of the bill. This strong display of public opposition to a carbon tax was instrumental in killing the bill in committee.

April 16, 2019 -- The Premier of Alberta – carbon tax supporter Rachel Notley – was thoroughly defeated by the anti-carbon tax Jason Kenney and his United Conservative Party. Kenney’s top issue: repeal the carbon tax. “From its very introduction, the carbon tax has been very unpopular in Alberta. Even dressing it up and trying to bribe taxpayers with rebate cheques didn't work,” said Scott Hennig, President and CEO of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. “Alberta's premier-elect Jason Kenney recognized this, and committed that Bill 1 would be to scrap the carbon tax. Clearly, it has been a big vote-getter for his party.”

As noted by the Calgary Herald: “The result makes history, in that it marks the first time an Alberta government has gone down to defeat after only one term.”

The imposition of the carbon tax increased transportation and utility costs and burdened everyday living. An Alberta school district even had to kick 400 kids off school bus service due to the district's $3.3 million carbon tax bill.

May 18, 2019 -- In one of the greatest upsets in Australian election history, voters re-elected the anti-carbon tax conservative coalition, defeating the pro-carbon tax Labor opposition. Experts had said the election was "unlosable" for Labor and its Green New Deal style agenda.

August 26, 2019 -- The left-of-center Denver City Council decides to halt consideration of a city-wide carbon tax. For weeks, the carbon tax was touted as inevitable, with the council president saying the city would be "all in on the Paris climate accord." Residents and the business community arose in opposition and the carbon tax bill was "postponed."

October 19, 2019 -- Carbon tax pusher Francis Rooney (RINO-Fla.) announces his resignation from the U.S. House, effective at the end of his current term. Carbon tax pushers frequently claim "momentum" with congressional Republicans, but the phone-it-in Rooney was one of only two congressional Republicans foolish enough to sign onto a carbon tax. Perhaps "ambassador" Rooney will join Inglis and Curbelo by getting a job trying to convince Republicans to impose a carbon tax.

October 21, 2019 -- Voters in Canada hand carbon tax-imposing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a defeat by ending his majority, throwing 27 of Trudeau's Liberals out of Parliament. Not a single Liberal was elected in Saskatchewan and Alberta, the provinces hit hardest by the carbon tax. Anti-carbon tax conservatives won all 14 seats in Saskatchewan, and 33 out of 34 seats in Alberta (the final seat went to the NDP).

December 2019 -- Massachusetts declines to take up carbon tax bill. After big "carbon tax is gaining momentum" hype at the beginning of the session, and after gaining over 100 co-sponsors, the Democrat-controlled Massachusetts legislature adjourns for the year without taking up the carbon tax bill, H. 2810.

As noted by ATR's Patrick Gleason in Forbes:

Legislation (H.2810) introduced by Massachusetts Representative Jennifer E. Benson (D-Lunenburg) would impose a carbon tax of $20 per ton of carbon dioxide equivalent in the first year, increasing by $5 each year until the tax hits $40 per ton. A new study commissioned by the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance Foundation and conducted by the Beacon Hill Institute (BHI) finds that the average Massachusetts household would be hit with a tax hike of $755 in 2022 if Rep. Benson’s bill were to be enacted. By the fifth year, 2026, that annual tax hike would rise to $1,263 per household. 

The bill would have increased household costs, especially heating costs during the long and cold winters.

See also: Conservative Groups United Against Carbon Tax: "We oppose any carbon tax."

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