Global banking giants JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs are joining a Republican-backed group pushing for Congress to pass a carbon tax.
The banks join a wide array of businesses in endorsing a carbon tax proposed by the Climate Leadership Council, a group led by former Republican Secretaries of State James Baker III and George Shultz.
Oil and gas giants BP, Shell, ConocoPhillips, and Exxon Mobil, along with automakers GM and Ford, have already donated money to the lobbying arm of the group, which advocates returning carbon tax revenue to taxpayers. Also joining the group Thursday are former Obama administration Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and former Executive Secretary to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change Christiana Figueres.
JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs are not committing money to help lobby for the Climate Leadership Council’s carbon tax and dividend plan, as the concept is known.
To boost support for its plan, the Climate Leadership Council released a “Bipartisan Climate Roadmap” on Thursday that provides more detail for its carbon tax and dividend proposal, which it hopes informs eventual bipartisan legislation.
The Climate Leadership Council’s proposal would impose a gradually rising carbon tax beginning at $40 per ton, increasing 5% every year, and would return the money to the public through equal quarterly payments to offset higher energy prices. A family of four would receive roughly $2,000 per year in dividends in the first year with the amount growing as the fee increases, the group said.
This would cut U.S. carbon emissions in half by 2035, a greater amount than what the Obama administration pledged to do under the Paris climate accord.
The plan also calls for boosting the annual increase of the tax higher than 5% if the carbon reduction goals are not achieved.
And it contains a provision, attractive to businesses, to scrap or prevent carbon regulations of power plants and all other stationary sources imposed by the Environmental Protection Agency in favor of the tax.