The Pragmatist

Rep. Carlos Curbelo Crossing Lines


On Aug. 28, U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo successfully defended his incumbency by defeating political newcomer Souraya Faas in Florida’s primary election. In November, the Republican will face Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, who won the Democratic primary. And while many are worried about today’s divisive political climate, Curbelo is focusing on just the climate.

Curbelo’s proposal of The Market Choice Act — dubbed a carbon tax — rolled out July 23 and caught the attention of two of the world’s biggest publications, The Guardian of England and Der Spiegel of Germany, as well as the international business community. They have seized upon Curbelo as the new era of politician who is putting forth a valid bipartisan solution to combat climate change and help America’s infrastructure.

Curbelo said he has been researching the carbon tax concept for two years. He proposes to tax carbon dioxide emissions and eliminate gasoline and aviation fuel taxes. The new taxes will then be used to pay for nationwide infrastructure improvements.

“The $24 per ton price this bill would set on carbon with an annual 2 percent increase plus the consumer price index would result in 27–32 percent reductions in carbon emissions by 2025,” said Curbelo. “That’s a reduction of one third of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in less that seven years and, if adopted, could generate $57 billion in 2020 and $63 billion in 2030.

This money would be funneled into the nation’s infrastructure, fulfilling one of President Donald Trump’s campaign promises to rebuild roads. The measure would also achieve what was promised by President Obama in the 2015 Paris Agreement, and renounced by Trump — reducing carbon emissions.

“Elected officials owe it to every American, and especially to younger generations who are understandably concerned about the future, to work on a comprehensive solution to mitigate and adapt to climate change,” Curbelo said.

Also, he said, the Market Choice Act would “protect lower income Americans from higher utility bills and assist displaced workers.”

One day after Curbelo’s bill was introduced, he was praised and commended by multiple groups for being “bold,” “bipartisan,” “innovative,” and “sensible.” Among them was the Climate Leadership Council, Evangelical Environmental Network, Audubon Society, The Nature Conservancy, Alliance to Save Energy, The National Wildlife Federation, World Wildlife Fund, Citizens Climate Lobby: Conserve America, Environmental Defense Fund and Center for Climate and Energy Solutions.


“34 U.S. businesses sent a public letter thanking Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL 26th District) for introducing the MARKET CHOICE Act (H.R. 6463), a bill to fund infrastructure investment while cutting climate pollution. Companies that signed the letter include BP America, Campbell Soup Company, The Dow Chemical Company, DuPont, General Motors, Ingersoll Rand, Lyft Inc., IKEA North America Services LLC, National Grid, PG&E Corporation and Shell, and the Sustainable Food Policy Alliance which includes Danone, Mars, Nestle USA and Unilever.”

— Forbes Magazine, published 07/26/2018

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