Congressman Rooney Introduces Bill to Provide Payroll Tax Relief in Exchange for Carbon Costs

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Congressman Rooney Introduces Bill to Provide Payroll Tax Relief in Exchange for Carbon Costs, July 25, 2019 | Chris Berardi (202-897-7700) | comments

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Francis Rooney introduced a carbon pricing bill with Congressman Dan Lipinski to provide tax relief for hardworking Americans while imposing the costs of carbon on the big polluters who are damaging our environment.  This legislation slashes carbon emissions by approximately 42% by 2030 while using the revenue to reduce the payroll tax burden on Americans. 


Congressman Rooney stated, “Those industries that choose to pollute our environment should bear the burden of cleaning it up.  Putting a price on carbon will level the economic playing field in the energy sector, unlock market-driven innovation, and lead to the deployment of low, zero, and negative carbon technologies. It will help create millions of new jobs and slash U.S. carbon emissions dramatically, making it a powerful tool for curbing climate pollution. 


“The transition to a cleaner economy should be cost-neutral for American families.  That’s why I propose using the proceeds from a carbon fee to pay down payroll taxes, provide a social security supplement, invest in research development, and offset higher energy costs.


“Placing a price on carbon emissions allows for individuals and companies to make more informed decisions by factoring in the cost of greenhouse gas pollution to society, allowing the market to appropriately respond by reallocating resources to lower-emissions products and behaviors. It is a less costly and more predictable solution compared to increased government regulation, with much more promising predicted outcomes. Shouldn’t those that pollute the environment be the ones who pay to clean it up?”


Congressman Lipinski stated, “Climate change is having significant negative effects on our economy and on peoples' health and daily lives, and we've known for a long time that we need to take serious action. I’m glad to see momentum building for bipartisan carbon pricing proposals like the SWAP ACT that offer commonsense solutions for combatting climate change while simultaneously providing relief to taxpayers. I thank Congressman Rooney for his commitment to this issue and look forward to continuing to work together to get carbon pricing legislation passed into law.”



  • This proposal charges fossil fuel producers and large industrial emitters $30 per metric ton of CO2 equivalent with an annual increase of 5% plus inflation. For every 2 years that emissions reductions are behind goals, an automatic $3 per ton increase will be charged
  • 70% of net revenue raised would be used to reduce individual, employer, or self-filing payroll taxes amounting to a nearly 1% cut in the total payroll tax rate
  • 10% of net revenue would be paid to social security beneficiaries
  • The remaining 20% of the revenue would be used to establish a carbon trust fund which would be designated for state block grants used to offset higher energy costs for low-income households, and advanced research and development programs on climate adaptation and energy efficiency
  • This proposal also places a 12-year moratorium on Clean Air Act regulations that can be removed if emissions targets are not met


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