Trump adviser’s carbon tax talks alarm conservatives

By John Siciliano

A coalition of conservative and free-market groups are raising alarm over the possibility that senior White House officials may be entertaining the idea of a carbon tax.

A tax on carbon dioxide is widely seen as an alternative to sector-by-sector climate change regulations such as those the Obama administration sought to implement.

“Our organizations have significant concerns regarding any prospective carbon tax proposal,” read a letter sent by the conservative groups to President Trump‘s economic adviser Gary Cohn on Wednesday.

“Such a policy would place undue economic burdens on American families and businesses by intentionally increasing the cost of the energy they rely on every day.”

The letter added that a “carbon tax would also be regressive,” which means it would do “the most harm to our nation’s economically disadvantaged – and would destroy American jobs, particularly in the manufacturing sector.”

There concerns stem from a highly publicized meeting between Cohn and a new group called the Climate Leadership Council, which includes a slew of former Republican statesmen like former Secretary of State James Baker.

The Feb. 8 meeting was held to discuss the group’s ideas on establishing a nationwide carbon tax.

“We respectfully request a meeting with you to further discuss our concerns regarding a carbon tax and to provide additional information that may be helpful in your assessment of the issue,” the conservative groups added in their letter to the White House.

“Each of our organizations has a unique perspective to offer; together, we represent a nationwide coalition of activists, concerned citizens, and stakeholders who have a vested interest in ensuring the formulation of sound energy and tax policy that will best support, serve, and strengthen our great nation.”

The letter was signed by the two former heads of Trump’s energy and environmental transition teams, including Tom Pyle, president of the free-market American Energy Alliance, and Myron Ebell, director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, respectively.

Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, Michael Needham, president of Heritage Action for America, and Adam Brandon, president of FreedomWorks, also signed the letter.

The letter was forwarded to White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, and White House Senior Advisor Stephen Miller.

This article appeared on the Washington Examiner website at http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/trump-advisers-carbon-tax-talks-alarm-conservatives/article/2614850