Former GOP Officials Call For Carbon Tax To Replace Clean Power Plan

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February 8, 2017 9:01 a.m.

A group of former Republican officials will propose a plan to the White House to put in place a carbon tax in an effort to stave off climate change, the New York Times reported Wednesday morning.

James Baker III, who served as secretary of state under President George H.W. Bush, is leading the group, along with former Secretary of State George Schultz and former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson Jr., per the Times.

Baker told the New York Times that he will meet with members of the Trump administration on Wednesday, including Vice President Mike Pence, Jared Kushner, and Ivanka Trump.

“It’s really important that we Republicans have a seat at the table when people start talking about climate change,” Baker told the Times.

“I don’t accept the idea that it’s all man made,” he added, “but I do accept that the risks are sufficiently great that we need to have an insurance policy.”

Baker told the Times that the carbon tax would replace former President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan, a set of regulations that Republicans vehemently oppose. The money raised through the tax would be given back to consumers in a “carbon dividend,” according to the New York Times. Baker’s plan also calls for border adjustments to increase the cost of products from countries that do not have a similar tax, per NYT.

The proposal from the Republicans would also protect fossil fuel companies from lawsuits charging that they hurt the environment, the Times reported.

Baker said that Ronald Reagan may have backed the plan.

“I’m not at all sure the Gipper wouldn’t have been very happy with this,” he told the Times.

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