GOP Lawmakers Call for Repeal of Biden Natural Gas Tax

By Published on October 31, 2023

Numerous Republican lawmakers have written to the newly elected speaker of the House asking him to repeal an emissions-reduction program from the Inflation Reduction Act, according to a copy of the letter obtained exclusively by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Rep. August Pfluger, R-Texas, wrote the letter, which urges House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to repeal the Inflation Reduction Act’s Methane Emissions Reduction Program natural gas tax before the year’s end by including its repeal in a possibly forthcoming legislative package.

Pfluger and other prominent Republican signatories, such as Reps. Dan Crenshaw of Texas, Byron Donalds of Florida, and Jeff Duncan of South Carolina, slammed the Methane Emissions Reduction Program as an excessive and unwieldy regulation that would stymie innovation and drive up costs for the American energy industry.

“The [Methane Emissions Reduction Program] is an inappropriate and highly unworkable tax on methane emissions,” the letter states.

“If implemented, the ill-conceived natural gas tax will handicap technological innovation, reduce supplies of affordable energy, and increase both costs and emissions,” the letter continues, adding that “in order to lower costs for American families, we must repeal burdensome regulation, secure supply chains and unleash American energy.”

The Methane Emissions Reduction Program imposes a tax on emissions beyond 25,000 annual tons of carbon dioxide or an equivalent amount of pollution, according to the letter. Companies will be forced to collect the relevant data and pay a fee of $900 for every metric ton above 25,000 starting in 2024, which increases to $1,200 per extra metric ton in 2025 and then $1,500 per extra ton in 2026 and beyond.

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The tax is a “statutory codification” of the forced collection of emissions data under a specific sub-section of the Clean Air Act, according to the letter. The Environmental Protection Agency is looking to overhaul that particular section of the Clean Air Act such that the agency can increase the scope and costs of the Methane Emissions Reduction Program.

New fees or taxes on energy companies will raise costs for consumers, creating a burden that will fall most heavily on lower-income Americans,” the letter states. “In fact, this tax alone will drive up the cost of household energy bills for the 180 million Americans and 5.5 million businesses that rely on natural gas. At a time of persistent inflation and record energy prices, this increase is unthinkable for consumers.”

The EPA and the White House did not respond to requests for comment.

 

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