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ICYMI: A Denver carbon tax would do far more harm than good

(Denver, CO) — Colorado Politics published an op-ed by Ivette Diaz, spokesperson for The LIBRE Initiative, highlighting the negative impact of a carbon tax in Denver. Read the entire article here.


Below are excerpts from the piece:


Carbon taxes are unpopular, and with good reason. This lesson was relearned last month when tax supporters failed to get the 8,000 signatures necessary to put a tax on electricity and natural gas for Denver county residents on the 2019 ballot.

The Denver City Council plans to move a very similar proposal, that, while excluding residential users, would tax commercial and industrial consumers. Even Mayor Michael Hancock sent a letter to council members urging them to study the impacts and unintended consequences before moving forward, as no major city in the U.S has enacted a similar tax.

The City Council is expected to vote Monday on whether to put the proposal on the ballot in November. Some bad ideas, like the villain in a slasher movie franchise, just won’t die.

  1. taxes cost low-income families a much larger share of their incomes than wealthier families. According to a recent study, over 58,000 households in Denver County — nearly one-fifth of all the households in the region — are suffering under crushing energy costs, in some cases paying more than 31 percent of their annual income to cover their energy bill. And while this proposal doesn’t apply to residential consumers just yet, they’ll still have to pay the higher costs passed on to them by the industrial and commercial customers that are affected.

The real goal of the proposed tax is not so much to achieve meaningful environmental improvements but to raise revenue to fund a new Office of Climate Action and Resiliency. This new bureaucracy would have broad powers to impose new restrictions and regulate large swaths of the Denver economy, and would be equipped with a large budget to redistribute ratepayers’ dollars via grants, rebates and subsidies for politically favored business and constituencies.

The reality is that artificially raising the price of energy to fund corporate welfare is irresponsible public policy. It would simply impose more barriers to opportunity for those who already face too many, and it would empower a new bureaucracy that wouldn’t have done anything to improve the environment.


Click here to read the full op-ed.

For interviews with a representative from The LIBRE Initiative, please contact Brian Faughnan, 202-805-1581 or Ansley Bradwell, 703-304-0869