On August 2, 2019 Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) introduced the America Wins Act (HR. 4142). If enacted, it would contribute significantly both to restoring our global climate and to rebuilding America’s decrepit infrastructure, which has crumbled to third-world status in many places, primarily due to short-sighted politicians’ unwillingness to raise the gas tax.
“We cannot wait any longer to address our global climate crisis. The America Wins Act would reduce greenhouse gas emissions above and beyond our Paris Climate Accords commitments, while funding historic investments in rebuilding America’s infrastructure and combating climate change. Over ten years, over $1 trillion would be invested in all types of needed infrastructure from transportation to clean water, while also dedicating significant funding to clean energy and climate change related programs, and supporting climate justice through assistance to frontline and carbon-reliant communities. It’s time that we make our goals a reality and save our planet,” said Larson.
The America Wins Act:
- Puts a tax on carbon pollution, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 52% in ten years, laying the groundwork for zero emissions by mid-century. The tax would start at $52/ton and would rise 6% annually above inflation, raising $2.3 trillion in revenue over 10 years;
- Invests $1.2 trillion in needed infrastructure;
- Invests $44 billion in clean energy research; and
- Focuses on climate justice by providing assistance to coal-dependent and underserved communities, including pension assistance and green jobs training.
The revenue from the carbon tax would be distributed in this manner:
- $610 billion towards existing federal highway programs to go towards roads, bridges, and tunnels in addition to fully eliminating the $113 billion+ Highway Trust Fund shortfall;
- $120 billion towards existing federal transit programs to go towards bus systems, commuter rail, subways, light rail and other forms of public transportation;
- $64 billion for innovative multimodal projects through the TIGER program;
- $66 billion for railway infrastructure;
- $5 billion for airports and our aviation system;
- $71 billion for sewer systems and safe drinking water;
- $80 billion for levees, dams, ports, and waterways;
- $40 billion for broadband deployment;
- $30 billion for rebuilding and rehabilitating public schools;
- $20 billion for developing, financing, and modernizing public housing;
- $7.5 billion to improve the resiliency of healthcare infrastructure;
- $4.4 billion for clean energy, energy efficiency, and carbon capture research;
- $15 billion for agriculture and climate change research and mitigation;
- $7.5 billion for research into the health consequences of climate change;
- $70 billion assistance to workers and communities reliant on carbon-intensive industries and communities;
- historically impacted by carbon pollution; and
- $900 billion in rebates and benefits to the American people to compensate for increased energy and household
Photo of Hartford, Connecticut courtesy of Rep. John B. Larson.