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The GOP Senate hopeful is introducing a bill that critics warn could lead to carbon taxes

Utah Republican Rep. John Curtis introduced a bipartisan bill Tuesday that critics fear could be the first step toward national carbon taxes.

Curtis, who is it? current by the US Senate in Utah, presented the Law TRY IT in the House alongside California Democratic Rep. Scott Peters, introducing the supplement to the version already introduced in the Senate of the bill. The invoice defenders insists that it is only ordering the Department of Energy (DOE) to conduct a study determining the carbon intensity of US products relative to certain foreign competitors, but its critics are very concerned that the federal government could use the study's findings as a predicate for carbon taxes or tariffs once it has established a mechanism for carbon pricing.

“We should accept the fact that American industries produce cleaner and with better standards than anywhere else in the world,” Curtis said of the bill's introduction in a news release Tuesday. “This bill is not only about demonstrating our energy dominance; it's about leveling the playing field in international competition. Russia and China are on an unapologetic trajectory toward energy dominance, using none of the innovative technologies or regulations that make our energy cleaner in the United States. This legislation will help American businesses compete globally, strengthen our trade relationships, and provide our allies with a reliable energy partner.”

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While the American Petroleum Institute (API), one of the nation's largest oil and gas lobby groups, supports the bill and was involved in behind-the-scenes efforts to push it forward, numerous other smaller energy-focused organizations and experts have opposed the bill. His opposition stems from his concern that the bill would authorize federal bureaucrats to get into the business of setting carbon prices without adequate restrictions on how that information can be used in the future.

The bill offers “clarification” on the issue of future use of the study, stating that nothing in the legislation “provides any new authority to any federal agency to impose, collect, or enforce a tax on emissions of greenhouse gases, tax, price, etc. or charge” or “to establish a new mandatory reporting requirement” for covered products. The study mandated by the bill would include aluminum, cement, crude oil, iron, steel, natural gas, petrochemicals, plastics, etc.

Tom Pyle, president of the American Energy Alliance and an opponent of the bill, isn't convinced the bill's clarifying language is enough to protect against carbon taxes and tariffs.

“The purpose of this legislation is to enable the administration to implement the tax. This language will not change that fact and they know it. I don't blame them for wanting to protect their support for carbon taxes from voters. It's very unpopular,” Pyle told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “So they'd rather have some nameless bureaucrats do their dirty work for them, which is exactly what the PROVA IT Act will do.”

Mike McKenna, a GOP strategist with significant experience in the energy sector who also opposes PROVE IT, also expressed doubts that the bill won't end up facilitating new carbon taxes and fees.

“The big problem with the bill is that it creates an infrastructure to impose a tax on carbon dioxide,” McKenna previously told the DCNF. “As anyone who has had more than ten seconds of exposure to the federal government knows, once that infrastructure can be put in place, it will be used.”

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