Several Republican Congressmen Call on Speaker Mike Johnson & Mitch McConnell to Scrap Natural Gas Tax

Several dozen Republican lawmakers sent a letter to the new Speaker of the House Mike Johnson calling on him to repeal an emissions reduction program from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA),.

Texas Congressman August Pfluger penned the letter, which calls on House Speaker Mike Johnson and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to scrap the IRA’s Methane Emissions Reduction Program (MERP) natural gas tax before the end of 2024 by including the MERP repeal in an upcoming legislative package. Pfluger and other leading Republican signatories, such as Texas Congressman Dan Crenshaw, Florida Congressman Byron Donalds, and South Carolina Congressman Jeff Duncan, criticized the MERP as a burdensome regulation that would hamper innovation and increase costs for the American energy industry.

“The MERP is an inappropriate and highly unworkable tax on methane emissions,” the letter declared. “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 added , also noting that “in order to lower costs for American families, we must repeal burdensome regulation, secure supply chains and unleash American energy.” 

The MERP slaps a tax on emissions beyond 25,000 annual tons of carbon dioxide or the same amount of pollution, per the letter. 

Companies will be compelled to gather the relevant data and pay a fee of $900 for every metric ton north of 25,000 beginning in 2024, which subsequently increases to $1,200 per additional metric ton in 2025 and then $1,500 per additional ton in 2026 and beyond.

“Through Congress’s historic investments in America, the Methane Emissions Reduction Program provides significant resources to states and stakeholders to reduce releases of harmful methane pollution, particularly in overburdened communities, to protect public health and slow the rate of climate change,” an EPA spokesperson said to the Daily Caller. “The Biden-Harris Administration through EPA is implementing the program as Congress intended, working closely with states and industry to deploy resources and develop solutions that will cut emissions at their source.”

The letter contends that the tax is a “statutory codification” of the forced collection of emissions data under a certain sub-section of the Clean Air Act. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is aiming to change that specific section of the Clean Air Act so that the agency can increase the MERP’s scope and costs.

 New fees or taxes on energy companies will increase costs for consumers, imposing a burden that most lower-income Americans will largely have to bear, the letter noted. “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.”

Indeed, Republicans working to repeal this tax is a much more productive use of their time than hopping on the latest pro-war bandwagon.

Let’s hope Republicans continue spending most of their energy on domestic affairs that actually affect everyday Americans, instead of pursuing foreign policy measures that will expend intolerable amounts of blood and treasure.

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