Letters to the Editor

Carbon tax bill will hurt Florida’s families

At a time when gasoline prices in the Sunshine State are already up nearly 70 cents a gallon from a year ago, a bill is about to be introduced in Congress that would tack on a nickel per gallon in new taxes now — and then raise them again every year.

On July 23, Congressman Carlos Curbelo was scheduled to introduce a bill that would also impose new taxes on the fuels that provide more than 80 percent of Florida’s electricity. The new tax also would apply to a host of products that go into building and construction materials, appliances, and household items found in just about every American home.

Energy touches every aspect of our lives. And I see firsthand how increased energy costs impact Florida’s families, our local businesses and the economy at large.

The fundamental purpose of a carbon tax is to make certain kinds of energy — gasoline, diesel, coal and natural gas — more expensive. From there, it becomes a question of what the government does with the money from its new energy tax. In this case, part of the revenue is to replace existing federal taxes on gasoline and diesel.

But the new tax would be bigger. And beyond energy, it would put the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in charge of deciding which manufacturing industries also have to help pay for the federal highway program.

The U.S. is poised to become a net energy exporter — which means more American jobs, lower energy prices, and more money in families’ pocketbooks.

I urge Congressman Curbelo to reconsider introducing a new, regressive energy tax and instead focus on policies that would boost our nation’s energy supplies and fix our infrastructure and transportation challenges.

Julio Fuentes,

president and CEO,

Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce