A carbon tax remains in play.
Such a tax was included on a list of options that members of the Senate tax-writing committee were given by committee staff in April. Senators on the committee have been holding a series of closed-door meetings to talk about corporate tax reform. The options are merely a laundry list of all the possibilities and should not be viewed as having been endorsed by the staff that assembled them. However, the committee chairman, Senator Max Baucus (D.-Montana), said in late May that “everything is on the table, including a carbon tax. It’s being considered, it is being discussed.” The Congressional Budget Office estimated in 2011 that a tax of $20 a ton on the carbon content in fossil fuels would raise $1.2 trillion in revenue over 10 years from 2012 to 2021.
Interest in a carbon tax seemed to peak early in the year as a possible element of a grand bargain on the budget and then recede quickly after attracting strong opposition from Republicans and indifference from the Obama administration.