On Tuesday, Rhode Island Democrat Governor Gina Raimondo, President Biden’s nominee to be Secretary of the Department of Commerce, admitted that she would not rule out raising taxes on Americans in order to fulfill the administration’s climate change agenda.
Florida Republican Senator Rick Scott asked Raimondo at her confirmation hearing, “What you’ve agreed to in the Transportation Climate Initiative, who will pay for that and how will a family making — half the families, individuals in your state make less than $32,000 a year — how will they pay for that and have you quantified it?”
“We have not yet,” Raimondo answered. “The document I signed — by the way, it was bi-partisan, Republican and Democrat governors — was an intention to work together with our legislatures to develop a Transportation Climate Initiative, so it’s very early in that process.”
Scott asked, “The nominee for Transportation Secretary, Mayor Buttigieg, last week said that he was receptive to increasing the gas tax, and again this would be something that would impact the poorest families in our country significantly. What is your position on that and how would that impact your ability to do your job as Secretary of Commerce?”
“Yes, I would defer to Congress to make that decision,” Raimondo replied. “Let me say this: I, as governor, am deeply in touch with how much increasing bills affect the average American family. Having said that, we do need to meet the climate change challenge and we need funds for improved infrastructure: better roads, safer roads, safer bridges, which also creates jobs. So I would look to balance those interests and work as a piece of the president’s team.”
Raimondo is a strong supporter of the progressive climate change agenda; in January 2020 she issued an executive order stating that she ordered the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources to develop “policy pathways” to meet 100% of the state’s electricity demands with renewable energy resources by 2030.
The Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI) Raimondo signed was co-signed by Massachusetts Republican Gov. Charlie Baker and Connecticut Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont.
On Tuesday, the Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity released a 10-page report, “The Effects of a TCI Gas Tax on Motor Fuels in Rhode Island,” researched and co-published by The Beacon Hill Institute, which slammed TCI, claiming it would raise gasoline prices and arguing that total social costs of that gas tax would be 105 times harsher than the anticipated social benefits, while global carbon emissions would be reduced by a miniscule 0.00016%.
Mike Stenhouse, the Rhode Island Center’s CEO, stated, “The obvious purpose behind this TCI scheme is not environmental – it’s nothing more than a greedy money grab,”
The report stated: “We find that the imposition of a carbon (or TCI) tax on motor fuels would produce a less-competitive business environment, resulting in a slower-growing economy that produces lower employment, disposable income, and investment. While the revenue generated under a carbon tax could be used to create new jobs, any new jobs would be created at the expense of the private sector.”
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