Carbon Pricing Bill Tracker

Compare proposed bills that would implement a price on carbon dioxide emissions


Oct. 1, 2020 (Updated June 21, 2021)


Marc Hafstead


Data Tool

Reading time

11 minutes


More than 10 different carbon pricing bills have been introduced in the past few years. The RFF Carbon Pricing Bill Tracker conveniently reviews these proposals. This comparison tool demonstrates where there is and is not agreement on the array of policy options for implementing a price on carbon dioxide emissions (please see Carbon Pricing 101 for a discussion of these options).

We will continue to update this comparison tool as new bills are introduced throughout the term of the current Congress.

How to Use the Carbon Pricing Bill Tracker

To see how each bill stacks up, simply scroll left or right to see if the bill is a carbon fee or cap-and-trade program (pricing mechanism); the initial price and rate of increase over time for carbon fee bills, or the quantity and allocation of emissions permits; the starting year; the revenue use; the inclusion and design of automatic rate adjustments if emissions thresholds are not met; the gases covered by the bill; any gases or sectors that are exempt; fees for fluorinated GHG emissions; carbon capture and sequestration refunds; border adjustment systems; any action on current or future GHG emissions regulations; any preemption of state law; and other policy details.

Users can choose to compare all of the bills or select a subset of the bills based on the party affiliation of the sponsors.

Key Elements of Carbon Pricing Bills in the Tracker

With the exception of one bill, all carbon pricing policies introduced in the last two congresses are for a carbon fee. The most widely varying components of these proposals are the price path (the initial tax rate and its increase over time) and the use of the revenues. Other details of the policies are virtually identical. Each bill provides rebates for emissions that are captured and sequestered, and each provides a system that taxes the import of certain goods and/or rebates the export of certain goods to maintain a balanced competitive environment for US producers (though the systems vary across bills).

For projections of how these bills will reduce energy-related carbon dioxide emissions and impact the US economy, please see our carbon pricing calculator here. The carbon pricing calculator is designed to help users visualize the environmental and economic effects of different policy designs.

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Statement on Nonpartisanship

Please note that as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, RFF does not take positions on specific legislative proposals; nor does RFF directly or indirectly participate in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office.

More Information

For more information about the RFF Carbon Pricing Bill Tracker, please contact RFF Fellow Marc Hafstead.


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