President Obama's Treasury Department is facing a lawsuit for stonewalling a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request relating to a planned carbon tax on fossil fuels. The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), a watchdog group focused on energy and environmental regulations, filed suit Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., announcing in a press release that it expects Obama's congressional cronies to propose the tax in the upcoming lame-duck session.
Obama's plans for a carbon tax lost steam two years ago when, after passing the House, cap-and-trade legislation stalled in the Senate where Democrats realized the political suicide of raising gas and utility prices further. The lame-duck session provides fresh opportunity. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) expressed his intent the day after the election: "It's something, as we've seen with these storms that are overwhelming our country and the world, we need to do something about it."
CEI says the American Enterprise Institute, a Washington think tank, has been working hard in recent months to rebrand the tax as a conservative alternative to other global-warming regulations. The New York Times and Washington Post have both recently announced their support of plans to tax fossil fuels. Ironically, the Congressional Budget Office published a working paper, "Offsetting a Carbon Tax's Costs on Low-Income Households," on Tuesday, the same day CEI filed suit.
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