Seattle Times Comes Out Against State Carbon Tax Initiative

It is rather surprising that a very leftist paper in a very leftist city would do this, but, they have Reasons

From the editorial

Climate change is a crisis needing an aggressive, coordinated response, not expensive and unaccountable spending measures like Initiative 1631.

Voters concerned about the environment, the cost of living and the sustainability of Washington’s economy should reject this dubious approach.

Instead, Washington should coordinate its response with other states, to prevent cross-border job losses. It should also seek a national carbon tax. I-1631 could set that back, because it’s so porous, lacking accountability and larded with special-interest payouts.

The state should also strengthen regulations directly reducing pollution, and continue making strong investments in alternative energy, conservation and clean technologies.

Legislators repeatedly declined to impose carbon taxes proposed by Gov. Jay Inslee and voters soundly rejected one in 2016.

Now comes I-1631, repackaged as a carbon fee. In one key respect – accountability – it’s the worst of the bunch. It would collect more than $1 billion yearly. An un-elected board appointed by the governor would propose how to spend it. The initiative requires seats for powerful entities, such as labor and tribes, promising them large cuts.

They go on to note that the un-elected board is designed to be a political juggernaut, adding to the “expensive and unaccountable” bit. What makes them think that a national carbon tax would be anything different?

For gasoline, it’s equivalent to another gas tax, starting around 14 cents and increasing at least 2 cents yearly. Electricity prices would rise more than 2 percent and natural gas up to 8.5 percent, per the state model.

No, “big polluters” won’t bear these costs. Look at any utility or cable bill to see how taxes and fees are passed to consumers.

I-1631 also discriminates by geography. Away from Seattle’s abundant transit and moderate climate, in the rest of Washington where most live, it’s a largely inescapable, regressive tax especially on middle income families.

Everyone would pay more for housing, food and other goods, because higher energy prices increase their cost.

Which is what happens with every carbon tax scheme. We see this in California and Europe right now. The Seattle Times Editorial Board really wants a carbon tax, just not this one. They fail to tell us what scheme would actually work.

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