LOCAL NEWS

I-1631: Washington’s latest carbon fee proposal

Jul 2, 2018, 6:20 AM | Updated: 6:34 am

After repeated, and failed, attempts to add a fee to carbon pollution in Washington state, the people behind a grassroots effort believe they have a plan everyone can get behind — except the oil industry.

RELATED: Climatologist on how to make a carbon tax work in Washington

Our initiative is a pollution fee on the largest polluters in Washington state,” said Nick Abraham with Yes on 1631. “We are investing in cleaning up pollution across the state, investing in clean energy, and putting that money back into our natural resources so that communities across the state can transition into a clean energy economy.”

Initiative 1631 is going straight to voters, bypassing lawmakers in Olympia.

Governor Jay Inslee recently proposed a carbon tax this year. That proposal failed. Another carbon emissions initiative failed in 2016.

Abraham says there are a few differences with the current initiative than previous attempts.

Abraham says I-1631 has the largest coalition of support in the state’s history. Building that coalition takes longer and more effort, but it makes the initiative stronger in the long run.

“On a policy level, the biggest difference is that this is reinvesting in the things we know help make Washington state the beautiful, healthy place that we have today,” Abraham said. “So trying to make sure our air is clean, our drinking water is healthy.”

It is aimed at supporting clean energy industries like wind and solar.

Initiative organizers have already reached the 260,000 signatures required to get I-1631 on the November ballot. They turned in those signatures in June.

I-1631

I-1631 proposes to institute a $15 fee per metric ton of carbon starting in 2020, and an incremental increase of $2 (adjusting for inflation) each year. There are exemptions for manufacturing and “trade-exposed businesses, those companies that have to compete on a global scale,” Abraham said.

“The charge is not directly put on taxpayers, it’s on the roughly 100 largest polluters in the state, like the oil industry, and utilities that have not yet switched over to clean energy,” Abraham said. “We feel like the folks who have been causing the most damage, the most harm should be the ones paying the fee.”

The other main difference between similar carbon charge attempts is that I-1631 is a fee – as opposed to a tax. A fee, Abraham says, means that the money raised must go toward the issue of carbon pollution. A tax means you can take the revenue and put it toward various purposes.

“The breakdown of what we are investing in, 70 percent of this is going to go to clean energy, clean transportation, energy efficiency for folks’ homes … 25 percent is going back into state natural resources because we know that is some of the best ways to clean up pollution,” Abraham said. “The last 5 percent is going to community groups transitioning folks from dirty energy, helping them transition to clean energy.”

“We know this will reduce 20 million tons of pollution across the state every single year,” he said. “And we know from several different studies is that this will create about 41,000 jobs.”

Read the full text of the initiative here.

Transportation

Some investments, Abraham notes, will go toward opening up options for gas-buying consumers.

“We are trying to invest in alternatives and more options at the pump,” he said. “We know in the long run that is going to reduce the cost people pay at the pump. Right now, oil companies have a complete monopoly on how folks fuel their cars and get around. In the long run, we know the best ways to reduce those costs is to give people more options and make these companies compete for people’s business.”

Oil companies are the main, and only, opposition to I-1631, Abraham says. That means there could be short-term effects on consumers. Initiative organizers encourage voters to take the long view.

“We are encouraging voters to think about the things they have been telling us are their biggest concerns,” he said. “Their health and how to build jobs in an economy for the future. Washington has one of the strongest economies, but that is because we have always had a forward-looking view. We’ve always invested in things we know are coming down the line. And clean energy is the future. It’s already being built in the state. If we invest in clean energy right now, it will pay dividends for decades to come.”

Local News

Blood reserves are filtered and processed in the central laboratory of the DRK blood donation servi...
Nicole Jennings

PNW blood platelet shortage no longer ‘critical,’ but 2,000 donations still needed

The Pacific Northwest is in need of thousands of blood platelet donations. Blood platelets stop us from bleeding to death when we have a cut.
12 hours ago
Follow @http://twitter.com/Mynorthwest...
MyNorthwest Staff

ORCA overhauls system with added features and updated card readers

ORCA's highly-anticipated new website, smartphone app, and real-time value loading for cards launched today for hundred of thousands of transit customers.
1 day ago
ExperTec Automotive technician Adelmo Rodriguez etches a catalytic converter with the cars license ...
Micki Gamez

Catalytic converter theft runs rampant in Seattle, nation sees dramatic increase

Catalytic converters became a hot commodity during the pandemic due to the high-priced metals, such as platinum, palladium, and rhodium, within them.
1 day ago
Olga Syniakova via Verde Music Fund...
Heather Bosch

Songs of support: Artists in Seattle reach out to those who’ve fled war-ravaged Ukraine

Seattle Opera and the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra will hold a benefit concert tonight, Monday May 16th.
1 day ago
Follow @https://twitter.com/HannaKIROFM...
Hanna Scott

National movement prompts thousands of abortion rights activists to flood the streets of Seattle

A national week of action by abortion rights activists hoping to stop the overturning of Roe v Wade culminated with nationwide mass demonstrations Saturday.
1 day ago
Generic image of the vehicle in which Matteson was last seen. An image of the victim was not issued...
MyNorthwest Staff

AMBER Alert canceled for 8-year-old girl in child abduction on Aurora Ave.

Seattle Police department has issued an AMBER Alert for Kiya Matteson, last seen on Aurora Ave. N near the Bitter Lake neighborhood.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
...

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]
...

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]
...

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
...
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
I-1631: Washington’s latest carbon fee proposal