Washington’s carbon footprint may not be as small as some make it seem.
Combine aircraft from Boeing with the possibility of new coal export terminals and there’s a recipe for a much more harmful economy.
That’s why University of Washington Atmospheric Sciences Professsor Cliff Mass wants a carbon tax.
“There are folks that argue that [because] Washington state is such a small part of the global CO2 problem, we should not worry about it,” Mass writes. “But everyone is a small part of the problem, which can only be solved by everyone doing their bit.
“And we are a significant part of the problem…” he added.
Carbon Washington is trying obtain signatures to send an initiative to the Legislature to put revenue-neutral tax on carbon use. It would cost about $25 per ton of carbon. It’s an effort that continues, despite the dismissal of Governor Jay Inslee’s carbon tax, much of which targeted refineries. Inslee took a cap and trade approach.
Carbon Washington’s proposal would tax in a “revenue-neutral way” by refunding revenue gathered by that tax and reducing other taxes of a similar amount. That would reduce the state’s sales tax by 1 percent, Mass writes.
The tax “makes sense” because gas prices are low, according to Mass. A tax like this would not hurt as much as when gas goes above $4 or $5 per gallon.
“We have as much responsibility as anyone to reduce our carbon footprint,” Mass writes. “And considering our position as a leading world technological center, we have the responsibility to lead.”
Carbon Washington is trying to gather 100,000 signatures by the end of July.