22 May 2015
Taking the Initiative on Carbon
With conservatives in the state legislature repaying their energy-industry supporters by blocking Governor Jay Inslee's bold cap-and-trade plan, residents of Washington have launched an initiative to institute a state carbon tax. Carbon Washington, the group that created the initiative, is currently collecting signatures to put their plan on the ballot.
The proposed carbon initiative, which would place a $25-per-ton tax on carbon pollution while lowering existing state taxes (including a one-percent drop in the sales tax), isn't as elaborate as Inslee's cap-and-trade system. However, the results from British Columbia, which has a nearly identical carbon tax, show that carbon taxes are still very effective at reducing carbon pollution and help maintain a strong economy.
Washingtonians know it's time to put a price on carbon. Carbon Washington's plan does this and places pressure on legislators currently obstructing the proposed cap-and-trade system. When the initiative has enough signatures, it asks the legislature to pass the carbon tax. If the legislature fails to do that by the end of the 2016 legislative session, the initiative goes to the ballot for a public vote in November 2016. For more information about the carbon tax, click here.
Be on the lookout for Carbon Washington's signature gatherers, and let's put the planet in good hands.