Thank You

Our coalition is tremendously grateful that an overwhelming majority of Washington voters looked at the facts about Initiative 1631 and overwhelmingly rejected this poorly written, costly and unfair measure.

With nearly 2 million votes counted as of Election Night and 56% of statewide voters favoring NO, it is clear that Initiative 1631 has been soundly defeated.

Our success would not have been possible without the steadfast support of our coalition. Whether putting up lawn signs, talking with family and friends, sharing facts on social media, or encouraging others to join the coalition, the efforts of those opposing I-1631 made a huge difference throughout the campaign and particularly on Election Day.

Washington’s Leading Newspapers Agree: Vote NO on 1631

Newspapers in every corner of Washington agree that Initiative 1631 deserves a NO vote to stop a costly, unfair and ineffective $2.3 billion energy tax that would be paid by Washington families and small businesses.

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The Seattle Times recommends: No on Initiative 1631

The Seattle Times Editorial Board has written to strongly recommend a NO vote on I-1631, characterizing the new $2.3 billion energy proposal as “expensive and unaccountable” and urging voters to reject the measure on their ballots.

“Voters concerned about the environment, the cost of living and the sustainability of Washington’s economy should reject [I-1631’s] dubious approach. …”

“For gasoline, [I-1631’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. …”

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

“Vote no and demand a better and more accountable plan for combating climate change.”

READ MORE OF THE SEATTLE TIMES EDITORIAL

Utilities across Washington oppose 1631, others confirm higher energy costs or rate hikes

Public utility districts and electricity producers responsible for providing affordable energy to millions of families and businesses in every corner of Washington agree that I-1631 deserves a NO vote. I-1631 would result in increased energy prices, and those increases would be passed on to ratepayers.

The PUDs serving Benton, Clallam, Cowlitz, Lewis, Mason, Franklin, Grays Harbor and Okanogan counties have all taken positions opposing I-1631.

Puget Sound Energy and the PUDs of Clark and Grant counties also looked at I-1631 and determined it could force rate increases as one way to deal with millions of dollars in increased annual costs resulting from the flaws in poorly written 1631.

And increased utility costs are only one aspect of the harm I-1631 would do to Washington families and small businesses.

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I-1631’s New $2.3 Billion Escalating Energy Tax Would Force Washington Consumers to Pay Billions in Higher Costs for Electricity, Gasoline and Natural Gas

I-1631 on the Washington statewide ballot this November would impose a new escalating energy tax on Washington families, small businesses and consumers. A state analysis shows I-1631 would cost consumers more than $2.3 billion in the first five years alone, costing the average Washington household hundreds more per year in higher costs for gasoline, heating fuel, electricity, and natural gas. These costs would continue to increase every year with no cap.

Filled With Unfair Exemptions That Make No Sense

I-1631 would exempt many of our state’s largest polluters, including a huge coal-fired power plant, iron, steel and aluminum industries, pulp and paper mills, aircraft manufacturers, chemical manufacturers and many other large corporate emitters. Additional exemptions may be added at any time. In fact, 8 of the state’s top 12 carbon emitters would be exempt from 1631, while consumers and small businesses would pay billions.

No Accountability for Spending, No Guarantee of Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The risks posed by climate change are real, but I-1631’s new, unfair energy tax is a deeply flawed approach to climate policy for our state. It would force Washington families, farmers, small businesses and consumers to pay billions in higher energy costs – while exempting many of our state’s largest polluters, and providing no specific plan or accountability for spending billions in taxpayer dollars.

Join our growing coalition of small business owners, farmers, community leaders, organizations and individuals across Washington who urge a NO vote on I-1631.

Join The Coalition

The Columbian: “No” on I-1631 – “too many problems”

The editorial board of Vancouver, Wash.-area newspaper The Columbian is recommending a NO on I-1631, finding that the negative impacts on energy costs for Washington businesses and consumers cannot be ignored and the measure has “too many problems to warrant a recommendation.”

… The Columbian’s Editorial Board recommends a “no” vote on Initiative 1631. …

While we support efforts to promote clean energy, it is reasonable to ask whether $2.3 billion can be spent on projects that actually pass a cost-benefit analysis. Raising money for effective projects is a worthy goal; raising money simply to target polluting industries can lead to unnecessary expenditures and can be harmful to industry in the state.

The question then becomes one of costs to consumers. State officials estimate that residential natural gas prices would increase by about 10 percent in 2020, gasoline prices would increase between 6 percent and 9 percent, and electricity costs also would rise. Industries would pay the bulk of I-1631’s fees, but the pocketbooks of average Washingtonians also would feel the impact. …

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The Tri-City Herald recommends a “No” vote on I-1631

The editorial board of the Tri-City Herald is the third consecutive daily newspaper to have editorialized on unfair and flawed I-1631 and come back to recommend a “no” vote on the $2.3 billion energy tax measure that voters will decide on this fall.

“Like prior efforts to reduce carbon emissions in our state, Initiative 1631 has an important, worthwhile goal – to cut pollution and combat climate change.

“The problem is that, if approved, it will cost people more at the gas pump and more when they pay their power bills. And what will they get in return?

“Right now, we can’t say for sure. The public is supposed to trust a yet-to-be formed, unelected 15-member oversight board to dole out the money for clean energy efforts.

“We can’t encourage such blind faith in government, especially when we are talking about divvying up billions of dollars. We are recommending a “no” vote on I-1631. …”

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Walla Walla Union-Bulletin: “Vote no on I-1631.”

The editorial board of the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin heard the facts about Initiative 1631 and is urging a NO vote on I-1631 this November.

In a well-reasoned piece, the board states that I-1631’s new energy tax would be paid by Washington families and consumers in the form of higher energy costs, automatically increasing every year with no cap.

“We expect the increase in energy prices under I-1631 would be similar to those estimated for Inslee’s plan.

“… a policy adviser for Inslee, said that under the carbon-emissions tax, residential natural-gas prices could increase about 10 percent in 2020 and gasoline prices could rise between 6 and 9 percent. Electricity costs could increase 4 to 5 percent.

“This would hurt consumers a little and some industries a lot. …

“Vote no on I-1631.”

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Expect Your Power Bill to Go Up if I-1631 Passes, Say PUDs

Tri-Cities PUDs oppose I-1631 to protect ratepayers from higher energy costs

The public utilities districts serving Benton and Franklin County household in the Tri-Cities region are opposing Initiative 1631 because of the real potential for ratepayers to be harmed if I-1631 were to pass.

From the Tri-City Herald:

KENNEWICK, WA – Both the Benton and Franklin PUD commissions are opposing an initiative on the November ballot that would charge a fee on carbon pollution.

It would raise electric rates for their customers even though the Benton PUD already has a 92 percent carbon-free fuel mix for the electricity it distributes and the Franklin PUD has a 93 percent carbon-free fuel mix, the PUDs said. …

The Benton Public Utility District Commission, which approved a resolution opposing Initiative 1631 on Tuesday, heard from staff that costs would increase between $1 million and $2.1 million in 2020. Consumers would see that reflected in their electric rates.

The Franklin PUD Commission passed a resolution in late August opposing the initiative. Its staff estimated that the immediate impact would be $700,000 to $1 million a year initially, or about a 1 percent rate increase. …

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IN THE NEWS

Washington state voters should reject Initiative 1631

Imposing a carbon fee would be a costly, unfair and ineffective tax: Opposing view

… Should one of the cleanest, greenest states in the nation saddle itself with billions in new energy taxes for a badly written measure that will have no impact on climate change? Initiative 1631 is a deeply flawed, unfairly drafted energy tax that would force Washington families, small businesses, farmers and consumers to pay higher […]

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Little margin for error with carbon tax

If Initiative 1631 is approved by voters next week as part of an effort to reduce Washington’s already low carbon emissions, there would be little margin for error if the state is to meet its target goals for 2035. That is the conclusion of a study released Oct. 17 conducted by the Low Carbon Prosperity […]

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Washington already low carbon leader, without new I-1631 energy tax

Washington employers, employees and residents share the goal of reducing carbon emissions, as evidenced by state’s low carbon footprint. Despite a 43 percent growth in population since 1990 — and 260 percent economic growth — Washington’s residents and employers have implemented solutions that have lowered carbon emissions by 18 percent, according to the U.S. Environmental […]

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OPINION: I-1631 is counterintuitive

Reducing carbon emissions is a laudable goal, but Initiative 1631 would make it harder to accomplish, due to the proposal’s extraordinary expense and lack of focus. There are more effective ways to protect our environment than I-1631’s massive tax increase, unaccountable politically-appointed board, taxpayer funded multi-billion dollar slush fund and nebulous plan. … In Western […]

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Avista Utilities speaks out on Washington’s carbon fee initiative

SPOKANE — Initiative 1631 is a controversial ballot measure that would charge a fee on carbon emissions from fossil fuels. In an email sent to customers Wednesday, Avista Utilities says the initiative will hit people the most in the wallet. … On Wednesday, Avista sent an email to their customers alerting them of the effect […]

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