Bark: Vote no on Initiative 1631

Voting for I-1631 is not a matter of supporting environmental protection or opposing it. It’s good that we have a bill like it on the ballot, but just because it is Washington’s only option this midterm season, doesn’t mean it is the best option. We cannot, out of guilt or fear, impulsively support a proposal destined to fail. …

In a KING5 debate on 1631 between Becky Kelley, president of the Washington Environmental Council, and Dana Bieber, spokesperson for “No on I-1631,” Kelley noted that the unelected board, appointed by the government is responsible for spending $30 billion from the initiative over 15 years, with no specified plan, no checks and balances, and no conflicts of interest protections. This means that the 15-member unelected board could funnel that money to private interests.

If voters are being asked to pay more per year in increased bills, this board needs to be held accountable. Kelley responded that the board will give input to the legislature, and the legislation will have the final say on appropriations, but because of the carbon board’s uniquely powerful political structure, it is unlikely the legislation will have much sway. …

We all have the same goals, but if I-1631 was serious about reducing greenhouse gases, it would require the gases to be reduced, focus on Washington’s largest carbon producers and resident’s needs, and, most importantly, it would be accountable.

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