Carbon fee: spending money for nothin’

Initiative 1631, the “pollution fee” ballot measure, requires a $15 per metric ton tax on carbon dioxide emissions, and automatically escalates $2 every year until at least 2035. The “pollution fee,” which the state would treat as a tax, would be reflected in an immediate 14 cent increase in gasoline (none of the money could be used for road building or maintenance), rising to 55 cents (on top of the existing gas tax) by 2035. …

So, does I-1631 actually help “defeat climate change”? No, not in any direct sense, although its supporters argue that it could help build a cleaner energy economy. Does it have any measurable impact on climate change at all? The scientifically honest answer is: No. …

This is looking more and more like a very expensive vanity project … while generating hundreds of millions of dollars for a new 15-member board to spend. How do you get on the board? You’re appointed by the governor.

It would be nice if the initiative required that none of the appointees could be donors to the governor, but it doesn’t. The initiative also has no provisions to prevent the board granting money to the organizations from which board members come…

Read the Complete Article »