Here’s what the Tri-City Herald thinks of the carbon fee initiative

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. …

Both sides recently met with the Tri-City Herald editorial board, and opponents noted that higher gasoline and power prices will hit low- and middle-class families hard, but they won’t be in a position to reap direct benefits like wealthier people. …

There also is the fear that a carbon fee will put farmers and small businesses at a disadvantage with competitors from other states who don’t have to pay the higher energy costs. Companies doing business in Washington also might leave if this initiative is approved. …

We don’t underestimate the need to improve the environment.

But there is no certainty I-1631 will accomplish that. The public is simply expected to trust that government officials will spend billions of carbon fee money wisely.

And this Initiative – like other proposals before it – puts more of a financial burden on some people than others. We can’t accept that.

The Tri-City Herald recommends a “no” vote on I-1631, the Carbon Fee initiative.

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