If You Worry About Climate Change and Care About the Environment, Vote No on I-1631

If you care about the environment, if you worry about global warming, and if this summer’s smoke is of concern, you should vote against Washington State Initiative 1631. …

As I will describe below, I-1631 is a flawed, ineffective, and highly partisan initiative that does little to deal with increasing greenhouse gases.  An initiative that will line the pockets of special interest groups, do economic damage to our poorest citizens, and stand in the way of far more effective approaches.  And its proponents have been less than honest about the nature of this ballot measure.

So why should you vote NO on this initiative?

Reason One: There is No Concrete Spending Plan for Billions of Dollars

The state’s Office of Financial Management estimates that I-1631 will bring in 2.3 billion dollars during the first five years, and that this will rise to tens of billions of dollars over the next three decades.  But I-1631 has no explicit plan to deal with acute environmental challenges that require immediate investment if we are to be resilient to the future and current climate. …

I-1631 False Claim 1: The Oil Companies Will Pay, So Energy Prices Won’t Rise

The advocates of 1631 are making the claim that the oil companies will not pass on the carbon fee to consumer, so that prices of gasoline and heating fuels won’t rise much, if at all. … A total fiction.  The oil companies will pass on this fee to you, guaranteed (I checked some of their representatives to confirm this). …

I-1631 False Claim 2: I-1631 Makes the Big Polluters Pay!

Many of the advertisements and claims for 1631 state that the initiative will make “big polluters” pay.  Unfortunately, that is not the case.  I-1631 specifically excludes many of the big carbon polluters … So big polluters won’t pay, individuals and small businesses will. …

Importantly, I-1631 is a highly regressive fee, with the largest burden on the poorest people.  We already have a very regressive tax structure; I-1631 makes it much worse.

I-1631 False Claim 3: I-1631 Will End the Summer Smoke Over Washington

A number of major 1631 supporters are claiming that 1631 will end or address the wildfire/smoke issue.  With no plan, it is hard to see how they can make this claim.   Hundreds of millions of dollars are needed to fix this problem, with a program directed by our best forest scientists.  I-1631 has no such plan and does not commit the large resources needed.

Read the Complete Article »