‘No’ on Initiative 1631

… While there is no doubt that measures to combat climate change are needed, this particular attempt to curb greenhouse gas emitters is a flawed initiative with what we fear will be unintended consequences that will negatively impact the citizenry — namely, an estimated 14-cent per gallon increase that oil companies most assuredly would pass down to consumers, and a significant rise in utility costs.

That is why we recommended a “no” vote on I-1631 …

… consumers undoubtedly will be punished at the pump. …

Such an increase would hurt consumers in low-income and rural areas, such as the geographically vast and population diffuse Valley, which don’t have mass transit options to turn to as alternatives. Jon DeVaney, president of the Washington State Tree Fruit Association, which represents growers, correctly pointed out that farm workers who often must travel many miles to work at remote orchards will most feel the economic strain. …

… [T]here is the potential of a lack of accountability and oversight in the disbursement of funds. The Governor’s office would appoint a 15-member board to administer funds. … the Legislature would not have a say as to which programs get which funds. …

Third, several of the state’s largest polluters would be exempt from the carbon fee. … Such exceptions make us wonder whether the initiative is playing favorites when it comes to which companies must pay for emissions.

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