The Seattle Times recommends: No on Initiative 1631

Climate change is a crisis needing an aggressive, coordinated response, not expensive and unaccountable spending measures like Initiative 1631.

Voters concerned about the environment, the cost of living and the sustainability of Washington’s economy should reject this dubious approach. …

Now comes I-1631, repackaged as a carbon fee. In one key respect – accountability – it’s the worst of the bunch. It would collect more than $1 billion yearly. An un-elected board appointed by the governor would propose how to spend it. The initiative requires seats for powerful entities, such as labor and tribes, promising them large cuts. …

For gasoline, it’s equivalent to another gas tax, starting around 14 cents and increasing at least 2 cents yearly. Electricity prices would rise more than 2 percent and natural gas up to 8.5 percent, per the state model.

No, “big polluters” won’t bear these costs. Look at any utility or cable bill to see how taxes and fees are passed to consumers. …

Everyone would pay more for housing, food and other goods, because higher energy prices increase their cost. …

The question is not whether to reduce emissions. Of course we should; that’s happening now. Rather, should residents fund I-1631’s spending with soaring energy costs?

If that would stop the impacts of global warming on this state, it might be worthwhile. But I-1631 won’t make that happen.

Vote no and demand a better and more accountable plan for combating climate change.

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