Utilities Across Washington Agree: Higher Energy Costs if 1631 Passes

Public utility districts and electricity producers responsible for providing affordable energy to millions of individuals and businesses in every corner of Washington agree that I-1631 deserves a NO vote. I-1631 would result in increased energy prices, and those increases would be passed on to ratepayers.

The PUDs serving Benton, Clallam, Cowlitz, Lewis, Mason, Franklin, Grays Harbor, and Okanogan counties – have all taken positions opposing I-1631.

Puget Sound Energy reviewed the impacts from I-1631 and concluded:

“Initiative 1631 will increase energy rates for our customers to facilitate investment in carbon emission reducing programs.”
– Puget Sound Energy, 10/1/18

Avista Utilities serving households in the Spokane issued a similar statement to customers, projecting substantial increases to residential electric and natural gas rates in the first year, rate hikes that would keep increases through at least 2035. Avista’s analysis estimated first year rate increases at 5.6% for electricity and 9.3% for natural gas. Estimates for additional increases soar to 17.5% for electric and 31.9% for natural gas by 2035.

The PUDs of Clark and Grant counties also looked at I-1631 and determined it would force rate increases as one way to deal with millions of dollars in increased annual costs resulting from the flaws in poorly written 1631.

And increased utility costs are only one aspect of the harm I-1631 would do to Washington families and small businesses.

A comprehensive analysis of 1631’s economic impacts concluded that the average Washington household will pay $440 more per year in the first year alone due to I-1631’s costs – and these cost impacts would increase every year automatically, rising to $990 per household within 15 years.

Estimates show gasoline prices would increase by up to 14 cents a gallon in the first year alone, rising every year under I-1631’s new energy tax. These increases would quadruple to 57 cents more per gallon within 15 years, with no limit on how high these increased could go.

In total, I-1631’s new energy tax would cost families and consumers $2.3 billion in the first five years alone, and would raise $30 billon by 2035. The text of I-1631 provides no specific plan for how those billions would have to be spent, but would hand the revenues over to an unelected board of political appointees to spend as they choose, even on programs that would not specifically reduce greenhouse gases.

And after billions of dollars in new energy taxes paid by families and small businesses to fund, I-1631 would leave 93% of state greenhouse gas emissions completely untouched.

We are urging every voter to get the facts and vote NO on 1631 this November.

Please join our coalition today to help defeat the costly, unfair and ineffective I-1631.