Friday, November 17, 2017

Will Washington State Pass the Nation’s First Carbon Tax?

After Democrats take Olympia, environmentalists push big action on climate.

Downtown Seattle, with Mt. Rainier (Credit: kanonsky/iStock/Getty) Click to Enlarge.
Last November, some environmentalists in Washington state went to the polls hoping voters would back an initiative creating the nation’s first tax on carbon pollution.

Initiative 732 went down to defeat as the country’s attention focused on Donald Trump’s shocking electoral college win.  But now, one year later and buoyed by the Democrats’ pick up of a state Senate seat in last week’s elections, Washington will get another chance to pass meaningful climate policy.

The victory not only gave the party control of the State Senate, it will, along with an already Democratic governor’s mansion and House of Representatives, turn Washington solidly blue.  That clears the way for a “full-scale effort in the next session of the Legislature” on climate, as Governor Jay Inslee said before the election.

“2018 is the year we’re going to push for something big in Washington,” says Nick Abraham, communications director of the Washington Conservation Voters.  “Whether that goes through the legislature or the ballot is still on the table.” 

The coalition of groups spearheading the climate campaign, called the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy, expects to make a more formal announcement about its plans before the end of the year.  They are looking at a policy that reduces greenhouse gas pollution, but also redirects investment into a suite of programs to promote clean energy, electrifying the transportation sector, clean water, and communities of color.  Their plan, similar to one that is under discussion by Democratic leadership, likely will include a tax on carbon.

Before climate advocates can see a carbon tax through, they will have to overcome the internal rifts in the progressive community that sunk the 2016 initiative, which split environmentalists into two camps.

Read more at Will Washington State Pass the Nation’s First Carbon Tax?

No comments:

Post a Comment