American Elephants

Jay Inslee’s Carbon Tax is On the Ballot. by The Elephant's Child


Governor Jay Inslee’s clever carbon tax got national recognition today, as it was written up in the Wall Street Journal. The subhead reads: “The referendum shows the main goal isn’t reducing CO² emissions” What? What?

If Democrats retake Congress in November, a national carbon tax is likely to be part of their agenda. A referendum in Washington state next month is a test of public support. (my italics) It is correctly Initiative Measure No.1631 concerns pollution  (cute tag line)

Two years ago nearly 60% of Washington voters rejected a ballot initiative to impose a “revenue neutral” carbon tax. Green groups opposed the referendum because it wouldn’t generate money for environmental largess. Businesses said it would destroy jobs and increase energy prices, which is true.

Democrats are very fond of taxes on things that make it sound like they are saving the Earth from the horrors of climate change. In California they used the proceeds from cap-and-trade revenue on their fabled bullet train to nowhere that is pauperizing much of California. Also funded low-income housing and public transit, and handouts for the greenies.

We already have the third highest gas prices in the country after Hawaii and California, so the tax would raise those only by 13 cents a gallon in 2020 and 59 cents a gallon by 2035, doesn’t sound too bad until you start out adding how many gallons it takes to fill up your car or cars. Since we rely heavily on electricity from our dams in the Columbia, electricity rates would rise more modestly.

The National Economic Research Associates analysis estimates that the tax would cost Washington households an average $440 in 2020, and would reduce the state’s economic growth by 0.4% over the next two years. So the referendum requires that 10% of revenues must be spent on reducing energy costs for low-income residents. That more or less admits that the cost will be significant, does it not. $50 million must go to support those who work in fossil fuels. Our refineries process crude from North Dakota’s Bakken Shale.

Some of the emissions would be exempt from the tax, including “energy-intensive trade-exposed” industries like aluminum production, agricultural diesel oil and fossil fuel — and fuel purchased by local and state governments. Can’t have a tax that costs the government union jobs. That suggests that all the state bureaucrats will get to fill up at the state’s free pumps, doesn’t it? See the post below for a rating of the nation’s governors. Jay Inslee comes in dead last, with a solid F.

The discredited IPCC is still babbling about a climate apocalypse, and estimates a global carbon price of between $135 and $5,500 per ton would be necessary to save us all. That’s not going to happen, but neither is the climate apocalypse. If you recall, Christiana Figueres, the General Secretary of the IPCC let the cat out of the bag a few years back when she admitted that the goal was not to save the planet, but to end Capitalism.

The Journal is more concerned that if the referendum passes, liberals will see a green light to pass carbon copies in other states. Here the whole deal is a thinly disguised grab for more revenue for the politicians in Olympia.

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