October 31, 2016
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I-732 update: carbon tax would hurt low- and fixed-income families, employers and state budget


Initiative 732, the carbon tax, would make electricity and fuel more expensive for families, AWB Government Affairs Director Brandon Houskeeper told The Olympian last week: "Proponents tell us I-732 almost immediately increases the gas tax by 25 cents per gallon. What they won’t tell you is that 25 cents is on top of the 12 cents just passed to fund new mass transit, infrastructure, and alternative fuel programs — solutions that will actually cut carbon emissions. I-732’s gas tax doesn’t invest in anything."

The Seattle Times and Everett Herald are among the long list of newspapers opposing I-732, with both papers calling out the budget hole it would create. The Times said the initiative “poses a risk to state finances at a critical moment while the Herald said voters should think twice before voting for I-732, saying the $797 million hole it would punch in the state budget is reason to vote no.

The Washington Research Council takes an in-depth look at the initiative in a policy brief. Its conclusion:

"Putting a large price on carbon will raise the costs of living and doing business in this state. If we go it alone, the reduction we achieve here could be offset by increases elsewhere. Successfully attacking the global warming problem requires the coordinated action of national governments. If the U.S. is to provide leadership on global warming, that leadership must come from Washington, D.C., not Washington state.”

I-732’s carbon tax would cost families 25 cents more per gallon for gasoline immediately and would mean 15,000 fewer manufacturing jobs as Washington becomes a less competitive location for employers, according to research from No on 732.

All points emphasized in AWB President Kris Johnson’s column published in the Puget Sound Business Journal last week. With regard to higher energy and fuel costs, Johnson points out that “For families living on the financial bubble, this may mean choosing between heating their home or buying gas to get to work.”

And, he wrote, “For employers, particularly those competing with out-of-state companies for commodities, such as steel, cement or aluminum, the risk of job losses is real” due to increased energy costs that could make their product costs less competitive.

AWB is part of a broad coalition of employers, farmers, organized labor and others who are part of the No on 732 campaign, but opposition to the measure goes far beyond workers and employers. Environmental groups, including the Sierra Club and the Washington Environmental Council, also oppose I-732.

The list of the many groups who have joined the “No on 732” campaign includes:

  • Aerospace Machinists Industrial District Lodge 751
  • Association of Washington Business
  • Automotive United Trades Organization
  • Greater Yakima Chamber of Commerce
  • Industrial Customers of Northwest Utilities
  • Kelso-Longview Chamber of Commerce
  • Moses Lake Chamber of Commerce
  • Northwest Food Processors Association
  • Northwest Pulp & Paper Association
  • Pasco Chamber of Commerce
  • Puyallup-Sumner Chamber of Commerce
  • Washington Association of Wheat Growers
  • Washington Food Industry Association
  • Washington State Farm Bureau
  • Washington Cattlemen’s Association
  • Washington Oil Marketers Association
  • Washington Potato & Onion Association
  • Washington State Council of Farmer Cooperatives
  • Washington State Dairy Federation
  • Washington State Tree Fruit Association
  • Washington Trucking Association

These local groups that support opportunity in their communities know that a 25-cents-per-gallon increase in gasoline and higher energy costs will not work for Washington families. That’s why small business organizations and their members have come out strongly against I-732. They are joining the effort to support real solutions.

Learn more via @NoCarbonTaxWA on Twitter, No on 732 on Facebook, and the No on 732 website.



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Washington's Hydropower Is No Laughing Matter

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They had a good laugh over it, the reports said. What a knee-slapper. Candidates for the United States Congress, at a recent climate change forum at a Ballard brewpub, indicated through their mistaken answers to a simple question that neither has any idea where electricity comes from. What a hoot...

Electricity doesn't just show up. It is not produced by flights of fancy, moonbeams, cool articles in Wired or a Harry Potter character waving a wand. It required the intense effort of generations, the labor of tens of thousands of people, and investments in the multiple billions to produce enough electricity to supply Seattle and provide the energy without which its thriving economy wouldn't be worth a 500K RAM chip from a 1984 IBM PC.

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Of course, you don't get rid of such assets. You don't speak of it, even in jest.

Read the full column in The Wenatchee World
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