November 7, 2016
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I-732 update: Despite misleading pro-732 ad, the truth is that new carbon tax would make everyone pay

It's no surprise to see misleading advertisements in the final days of a campaign, but
a strange "yes on Initiative 732" ad released last week by supporters of I-732 is more misleading than most. The ad claims consumers and households won't pay the new carbon tax. An actress in the ad says, "someone has got to pay for all that pollution in the air. Why should it be me?"

That claim ignores the facts. The truth is that consumers can expect to pay $.25 more on every gallon of gas right off the bat. In 2020, their household energy bills will rise by $448 per year. Once the tax reaches its zenith, that cost increases to $695 per year.

The tax would hit manufacturers particularly hard, and those who have to compete with out-of-state firms would see their competitive position erode with little or no environmental benefits for Washington.

“The clear losers will be energy intensive industries such as industrial and manufacturing companies that consume large amounts of energy throughout their entire value chain,” Lux Research analyst Yuan-Sheng Yu told Environmental Leader. “These taxes will be imposed at each when fossil fuel is consumed, be it for heating, powering equipment, and fueling vehicles for transportation and logistics.”

That's the reason the Lewis Economic Development Council went public with opposition to I-732 last week, saying the carbon tax would adversely affect employers statewide.

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.

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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Focus on Sustainability

Boeing, Alaska Air lauded for leadership in reducing greenhouse gas emissions

By Andrew McIntosh, The Puget Sound Business Journal.

Two of Puget Sound's biggest aerospace companies are working hard to cut emissions as part of the regional efforts to combat climate change, a new report says.

Boeing Co. and Alaska Air Group each adopted a series of small but important measures that can make a difference, according to a new Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce report.

Entitled "Bright Green in an Emerald City," the report lists dozens of examples of emission-reduction efforts at companies, a university and some non-profits.

Boeing and Alaska Airlines are praised for developing shorter, more precise routes for incoming aircraft traffic flying into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport... Every Sea-Tac flight using such approaches conserves an average of 87 gallons of fuel, and saves passengers nine minutes of flying, the Seattle Chamber's report said.

Greenhouse gas emissions reduced with each of these flights equals to what a small car would use, driving all the way from Seattle to Minneapolis, the report added.

Read the full story in The Puget Sound Business Journal
The Risks of I-732

Collaborate, don't regulate carbon

By AWB President Kris Johnson

Washington state employers are proven leaders and innovators in energy conservation, carbon reduction and environmental efforts.

The record proves this is already taking place without a carbon tax, but rather through innovation and collaboration.

Washington's population has increased 43 percent since 1990 and the economy has grown 260 percent, yet carbon emissions are down 18 percent, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

From small operations to large steel mills, companies have built sustainability and environmental stewardship into their operations, not as an afterthought.

Despite this solid environmental record, voters will be faced with a choice to raise the cost of energy -- the engine that keeps Washingtonians moving and warm -- through Initiative 732. It would put in place a carbon tax under the guise of doing what employers and residents are already doing -- lowering carbon emissions. But, it is not without risk to the economy, K-12 education and our low- and fixed-income neighbors...

Read the full op-ed in The Puget Sound Business Journal
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