January 8, 2018
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Gov. Inslee to release carbon tax plan on Tuesday, as other policy makers offer carbon-pricing plans

On Tuesday morning, Gov. Jay Inslee will become the latest state policy-maker to offer a proposal to tax carbon emissions. He talked to The Seattle Times about his proposal last week, calling it an "economic opportunity" to grow clean-energy jobs. He also pledged that his plan would exempt energy-intensive, trade-dependent industries, which are particularly vulnerable to competitive pricing from other states and countries without similar carbon taxes and lacking stringent environmental protections like Washington state.

"We’re shielding the impact for some of our energy-intensive industries," said Inslee, who will release his proposed carbon tax Tuesday at 9:45 a.m. in a press conference.

Meanwhile, Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, and Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz have also released carbon pricing proposals, or summaries of bills they say are coming soon.

Those are in addition to a possible citizen initiative led by environmental groups that could be released as early as Jan. 17.

All these issues will be up for discussion during an in-depth panel presentation with legislative leaders from both parties on climate and carbon during AWB's Legislative Day on Jan. 16.

Energy Northwest weighed in last week with ideas on the lowest-cost ways to reduce carbon emissions.

Contact Mary Catherine McAleer, AWB government affairs director for environmental policy, to learn more.

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Don't Spend Rainy Day Fund

Washington's debt level a cause for concern

By The Editorial Board of The Walla Walla Union-Bulletin

... Washington state Treasurer Duane Davidson has urged lawmakers and the governor to keep their hands off the state's rainy-day fund, noting that we are in an economic expansion, which is the time to be saving, not borrowing.

With that, we heartily agree.

Read the full editorial in The Walla Walla Union-Bulletin
Fiscal Restraint

Our Voice: It's not raining hard enough to dip into state reserves

By The Editorial Board of The Tri-City Herald

The state's rainy-day fund is supposed to grow when times are good so there is money available when times are tough.

A simple enough plan to understand, yet apparently difficult for some lawmakers to follow.

Gov. Jay Inslee's budget includes taking money from the state's emergency reserves to help pay for teacher salaries in the 2018-19 school year, but we think this would be a mistake.

The legislative session begins Monday, and we advise the Legislature to find some other way to meet its obligation to public education without "borrowing" from reserves...

Read the full editorial in The Tri-City Herald
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