AWB statement on governor’s carbon tax proposal
A tax on carbon would directly impact low- and fixed-income Washingtonians and the critical manufacturing sector by increasing the cost for energy, fuel and natural gas, lessening Washington’s competitive edge
OLYMPIA — Association of Washington Business President Kris Johnson today offered his thoughts on the governor’s proposed carbon tax and how it could impact energy and fuel costs for Washington residents and critical job sectors, such as manufacturing:
“We share the goal of the governor and others to reduce emissions and lower energy consumption. In fact, Washington’s employers are already leading the way in these efforts through private investment that has made Washington state one of the greenest states in the nation and places in the world.
“The end result of the governor’s carbon tax proposal would be higher costs for energy to heat homes, fuel to drive to work and higher prices for natural gas that has helped fuel industries while lowering emissions. In fact, the transition of companies from coal to natural gas for energy generation is responsible for the largest – more than 12 percent – reduction in emissions nationwide.
“Those additional costs would also further erode the state’s global competitiveness, possibly moving jobs and industries to locations outside of Washington, or even the U.S, without a carbon tax and the stringent environmental protections our state has in place.
“We should all be sensitive that the governor’s carbon tax would also hit middle-class families especially hard because manufacturing and trade sectors, which support good-paying, family wage jobs, could be impacted. Our focus, as the central Puget Sound region’s economy booms, should be to preserve and grow jobs outside of metropolitan areas, many of which are centralized in trade-dependent and globally competitive industries.“We remain concerned about taking nearly $1 billion from the rainy-day fund at a time when the state economy is growing. If a carbon tax is passed, we believe the funds generated should go toward innovation and clean technology, building on the carbon reduction efforts already showing great success in industries across the state.”