January 15, 2018
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Governor's carbon tax bill to have hearing in Senate on Tuesday

The Senate Energy, Environment and Technology Committee will hold a public hearing Tuesday morning at 10 a.m. on Senate Bill 6203, the governor's carbon tax bill.

Inslee promoted his carbon tax in grand terms during his State of the State address last week: "It is our state's destiny... to fight climate change." The Seattle Times has more on the governor's carbon tax proposal.

However, House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan, D-Covington, said that his Democratic caucus does not have the votes to pass a carbon tax despite having control of the chamber.

"In order to get 50 votes to pass, I believe it's going to take a bipartisan vote," Sullivan told Inside Olympia.

Sen. Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens, has also filed a carbon tax bill, Senate Bill 6335.

The Herald reports that an initiative to regulate and tax carbon is likely to be on the 2018 general election ballot if a bill doesn't pass the Legislature this year: "Lawmakers may be facing their last chance to price carbon their way, because groups that view carbon tax as a preferred weapon against climate change are joining forces."

AWB President Kris Johnson said that employers have long shared the goal of reducing carbon emissions, and demonstrate that every day by improving energy efficiency and cutting carbon emissions through ongoing, targeted investment.

However, employers are concerned about the impact the governor’s plan to raise more than $3 billion in new taxes over four years will have on families, manufacturers and Washington’s ability to compete in a global economy. And, the governor’s plan would also use nearly $1 billion from the state’s rainy-day fund at a time when the state budget is growing, and backfill it at some future date with revenue from the carbon tax.

Gov. Inslee and other supporters of a carbon tax often mention the British Columbia carbon tax as a model and example for Washington, but the latest data from B.C. shows that carbon emissions there continue to increase -- up by 1.6 percent over the most recent year. Last week, the provincial government "quietly released the latest figures on B.C.’s carbon emissions that show the province continues to have an uphill fight to make significant targeted reductions," The Vancouver Sun reports.

The Walla Walla Union-Bulletin said a carbon tax would hurt Washington by making the state less competitive -- a national approach is the right way to attack the problem, the newspaper wrote: "A state-by-state approach won’t achieve much except a burden on those living in those states."

For more information on this issue, contact AWB Government Affairs Director Mary Catherine McAleer at 360.943.1600.

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Fix Hirst, Support Manufacturers

Support rural Washington

By The Wenatchee World Editorial Board

The Puget Sound region's economy is booming. But across the state, the post-recession economic recovery has been uneven. Much of rural Washington is still struggling, with higher rates of unemployment and comparatively modest economic gains.

Fixing Hirst and delivering tax relief to manufacturers will help expand our state's prosperity to rural counties.

Read the full editorial in The Wenatchee World
Costly and Unnecessary

No sense in carbon tax

By The (Longview) Daily News Editorial Board

Gov. Inslee is urging legislators to pass a $20 per ton carbon tax during the current legislative session. We urge you to call your local legislators and tell them to vote "no" on carbon tax legislation.

If passed, money raised from a carbon tax reportedly would fund schools; provide incentives for renewable energy, such as solar energy; be applied to research for new clean technologies; manage storm water runoff; help prevent forest fires; and more.

While all of these issues are worthwhile, the effects of a carbon tax on citizens and businesses far outweighs the benefits, which is why we don't support the tax.

The governor's staff indicated a carbon tax likely will increase power rates 4 percent to 5 percent for electricity, 9 percent to 11 percent for natural gas and 6 percent to 9 percent for gasoline.

If a carbon tax law is passed, utilities such as the Cowlitz PUD, will be negatively impacted and we believe the power rate increases would be pushed much higher than the governor's staff estimates. Citizens and businesses can't afford those types of increases...

Read the full editorial in The Daily News
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