April 8, 2019
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New report: Puget Sound Energy's LNG plant would reduce greenhouse gas emissions

A new report concludes that the massive liquefied natural gas plant planned for the Tacoma Tideflats will reduce greenhouse gasses overall, that the natural gas should come from British Columbia and that the facility will not cause significant impact from greenhouse gas emissions, The Tacoma News Tribune reported recently.

The agency’s final report mirrored a draft report released in Oct. 2018.

The report says the plant would “result in an overall decrease in greenhouse gas emissions, a net beneficial impact compared to the no-action alternative.”

The report also says the source of the gas should come from British Columbia or Alberta, “but entering Washington through British Columbia.” The site’s air permit should include this condition, the report added.

“We’re very hopeful the SEIS will clear the way for an efficient issuance of the necessary air permit which will allow the facility to move forward to begin achieving that and other environmental benefits,” a spokesman for Puget Sound Energy told the newspaper.

Opponents, including The Puyallup Tribe, voiced their opposition to the project.

“By finding that an 8-million gallon fossil fuel project with fuel shipped from hundreds of miles away would not cause significant adverse climate impacts, this project strains credulity,” a news release from the tribe said.
Chairman Bill Sterud, in the release, said: “Puget Sound Energy’s fracked gas project is sited on our homeland in an area we have inhabited since time immemorial, and where many of our tribal members live today.”

AWB visited the project in October as part of Manufacturing Tour. Check out the photos here.

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Spring Meeting
Practical Education

Expand career-connected learning across Washington state

By Maud Daudon

If you're a Washington business owner or manager wondering where to find skilled workers, you're not alone. And if you're a Washington parent or high school student, wondering how to get from school to a great job, you're not alone either.

You may also be the solution to each other's problem.

Last summer, the Career Connect Washington initiative convened groups of parents to discuss education and career preparation in Washington state. As part of a 10-year effort, we are learning how to better help students connect to both jobs and advanced education so they will be well positioned to step into the state's job market. Business, labor and education organizations are all stepping up; we need the Legislature to act as well...

Read the full guest column in The Seattle Times
Fiscally Unwise

A Capital Gains Tax Would Not Improve Budget Sustainability

By The Washington Research Council

Although the March revenue forecast increased estimated state revenues for the 2017-19 and 2019-21 biennia, the House Appropriations Committee Chair proposed a new capital gains tax along with his 2019-21 operating budget. The Senate is also considering a capital gains tax, although in this case the proceeds would be used to reduce other taxes rather than to increase the operating budget.

A capital gains tax would be highly volatile. Taxpayers can arrange their affairs to avoid them, and the value of capital gains realized by Washington taxpayers varies significantly year to year. Also, swings in capital gains are much bigger in percentage terms than swings in state sales tax revenue. Volatile taxes require stronger reserves to manage downturns, but the House bill would avoid constitutionally-required transfers to the rainy day fund by directing revenues from the tax to the education legacy trust account.

Additionally, a capital gains tax would certainly be challenged as an unconstitutional income tax. Even if it were eventually found to be constitutional, a court case would likely mean that any revenues would be suspended until after 2019-21. Building the budget around such a tax would be risky at best...

Read the full report from the Washington Research Council
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