Let’s take a close look at initiative 1631.
This is an initiative that purportedly addresses CO2 pollution. It does this by creating a pollution fee which starts at $15 a metric ton of CO2 and increases by $2 a ton plus inflation for a minimum of 15 years (2035) at which time a permanent fee is established based on attainment of existing CO2 goals. First, don’t be fooled, this is a tax on all consumers of energy in Washington. Any fee on energy producers is treated as an expense and passed along to consumers, companies don’t absorb these fees!
By my calculations, this initiative will generate about $15 billion dollars over the first 15 years, if passed. This amounts to about $9,000 per family (1.6 million family units in Washington). This cost will be reflected in a significant increase in the cost of a gallon of gas ($0.15 in year one and an estimate of $0.57 in 2035). Washington already has the third highest gas taxes in the country at $0.49/gallon and this would result in more than doubling of this “tax” during the first 15 years of the pollution fee and then would be locked in at the much higher rate!
It would also increase heating and cooling costs beginning at about 10 percent and ending at about 25 percent in 2035. With all this money what reduction is projected in CO2 levels over this period? None, that is right none! This money will be administered by 15 unelected, unaccountable people to fund environmental projects! Sounds like the perfect conditions for crony capitalism, i.e. politicians funneling money to environmental groups in hopes of gaining votes. Does Solyndra ring a bell?
Washington has existing targets in place for reducing “greenhouse” gases. Per the latest EPA data, the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has been declining since 2011 because of converting to more efficient fuels, primarily natural gas. Finally, the impact on the global atmosphere of this Washington initiative is imperceptible and will be dominated by emerging countries such as India and China.
Initiative 1631 is nothing more than a scheme by politicians and environmental groups to create a slush fund from the bank accounts of a misinformed electorate re: climate change. Does your family really want to provide $9,000 of your hard-earned money to fund this slush fund? The answer for mine and I hope for yours is a resounding No! No on initiative 1631!