WAWG joins coalition opposed to carbon initiative

The Washington Association of Wheat Growers (WAWG) has joined The NO on 1631 Coalition, which opposes Initiative 1631, the Carbon Emission Fee Measure.

I-1631 would enact a carbon emissions fee of $15 per metric ton of carbon on certain large emitters beginning Jan. 1, 2020. Each year, that fee would increase by $2 until the state’s 2035 greenhouse gas reduction goals are met. The revenue from the fee would be used to fund various programs and projects related to the environment.

According to the No on 1631 Coalition, the Washington State Office of Financial Management estimates I-1631 would cost consumers and businesses at least $2.3 billion in the first five fiscal years alone. WAWG believes I-1631 would essentially be a new tax on energy costs that would be paid by Washington consumers, families, small businesses and farmers in the form of higher prices for fuel, electricity, heating and natural gas, as well as higher transportation costs.

The No on 1631 Coalition has provided these key facts about the initiative:

• I-1631 would create a new, unelected public board to disburse revenues for a poorly defined variety of projects, providing little likelihood or assurances that it would significantly reduce greenhouse gases.

• I-1631 would exempt many of the state’s largest carbon emitters. In fact, eight out of the top 12 carbon emitters in the state would be exempt under I-1631. Other exemptions include aluminum smelters; aircraft manufacturers; pulp and paper mills; iron and steel companies; chemical manufacturers; and other large corporations from 23 different industrial sectors. As a result, a significant portion of Washington’s total carbon emissions would be exempt from I-1631’s new tax, making it ineffective and leaving the cost burden of the new tax to fall unfairly on Washington families, small businesses and consumers in the form of higher energy and transportation prices.

• Independent estimates show that I-1631 would increase gas prices by up to 14 cents per gallon in the first year, with automatic annual increases thereafter, and no set cap on how high these increases could go. 

For more information on the No on 1631 Coalition, visit their website.