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Seattle City Council endorses I-1631 state carbon tax

(Image: CHS)

Global climate change experts said Monday we have only a matter of years to reverse environmental damage or be doomed to living on a dying planet.

One path to doing our part on the needed correction on global warning is a carbon tax.

Monday afternoon, the Seattle City Council approved a resolution endorsing Washington’s I-1631, an initiative to require the largest polluters in the state to pay $15 — and, eventually, more — for every ton of carbon dioxide their corporations release into the atmosphere:

A RESOLUTION endorsing “Clean Air Clean Energy” Initiative 1631, a statewide initiative to the people that would charge pollution fees on the largest corporate polluters and use the revenue to invest in healthy communities, clean our air and water, promote clean energy, and slow down the impacts of climate change – all under oversight of a public board.

The state estimates the initiative would raise more than $2 billion to combat climate change in its first five years and $1 billion annually starting in 2023.


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Sponsored by Mike O’Brien, the Seattle resolution marks the council’s hopes for the state initiative that “supports policies that provide consumers with cleaner, more affordable, and more efficient fuel, energy, and transportation choices; and the largest corporate polluters, causing the most damage to our health, are currently not held accountable nor required to mitigate the damage they cause to our communities,” staff writes in the legislative summary.

“I-1631,” the Seattle analysis says, “will create thousands of high-paying local jobs that contribute to local economies, in rural and urban communities alike, without hurting the health of their neighbors” as well as create “a source of funding that Seattle and other municipalities will be able to apply for, to help fund projects that reduce climate pollution and mitigate the effects of climate change.”

Washington voters rejected a carbon tax bill in 2016 that would have offset resulting state revenues by lowering other taxes.

I-1631 would create new money — lots of it — to combat climate change and, advocates say, help those hit hardest by higher gas and energy prices with programs to reduce fossil fuel use and pollution in lower income communities.

If passed, the November ballot initiative would add about 14 cents per gallon to the cost of gasoline.

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Karl Pauls
Karl Pauls
5 years ago

I’m proud to support I-1631. This is a results-orientrd policy created with broad community input.

There is no more time for partisan bickering over hand picked technologies. We need an economic incentive for efficient and clean uses of energy. The standard here is clear: polluters will pay.

warren trout
warren trout
5 years ago

No, taxes should be offset. We pay too much taxes already.

Sick and tired.
Sick and tired.
5 years ago

This is a bullshit tax. Yet more money grubbing just like the lottery money that was supposed to go to education and instead went into the general fund. Those of you who support it are full of it.