November 6th, 2018 is the day when millions of Americans will get out and vote (if they haven't submitted their early vote yet) If you live in the state of Washington, Initiative 1631 is proposed, which is a fee on carbon pollution per ton, there are many things you may have heard about this initiative and many like it, today, lets look at the bill itself and examine the facts.
According to the bill, it is a fee and not a tax, and therefore cannot be spent on government expenses, it is to be invested in various environmental projects. This is good news for both sides of the isle, because it is money invested back into the community and businesses as well as environmental projects, it reduces harmful air pollution, it encourages the state to become more energy independent and expand its renewables in the private sector.
The board appointed by the governor has stated that 70% of the revenue will be invested into clean energy generation directly, the rest will go to forestry, transportation, energy efficiency, carbon sequestration and water conservation. Many are concerned that this initiative will give coal and oil companies a break, but since most of the money will be invested into renewable energy, I believe it will encourage a shift in energy production.
If passed, Initiative 1631 will be the first carbon fee in all of the United States, Arizona proposition 127 and Nevada question 6 will also be on the ballot in those respective states, both concerning encouraging a shift to renewable energy.
This fee would not go into effect until January 1st, 2020 the amount would be $15 per metric ton, and would increase by $2 per metric ton each year until GHG emissions targets are met. This would give big polluters two years to either reduce their emissions and adapt, or pay the fee. In both situations, the idea is to discourage waste and inefficiency in many sectors, which this initiative could quite effectively do if passed, and it would certainly be quite revolutionary for a state to pass such an initiative.
If you live in the state of Washington, Arizona or Nevada, please consider going out and voting on November 6th. At EthiLogical, we believe that all of these initiatives are worthy of being passed, because of the monumental benefits they could provide as a result of being good stewards of the air, soil and water.