Bloomberg Backs Washington Carbon Fee Initiative

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Bloomberg Backs Washington Carbon Fee Initiative

Efforts to impose a fee on carbon emissions in Washington State received a big boost yesterday when Michael Bloomberg pledged $1 million to the effort.

 

An initiative, I-631, is on Washington’s ballot this year to impose a fee on each metric ton of carbon emitted. The fee would start at $15 a ton in the first year and increase by $2 a year every year until the state’s carbon emissions goals are met. The revenue from this fee would go to air quality programs, forest health projects, and community investment.

 

Supporters of this initiative say it is a good way to help transition Washington away from the use of fossil fuels. They contend that putting a price on carbon emissions will help reduce emissions that cause climate change and provide an incentive to use renewable fuels. Opponents say that this will increase the cost of fuel. They also contend that this increase in energy costs will hurt the state’s businesses, leading to job loss and lower economic growth.

 

Other states have considered a carbon tax, but none have passed one. If Washington voters approve I-631, that state will be the first in the nation to impose a tax or fee on large carbon emitters.

 

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