Washington Could Be The First State To Implement A State Tax On Carbon Pollution… If The Oil Industry Allows It

The state of Washington is introducing a ballot measure to be the first state to impose a state tax on carbon pollution.

Initiative 1631 has attracted a lot of attention from big corporations and donors, as the fight for, or against, the implementation of the bill carries on. This has garnered a nationwide conversation about the need for carbon taxes in each state.

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Factory against a blue sky. Credit: Pixabay

The anti-initiative campaign hit a spending record of $25.87 million, with many of the donors being major oil companies. Supporters of the initiative raised nearly $12 million, with some of the biggest donors being Microsoft and the American Lung Association.

BP owns some of the major oil refineries in the state and has spent a whopping $12 million in an attempt to stop the initiative. However, this move goes directly against a move made by BP in which they supported a carbon tax.

Although we can see that the oil industry is investing massive amounts of money into the fight against Initiative 1631, there are also small groups in Washington that oppose it. Local ironworkers at the Local 86 office in Tukwila, Wa. are worried about the slow industrial investment that the carbon tax might create.

“We’re concerned that less developers will move into the area, and that means less future jobs will be available for our members,” said Chris McClain, the Local 86 union’s business manager.

However, supporters of the initiative disagree with this analysis citing that 70 percent of the revenue raised in the first five fiscal years would be spent invested in clean energy infrastructure. This has been estimated to be nearly $2.3 billion.

It’s unclear how the citizens of Washington will vote on Initiative 1631, but a lot of groups are banking on the vote going their way.

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