Friday, November 9, 2018

GWPF Newsletter: Washington Voters Reject Carbon Tax For A Second Time

A Bad Day For Green Republicans

In this newsletter:

1) Washington Voters Reject Carbon Tax For A Second Time
The Daily Caller, 7 November 2018 
2) The Ballot Question That Could Transform U.S. Climate Politics
The Atlantic, 5 November 2018 

3) Carlos Curbelo, Republican Leader On Climate, Loses Tight Florida Race
Axios, 7 November 2018
4) A Bad Day For Green Republicans: Climate Caucus Republicans Suffer A String Of Election Defeats
The Daily Caller, 7 November 2018 
5) Climate Change Has Slipped From Voters' Minds
The Washington Examiner, 6 November 2018
6) Tom Steyer’s Renewable Energy Initiative Fails In Arizona
The Daily Caller, 7 November 2018
7) Editorial: State AGs for Rent
The Wall Street Journal, 7 November 2018

Full details:

1) Washington Voters Reject Carbon Tax For A Second Time
The Daily Caller, 7 November 2018 
Michael Bastasch

Washington voters rejected a ballot measure backed by a vast coalition of liberal groups to tax carbon dioxide emissions from in-state fossil fuel combustion.

The measure, called Initiative 1631, is the third attempt to impose a carbon tax in Washington state. Voters rejected a similar ballot measure in 2016, and carbon tax legislation failed earlier in 2018.

Had the measure passed, Washington would have become the first state to tax carbon dioxide emissions. The political battle over the tax became the most expensive in state history for a ballot measure — drawing $45 million in spending.

Initiative 1631 was put forward by the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy, a coalition of environmentalists, businesses and other liberal groups. The measure called for taxing emissions at $15 a ton in 2020, which will increase at $2 a year above the rate of inflation until the state meets its emissions goals.

Most of the projected tax revenue raised would have gone toward green energy projects, with smaller amounts going toward protecting forests and blunting the effects of higher energy prices on poor families. Backers said the tax would create jobs and cut pollution.

“[W]hen it comes to children’s health, it has made something very clear, and that is the state of Washington needs to pass this clean air initiative, so these children can breathe clean air,” Democratic Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who backed Initiative 1631, said in August.

“They deserve that. The significance of this is profound,” Inslee said

Carbon tax supporters pumped over $15 million into their campaign, including $1 million each from Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The Nature Conservancy and League of Conservation Voters were the two largest donors backing Initiative 1631, spending more than $3.3 million and $1.4 million, respectively, according to Ballotpedia.

However, carbon tax opponents spent over $30 million opposing Initiative 1631. The largest donors against the initiative were BP and Phillips 66, spending more than $20 million collectively, Ballotpedia reported.

Full post

2) The Ballot Question That Could Transform U.S. Climate Politics
The Atlantic, 5 November 2018 
Robinson Meyer

On Tuesday, residents of Washington State will vote on whether to adopt a carbon fee, an ambitious policy that aims to combat climate change by charging oil companies and other polluters for the right to emit greenhouse-gas pollution.

If the measure passes, Washington would immediately have one of the most aggressive climate policies in the country. The proposal—known as Ballot Initiative 1631—takes something of a “Green New Deal” approach, using the money raised by the new fee to build new infrastructure to prepare the state for climate change. It would generate millions to fund new public transit, solar and wind farms, and forest-conservation projects in the state; it would also direct money to a working-class coal community and a coastal indigenous tribe.

Despite its local focus, Initiative 1631 stands to reshape climate politics in places far from Seattle or Spokane. If it passes, Washington would become the first state in the country—and, in fact, the first large government anywhere in the world—to impose a price on carbon by ballot question. Victory might help convince national politicians—both Democrats and Republicans—who systematically underrate enthusiasm for climate policy, that Americans actually are willing to pay to fight climate change.

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