From many of the promoters and supporters of the carbon fee initiative, I-1631, come two basic arguments. One is true; the other could not be more false.
First, they say that I-1631 will fund the development of clean energy and other environmental projects by requiring a fee on fuels used for heating and vehicles. This is true.
Second, they either imply or state that I-1631 will accomplish some or all of the following: help reduce global warming, protect Washington state from damaging storms, prevent the haze of smoke from forest fires (even the ones in British Columbia), prevent the seas from rising, and/or put more snow in our mountains. This is blatantly unscientific nonsense.
The EPA estimated Washington’s share of the annual U.S. output of carbon dioxide emissions in 2014 at 1.35 percent; the total U.S. share of global emissions was 15 percent. When you consider how much our 1.35 percent is diluted by all the rest of the world’s emissions, it doesn’t require much thought — or math — to realize that Washington’s influence on climate change is virtually nonexistent.
Global warming is a global problem that can be solved only with a concerted global effort. Forcing our state’s citizens to pay even more for the fuel they need so that some people can pretend they’re fixing the problem is not the answer.
All those who intend to vote “yes” on I-1631 should have a realistic expectation of what it can and cannot accomplish.
Dan Van Eycke