Common ground with conservatives on Carbon Tax

On Tuesday I was invited to be on a King 5 News ” climate debate” with Paul Guppy of the free-market Washington Policy Center, and what stands out for me from our discussions on and off camera (video here) is how much common ground there was. In some ways this is not suprising—Paul’s colleague Todd Myers is on the CarbonWA Advisory Board—but it’s still worth emphasizing how much we agreed on: that the climate is changing, that humans have something to do with it, and that smart market-based instruments like revenue-neutral carbon taxes are much better policy approaches than direct regulation.

That’s great news, and there’s even more good news from looking at the benefits of our proposal to use carbon tax revenue to reduce the state sales taxes, fund the Working Families Rebate, and eliminate the B&O tax for manufacturers:

  • “offset any cost impact to consumers and workers” (sales tax reduction)
  • “protect low-income households” (ditto, plus Working Families Rebate)
  • “assist energy-intensive, trade-exposed businesses” (B&O tax cut for manufacturers)
  • “maximize the benefits and minimize the implementation costs”

Those phrases are direct quotes from Governor Inslee’s executive order, and—despite the fact that the Governor seems to have his heart set on a complicated “cap-and-market” system—we think a BC-style carbon tax is the best way to create space for bipartisan climate action in Washington State and across the country.

As always feedback is welcome on the blog.

Leave a Reply