As a farmer who is concerned about climate change, especially what will happen with water in our part of the state, I was inclined to support Initiative 732. But after learning it isn’t revenue neutral and seeing the added costs on things like gasoline, electricity, and natural gas, I don’t see how I can support the proposed tax.
Mr. Ghan’s recent op-ed says electric and hybrid vehicles will cover the costs for the immediate increase in gas taxes under I-732. He also stated there are hydrogen fuel cell tractors I can use on my potato farm. I have never seen a hydrogen fuel cell tractor. And if there were any available, I couldn’t tell you where to fill up on hydrogen in the Tri-Cities.
Farmers like me are some of the strongest advocates for a healthy climate and environment to grow safe, healthy food. But we also need an even playing field. I don’t know how I can compete with farmers in other states if I am paying more for my inputs on fuel and electricity than my competitors in Idaho and Oregon. It doesn’t make sense. We need a better approach to cut carbon. I will be voting no on I-732.
Jared Balcom, Pasco