Initiative 732 will tax basic energy consumption with a phased-in $100/ton carbon tax. Gasoline will rise by 90 cents/gallon and diesel by $1/gallon. Natural gas, propane, and electricity prices also will increase, as will products that use fossil fuel to produce, manufacture or transport. Almost all purchases will be affected.
The tax is indexed to inflation and will rise year after year. The initiative claims to be revenue neutral with a 1 percent cut in the sales tax and other tax reductions. However, these benefits will likely be more than offset by higher cost of purchased products.
Regarding CO2 emissions, Washington per capita emissions are already in the lowest 20 percent nationally and going down. The initiative does nothing to reduce CO2 emissions except by punishing consumption. It is telling that the Sierra Club does not support the initiative.
This first-in-the-nation tax experiment will have a negative effect on our economy and our lifestyles, with minimal if any environmental benefit.
David Sharp, Kennewick