Letter: Prepare for the smokescreen on Initiative 1631, fossil fuels


Initiative 1631 places a fee on sources of carbon dioxide (fossil fuels) as they enter or are produced in Washington state. Putting a price on carbon dioxide pollution has been shown to be the quickest, most effective, and least regulatory way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and critical to correcting our human effects on climate.

That is why 42 other countries — including Canada, Mexico, China, Great Britain and countries of the European Union —as well as 25 local governments have enacted carbon pricing.

It does not take much insight to see that the petroleum industry, Koch brothers, etc. will be rolling out their political machinery at full speed to defeat I-1631.

There are many ways to enact carbon pricing and it is never possible to get everyone to agree a new law is ideal.

The opponents of I-1631 will try to capitalize on this — don’t let them.

Since 2015, a broad coalition including representation from business, academia, labor, healthcare and members of communities most affected by transition off fossil fuels have worked in creating a well thought initiative.

The beginning fee of $15/ton of carbon dioxide produced is estimated to raise the price of gas 13 cents a gallon, rrf.org fuel price calculator.

Don’t believe stories of economic disaster.

The renewable energy sector will be invigorated. Part of the revenues generated are targeted to support transition for economic sectors adversely affected.

Revenues are also targeted for forestry management to decrease fire risk and to support our watersheds essential for river flow. See more on the initiative at job scleanenergywa.com

Now is not the time to get distracted by the barrage of supposed hard facts the opponents will begin. Now is the time to step back and look at the big picture. Carbon fees work as shown by a multitude of countries and local governments around the world.

We have the ability to make planet earth uninhabitable to ourselves. That is not a very pleasant thought and I believe we frequently push it out of our minds. But we also have the ability to change and I believe Carl Sagan when he said, “We can judge our progress by the courage of our questions and the depth of our answers, our willingness to embrace what is true rather than what feels good.”

We do not have the luxury of time. This November pass initiative 1631.

Donald J Miller,


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