Washington state voters to decide carbon fee in November
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Voters in Washington state will decide in November whether to charge industrial emitters a fee for their carbon pollution.
Secretary of State Kim Wyman has certified Initiative 1631 for the fall ballot after backers collected enough signatures.
A coalition of tribes, social-justice, labor and environmental groups sponsoring the measure say it will hold corporate polluters accountable while investing revenues in projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect the environment.
The fee starts at $15 per metric ton of fossil-fuel emissions and increases annually by $2 per ton.
Critics warn it will increase prices on electricity and gasoline and make it harder for businesses to compete.
Wyman also certified Initiative 1634 for the fall ballot. If approved, that measure would prevent cities and counties from imposing taxes on sodas, sweetened beverages and other groceries. It would not affect Seattle’s soda tax that took effect this year.