Jay Inslee’s Carbon Emissions Reduction Taskforce (CERT) will hold another one of its not-so-open-to-the-public meetings today —and once again, Inslee is pushing raising energy taxes on the people of Washington State. According to a CERT memo, the meeting objectives include acquiring a deeper “understanding of how both a linked cap and trade and carbon tax could meet our objectives in WA.”
In an effort to “deepen understanding,” the memo states that “the contractor team will present information on design options of a cap and trade system and a carbon tax system with initial tailoring for Washington State.” Whereas other CERT meetings have focused on how extreme green policies have been implemented in “other jurisdictions,” today’s meeting “begins the process of bringing a Washington State-specific focus to how these policy design options could be implemented.”
What might a “Washington State-specific focus” on a carbon tax look like? A recent article released by Sightline Institute, a far-left environmental group funded by the dark-money Progress Alliance, offers a clue.
According to Sightline, certain members of CERT have reached out to the extreme environmentalists for advice on the best way to go about implementing a carbon tax for Washington State. An editor’s note on a recent Sightline article reads,
“Washington’s Carbon Emissions Reduction Taskforce is on the job, weighing alternative carbon-pricing proposals. Some members of the panel have asked what our ideal policy would be for Washington State. Yoram Bauman shares his thoughts today. Alan Durning will share his argument for a California-style cap-and-trade system, with key modifications, another day.”
The article, written by Sightline contributor Yoram Bauman (who is also a member of CarbonWA.org campaign to place a carbon tax on the ballot in 2016), advocates a “BC approach” to carbon tax. Bauman writes,
“The basic idea behind the BC approach is to phase in a carbon tax on fossil fuels.”
Unfortunately this “basic idea” is not overwhelmingly loved up North. The Prince George Citizen writes that, considering the economic context, the carbon tax has not led to success in B.C. The Prince George Citizen,
“Yet if one considers GDP, British Columbia’s has increased from $203.9 billion to $219.9 billion since the carbon tax was introduced. That is 7.87 per cent according to Statistics Canada.
“Canada’s GDP, on the other hand, has increased from $1.6 trillion to $1.8 trillion or by 10.56 per cent. Indeed, the rest of Canada has seen an increase of just over 10.95 per cent. British Columbia is weighing down Canada’s growth in GDP.”
In 2005, B.C. “represented 12.35 per cent of the Canadian economy.” By 2012, after the carbon tax was implemented in 2008, “that number had dropped to 12.08 per cent.” The decrease may seem small, but it indicates that B.C.’s economy is “not growing as fast as the rest of the country in either absolute or relative terms.”
Australia’s carbon tax, implemented in 2011, proved an utter failure. Just two weeks ago, Australian Parliament repealed the tax—much to the satisfaction of Australian citizens who elected the Conservative Party based on the promise that the new government would abolish it. Prime Minister Tony Abbot called the carbon tax “a useless, destructive tax which damaged jobs, which hurt families’ cost of living, and which didn’t actually help the environment.”
The Washington Examiner writes of Australia’s “an instant debacle” carbon tax,
“Australia is even more coal-dependent than America, using it for 75 percent of its energy needs (compared to 42 percent in America). But contrary to green expectations, the tax didn’t prompt companies to rush toward renewable sources, because they are far costlier.
“Rather, utilities passed their costs to households — whose energy bills soared by 20 percent in the first year. Other industries that face hyper-competitive environment such as airlines suffered massive losses. (Virgin Australia alone reported about $25 million in losses in just six months.) The tax also made Australian exports globally uncompetitive, deepening the country’s recession.”
The mainstream media is not presenting all the facts regarding B.C.’s carbon tax. In fact, in the wake of Australia’s failed carbon tax, media outlets are rushing to call B.C.’s policy a success. But, as the Prince George Citizen states, “It is smoke and mirrors.” The reality is that a carbon tax has not helped British Columbia’s economy, rather it has stagnated, just as it did in Australia.
And this is the type of bad economic policy that Jay Inslee hopes to bring to Washington?