The holiday season is often a time for warring sides to lay down their arms for a moment – but evidently the liberals behind a possible carbon cap-and-tax initiative did not get that memo. Instead, they are spending this final week of the year attacking fellow environmentalists for that greatest of sins – not taking as much tax revenue as possible when writing an initiative.
The recipient of the attacks is the grassroots organization Climate Washington, which has gathered some 350,000 signatures to send its revenue neutral carbon tax Initiative 732 to the legislature next month. Throwing the punches are a wide range of left-wing groups including the Washington Conservation Voters, social justice groups, and big labor unions, which can’t believe the grassroots folks would put their own policy ideas ahead of growing the size of state government.
As reported by the Everett Herald, “A little jawboning in the summer escalated this week with a flurry of verbal punches directed at the campaign to create a carbon tax with Initiative 732, as its leaders turned in the last of 350,000 signatures gathered in support of the measure.”
On the one hand, Carbon WA leader (and UW economist) Yoram Bauman said “Our approach was to come with a great policy and bring people together to support it.”
The other side still hasn’t released its initiative, as it is still taking polls to see what it might be able to slip by voters while filling the pockets of the special interests that would fund the initiative. The goal according to the Herald, is not just to tax carbon and keep state government the same size it is now, but the “approach would involve capping emissions, collecting a fee from emitters and spreading that dough around to clean energy and community-building projects.”
As Bauman described his potential competition, “Their approach has been to bring a bunch a people around the table and come up with a policy they can all agree upon. And they are finding that to be challenging.”
However, that’s nowhere near as challenging as convincing voters next November that they should raise their energy costs for a tax policy that does nothing to impact global warming, but does make a lot of special interests happy as they go to the bank.