When Jay Inslee rolled out his latest extreme environmental idea – his plan to reduce the state’s carbon emissions over the next 20 years by picking which industries will be allowed to succeed in the state – eyebrows were raised when it was revealed that Inslee’s plan would reduce the state’s economy by $350 billion (that’s right, with a “b”) dollars over that time.
The state’s economists strangely struggled to explain why a massive tax increase and state control over the Washington’s energy and transportation sectors would hurt the economy, so they promised to “revisit and possibly tweak the computer models in order to explain that mystery.”
Surprise, surprise, Inslee’s economists have finished cooking, or “tweaking”, and now they claim that “a possible Washington carbon emissions tax won’t have a major impact on the state’s economic growth through 2035.”
For those of us who will have to pay for Jay Inslee’s latest tax scheme – this one would actually be in addition to Inslee’s planned $1-plus gas tax hike – it is not that comforting that the negative impacts of Inslee’s extreme environmental agenda can all be chalked up to an economist’s error. After all, these are the same people that would be in charge of helping Inslee figure out which industries should succeed once he has more control over the state’s economy.
Instead, independent observers are more inclined to think that Inslee is heading in the wrong direction The former President of the state’s chamber of commerce certainly asked the right questions in a recent Spokane column:
“According to Washington state economists, a carbon tax high enough to achieve Gov. Jay Inslee’s stated climate-change goals would increase gasoline prices almost 60 percent over time and raise natural gas prices – currently our most affordable energy – nearly 35 percent. The carbon tax is only one part of Inslee’s climate-change agenda. How much will the rest of it cost Washington families?
“Our state contributes only three-tenths of 1 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases. Even if we gutted our economy with crushing “green” regulations, would it have any impact on global climate? Will it be worth the cost?”