Inslee Wants Cap-and-Trade in Washington State
Following the Washington State Climate Legislative Executive Workshop, Gov. Jay Inslee is suggesting Washington implement its own cap-and-trade program.
A statewide cap, or limit, on carbon emissions from industries, businesses and vehicles would, he believes, get the state closer to emission goals set in 2008.
According to Seattle's KOMO News:
The ideas put forth by Inslee on Monday -- including phasing out of coal-fired electricity supplies and more energy efficiency in existing buildings - were raised during a meeting of the Climate Legislative Executive Workgroup."
Republican leaders in the legislature say nuclear power could play a much more prominent role to achieve that goal.
GOP leaders also fear such crippling standards could cause many businesses to close or leave Washington, and would scare away prospective companies who might want to relocate here.
Inslee could go one of two routes:
1) Cap-And-Trade: Any business that emits greenhouse gasses or pollutants that are believed to contribute to global warming would have to buy carbon credits to emit said gases. These credits would be purchased and/or traded among businesses like a commodity. Such a system was tried in Europe, but recently crashed.
2) Carbon Tax: Any business or industry that wants to emit would pay an extra tax. If they cannot afford to pay it, they cannot function. In order to pay such taxes, some businesses or industries could have to cut jobs, and decrease production.
The Heritage Foundation in 2012 released a comprehensive report on how such programs or taxes would especially hurt the U.S. According to the Heritage Foundation report:
It would place U.S. manufacturers that export from the United States to other markets at a disadvantage when compared to manufacturers that produce in nations without [green house gas] controls.
A new carbon tax should not be imposed because it would harm U.S. manufacturing, destroying the livelihood of too many Americans who want to go to work producing products for the world."
A recent study by George Mason University's Freedom Index, which combines economic, personal, health, social and legal conditions, ranks Washington 29 in the U.S. The study says we're one of worst in state regulations, state health insurance options, government spending, and labor market flexibility for workers.
Add to that the growing push to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, and our state is just not in a position for another new round of job-killing taxes. Especially since they are based upon a global warming theory of which we are skeptical.
Obama tried to push through cap-and-trade shortly after taking office. it died in Congress. Why does Inslee think it would work here?