Inslees Proposes Carbon Tax on Energy Providers, Possibly Citizens
It's no secret Gov. Jay Inslee wants to be known as the 'greenest' governor in U.S. history. Tuesday, he unveiled his plan to once again push for a carbon tax that would likely affect producers and importers of electricity, natural gas and petroleum. What is NOT clear is whether you and I would be taxed for the emissions we generate.
Inslee's efforts have been thwarted so far by what was known as The Coalition, a group of 23 GOP and 2 Democratic Senators who've shot down his proposals. But due to one hotly contested Senate race near Seattle in the 45th District, Democrats how have a one-seat majority, while controlling the state House.
Inslee's plan contains two 'interesting' ideas:
"The governor proposes placing a tax on carbon pollutionassociated with the production and consumption offossil fuels in Washington state. Emissions generatedby transportation fuels and electrical generating unitsand through natural gas consumption would be taxedbeginning at $25 a ton as of May 1, 2018. The rateof taxation increases annually by 3.5 percent, plusinflation."
The key phrase here is the "emissions generated by transportation fuels and electrical generating units." Does that mean we will be taxed for driving or heating our homes? The plan is not clear.
The other part reads as follows:
"The tax on fossil fuels applies to sellers andusers. It is levied on the first possession, meaningthat it would be imposed on any company thatgenerates or imports electricity, natural gas orpetroleum."
One could read into this that those who provide energy and fuel to citizens, companies and businesses would be taxed, thereby likely being forced to pass on those costs to consumers.
Inslee wants to dip into the state's reserves to fully fund education, more fallout from the controversial McCleary Decision, and then use the carbon tax to refill the coffers. Critics say aside from replacing the education money, most of the revenue generated by the carbon tax would be lost in a 'black hole' of waste and useless spending.
They point to the billions lost by the Obama Administration due to the Stimulus that saw money dumped into hundreds of green energy companies, most which later went bankrupt. Of the well over 100 such firms nationally, Solyndra was the biggest, losing thousands of jobs in California.