Washington state moves toward carbon pricing

Carbon pricing is making strides in Washington state. It's a ballot question called initiative 1631:


I learned about this in the current issue of The Nation. If you subscribe to The Nation, I recommend reading their coverage. If you don't subscribe, I recommend that you do!

The Washington initiative claims to go further and to be potentially more equitable than California's current form of carbon pricing, described here:

https://grist.org/article/california-makes-big-money-from-its-carbon-pricing-program-who-gets-it/ https://grist.org/article/how-california-can-make-its-cap-and-trade-program-more-equitable/

Basically, initiative 1631 directs the carbon fees toward easily supportable goals, including subsidies for people who will be displaced from fossil fuel jobs by the switch to renewables. Other money will be invested in clean initiatives.

In Massachusetts, we are struggling to get the legislature to pass some form of carbon pricing. The Senate passed a bill with revenue-neutral pricing (just distributing the fees to lower carbon emitters), which apparently is less challenging for tax haters--but also less inspiring to those who look for a better civic life. The House is unlikely to be bolder, although one Representative introduced a bill two years ago directing some fees toware public transportation. I'm really interested to see whether the Washington state activists can implement their far-reaching agenda.

Andy Oram