Environmental groups oppose Washington state’s carbon tax because it’s revenue neutral

seattle_cars_trafficTo the surprise of many, environmental groups aren’t supporting the new carbon tax initiative that will be voted on by Washington state in November because it’s revenue neutral and won’t expand the government.

The new carbon tax, which would add 25 cents to every gallon of gasoline, increase airfare, and hike utilities, would also lower taxes in other areas to offset the higher prices. Their biggest problem is that the carbon tax doesn’t make government bigger, create green jobs, or expand government services.

Because the carbon tax would be revenue neutral, meaning there would be no extra money to add more government jobs and bureaucracy, green groups are adamantly opposed to the measure. They’ve joined forces with an unlikely partner, the Washington State Labor Council, which also opposes the tax.

The carbon tax, which is based on a similar one in British Columbia, Canada, would impose a $25 per metric ton of greenhouse gasses emitted from various fossil fuels until hitting a cap of $100 a ton.

It would increase prices at the pump, airfares, utility bills, heating costs, and hurt lower- to middle-income families the most. Because lower-income families are less likely to own and drive a car, they would be unduly burdened with higher heating bills or anything that relies on fossil fuels.

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