Big Oil outspends billionaires in Washington state carbon tax fight

  • The U.S. oil industry has spent a record $30 million to fight a ballot measure in Washington state that would create the nation’s first carbon tax, double what an alliance of green groups and billionaire activists has spent to support it, according to state data reviewed by Reuters
  • The state’s Carbon Emissions Fee and Revenue Allocation Initiative, known as Initiative 1631, would impose a $15 fee on each metric ton of carbon released to the atmosphere, rising $2 a year until the state’s 2035 emissions target is met. It would generate $2.3 billion over five years for clean energy and air programs if it is passed by voters in next week’s election, according to a state analysis.

by Nichola Groom Read full Reuters article here

(Reuters) – ….The big-ticket battle reflects the stakes of climate regulation. The oil industry is worried that new curbs on carbon emissions will hobble business, while environmental advocates are concerned that a failure to act soon to halt global warming will spell devastating consequences for the planet.

Washington is the nation’s fifth biggest fuel-producing state, with five refineries, according to the Energy Information Administration. It is also among several Democrat-led states that have vowed to pursue climate action in defiance of President Donald Trump’s agenda to ease regulation on fossil fuel companies…

….A Crosscut/Elway poll this month showed half of voters approve of the initiative, with 36 percent against and 14 percent undecided.

If the measure passes, the oil industry is likely to feel the most pain since transportation is the largest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions in Washington at 43 percent, according to a state report from 2016….