South Whidbey Record
letter to the editor
published Sept. 25, 2018 from Dean Enell
Vote ‘yes’ on 1631, for the sake of the planet, for our children
Thanks to our local press for their endorsement of an impressive citizen-sponsored initiative that surprisingly has emerged from the chaotic world of politics (South Whidbey Record and Whidbey News-Times on Sept. 21).
This fall we have the truly historic opportunity to actually do something about a really big problem. That something is Initiative 1631, making Washington the first state in the country to impose an actual fee on CO2 pollution. It would take effect in 2020 and impose a $15 per metric ton carbon fee on the sources of greenhouse gases that are truly fouling our air and our climate.
An amazing 97 percent of world climate scientists tell us climate change is real. We’ve now climbed to 408 parts per million of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and the impacts are multiplying as predicted.
1631 is a fee, not a tax for the government general fund. The revenue ($2.3 billion during the first five years) would be used only to stimulate non-polluting energy initiatives, energy efficiency, protect our carbon-eating forests and assist impacted communities. You would see modest gas price increases, maybe 13 cents/gallon by 2020.
Good for our economy. A report by the Political Economy Research Institute estimates I-1631 will help create an estimated 40,000 jobs in Washington, putting people to work building things like solar, wind and other renewables — not pipelines.
Some local politicians like to argue that initiatives by the people are flawed by nature. Google Initiative 937 which passed in 2006 and mandated large electric utilities to generate 15 percent of their electricity from new renewable energy projects by the year 2020. Flawed?
Be prepared, however. A barrel of gloomy brochures will find their way to your mailbox, predicting gloom, doom, etc. The oil companies (Phillips, Shell and BP) have thrown $7.2 million into preserving their perceived right to pollute our air, for free. It’s high time to quit subsidizing big oil and end this destructive practice that’s costing us big time in climate change consequences.
Yes on 1631, for your kids’ sake.