Initiative 732 carbon tax faces mounting editorial opposition

As the Association of Washington Business reports, Initiative 732, which would impose a carbon tax and reduce other taxes, has picked up some editorial caution flags. 

The Seattle Times and Everett Herald joined the growing list of newspapers opposing I-732, with both papers calling out the budget hole it would create. The Times said the initiative “poses a risk to state finances at a critical oment while the Herald said  voters should think twice before voting for I-732, saying the $797 million hole it would punch in the state budget is reason to vote no.

The Stranger concurs, urging a no vote: “I-732 is an actively bad policy disguised as a ground-breaking progressive idea.”

AWB refers readers to this Washington Research Council report on the initiative. The WRC analyzed the initiative and concluded,

Putting a large price on carbon will raise the costs of living and doing business in this state. If we go it alone, the reduction we achieve here could be offset by increases elsewhere. Successfully attacking the global warming problem requires the coordinated action of national governments. If the U.S. is to provide leadership on global warming, that leadership must come from Washington, D.C., not Washington state.

We wrote about the WRC study when it was released. The “No on 732” campaign includes a diverse set of business, labor and environmental groups.

The Times also carries an op-ed supporting I-732 by the head of the Audubon Washington; a commentary by Todd Myers, environmental director of Washington Policy Center; and an op-ed opposing the measure by a former senior adviser to the state Department of Natural Resources.

Here are links to the Yes on I-732 and the No on 732 websites.