The Seattle Times reports that a major boost to an as-yet unwritten climate change initiative.
California billionaire Tom Steyer is getting involved again in Washington politics, putting his money behind a planned 2016 ballot initiative to fight global warming.
…Details of the initiative have not been released.
The Alliance tells the Times the details are coming together and a measure will be filed early next year. The proposed initiative to the people may then join Initiative 732, an initiative to the Legislature that reached its signature-gathering goal earlier this month. Carbon Washington, I-732 sponsor, explains its proposal here.
Last summer the Times wrote about divisions among environmental organizations about the I-732 revenue neutral carbon tax.
As a “revenue-neutral” plan, I-732 would not fill state government coffers with cash. While the carbon tax would raise an estimated $1.7 billion a year — and cost the average family an estimated $300 a year in higher gas and energy prices — it would give away an equivalent amount back to consumers, mostly through a full percentage point cut in the state sales tax.
That differs from cap-and-trade legislation offered up by Inslee and backed by the alliance in this year’s legislative session. That plan would have raised more than $1 billion a year from fees on carbon and directed the proceeds to the state education budget, transportation projects, affordable housing and other programs.
While the alliance’s 2016 initiative has not been revealed, it’s clear that backers don’t agree with I-732’s revenue-neutral approach.
In the coming months we’ll doubtless hear much about the competing measures.