Yes, the I-1631 carbon fee will be paid by consumers, not energy companies

Seattle Times editorial columnist Brier Dudley makes an incontrovertible assertion in his piece arguing for a ‘no’ vote on I-1631. 

Whether you’re for or against the “fee,” know that oil companies won’t absorb the cost. They’ll pass it to consumers, whose cost of living will increase as housing, food, heating and transportation become more expensive.

He quotes Washington Research Council economist Kriss Sjoblom,

“It’s going to get passed on,” [Sjoblom] said.

The council projects what I-1631’s escalating tax will add to residents’ energy costs. Five years out, in 2023, it adds 18 to 20 cents per gallon to gasoline and 13 cents per therm of natural gas. That rises to 49 to 55 cents per gallon and 35.5 cents per therm in 2035.

We reported on the WRC analysis of I-1631 yesterday.
 
There’s really no dispute about what happens with these kinds of fees and taxes, As Dudley writes.

There’s a surplus of economic research on how energy taxes are passed on.

We recommend the Dudley column. Before voting for a tax, er, fee, it just makes sense to know who’s going to pay.