The editorial cartoon featured in the Jan. 19 edition mocking Governor Inslee’s proposals to mitigate climate change is terribly short-sighted.
It’s high time to consider the true cost of carbon emissions to our society. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently assessed the costs of weather related disasters for 2017 and the amount was a whopping $306 billion.
These catastrophic events are clearly made more likely by climate change driven by human activity via burning fossil fuels. Not included in the above price tag is the ongoing impact on human health which includes spread of infectious disease, heat related illness and increased risk of respiratory and cardiovascular illness.
Considering both the financial and health impacts of climate change the governor’s rather modest proposed price on emissions of $20 per ton of carbon dioxide looks quite reasonable. Emissions fees or taxes need to be structured to lessen the impact on low-income persons and SB 6203 fits that bill.
Funds from this pollution tax will be spent largely on projects aimed at reducing pollution or the impact of the same with special preference given to low income communities.
It is far better to tax something we don’t want like pollution than something we do want like home ownership or sales or income. Hats off to Senator Palumbo for being one of the sponsors of this legislation.
Perhaps if we are successful at the state level here in Washington Senator Cantwell, Senator Murray and Representative DelBene will be inspired to take similar action in D.C.