By David Flemming
When asked bluntly, even the most liberal voters hate carbon taxes. That was made evident in the state of Washington on Election Day, when nearly two million Washingtonians voted down a carbon tax dubbed “Ballot Initiative 1631.” Washington legislators reconsider the proposal in the next legislative session.
How does the Washington’s carbon tax compare to Vermont’s ESSEX carbon tax? ESSEX would start at $5/ton in 2019 and increase by $5/ton annually until reaching $40/ton in 2026. Washington’s carbon tax would start at $15/ton in 2020, and increase $2/ton annually until the state reaches it’s renewable energy goals.
While Washington’s carbon tax would be less expensive in 2021 and 2022, Vermont’s carbon tax would be more expensive for the following 8 years. Vermonters would be in a worse situation than Washingtonians if both states passed their respective carbon taxes
Like Vermonters, Washingtonians are generally more liberal than Americans at large. If even a left-leaning populace chose to reject a carbon tax, perhaps it’s time for Vermont’s most progressive legislators to reconsider their support for the ESSEX carbon tax.
David Flemming is a policy analyst for the Ethan Allen Institute. Reprinted with permission from the Ethan Allen Institute Blog.