Global Warming: Environmentalists were hoping to score a huge victory in Washington state with a statewide tax on CO2 emissions. Alas, even liberals in Washington don’t believe climate change is that big a threat.
Before the election, glowing stories in the press talked about Washington “taking up the fight” on climate change after President Donald Trump dropped out of the Paris climate deal. The state would make history. It would be a “bellwether,” and would start a trend across the country.
The initiative proposed a $15 tax on each ton of carbon emissions in the state starting in 2020, with the tax rate climbing each year. It would have cost families in the state nearly $1,000 a year by 2035.
Keep in mind that the proposed carbon tax was a tiny baby step toward what environmentalists’ claim will be needed to avoid a worldwide climate catastrophe. The United Nations says we’d need a global carbon tax of up to $5,500 to achieve that.
Washington voters rejected even this minimalist step toward fighting what a large majority of them claim to believe is an existential threat to humanity.
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Think about it this way. Washington is a deep blue state where Trump got less than 37% of the vote in 2016. Only six states in the nation were more anti-Trump.
Yet 56% of Washington voters rejected the CO2 tax. Only three counties in the state — Jefferson, King (where Seattle is located), and tiny San Juan — voted for the tax.
Deep Green State
This is also a deep green state.
According to a 2016 survey, more than 80% of its residents “are sure climate change is occurring.” More than two thirds (69%) say they support the state’s taking action to reduce CO2 emissions.
But when it came time for these voters to put their money where their mouths are, they snapped their purses shut.
Washington state was a bellwether, as it turns out. It showed how so many of those who wring their hands about “climate change” don’t actually want to do anything about it.
After all, if they really believed what climate alarmists are saying — that catastrophic warming is ahead unless the entire world takes drastic actions to reduce CO2 emissions immediately — they’d do anything to stop it.
Arizona Says No
Meanwhile, in Arizona, voters soundly rejected a high-profile attempt to require state utilities to get 50% of their electricity from renewable sources like wind and solar. (Today, 13% of the state’s energy is from renewables, most of it from hydroelectric dams.)
Billionaire environmental activist Tom Steyer poured millions of dollars into that initiative. Fully 70% of Arizona voters opposed it.
Of course, these defeats won’t stop environmentalists from trying.
But if they can’t convince a liberal state like Washington that climate change is an urgent threat, what hope do they think they’ll have in the rest of the country?
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