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Todd Myers: Washington State Carbon Tax Defeat Shows Environmentalists' Hypocrisy

November 29, 2016

On the November 8, election, Washington state voters rejected what would have been the first in the nation tax on carbon dioxide emissions. Todd Myers explains how national environmental groups joined with the business community to defeat the carbon tax.

Todd Myers, director of the environment program at the Washington Policy Center in Washington State, followed I-732 the Washington State carbon tax initiative from its creation, through the petition drive to get in on the ballot, to its ultimate defeat.

Few were surprised the business community opposed the tax as it would increase their energy costs, making it difficult for them to compete with out of state and international businesses, but many were shocked when national environmental organizations intervened to opposed the tax. As Myers explains, these groups showed the hypocrisy behind their claims global warming driven by rising carbon dioxide levels is the greatest threat to the planet. Environmentalists rejected the tax because it was revenue neutral, rather than giving more money and power to government, and to green energy programs and other pet environmental programs of theirs, it would have given a tax cut to consumers and some businesses. In the end, environmentalists showed they care more about money than they do the about the climate.

H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D., is a Heartland senior fellow on environmental policy and the managing editor of Environment & Climate News.