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Know the West

Suspicious spending


Thanks for your article on Initiative 1631 (“What Killed Washington’s Carbon Tax?HCN, 1/21/19). You touched with only a few sentences on the reasons for its defeat, however. Most supporters and certainly the framers of this initiative have come to realize the importance of the following in trying to pass restrictions on carbon emissions. Any fees or tax (call it whatever) will and must be passed on to the consumer of the products the emitters produce, and this must be realized and accepted by the electorate. The idea that we can just make polluters pay is unrealistic, and any knowledgeable voter will know this. Meanwhile, decisions on exactly where and how much of this money was to be spent were to be left with a non-elective and non-accountable commission. Most voters are suspicious of this type of spending. I am as “green” as anyone but voted to defeat 1631, as I thought it was poorly written. It should have been thought out better, given the experience of the past attempts and defeats of similar measures in Washington and Oregon.

Robert Pilger
Port Orchard, Washington