Carbon Tax Bills Moving Forward UPDATED!

In Spite of the repeated rejection by the public of carbon taxes to offset climate change, legislators have moved several bills into the legislative process to bypass the public will and replace it with their own.

Most unfortunately, Senator Carlyle’s Carbon Taxing Bill, SB 5116 has passed the Senate Chamber on a strict party line basis with democrats voting Yea and Republicans voting Nay. It is on its way to be heard in the House, as it is scheduled for public hearing in the House Committee on Environment & Energy at 8:00 AM in anticipation of other legislative action on Tuesday, March 5th!

Please call your house representatives or the legislative hotline 800 562 6000 first thing on Monday morning if you oppose the “clean energy bill” SB 5116 as to be heard in the house Committee on Environment and Energy, this is a carbon tax bill.

Brief Summary of Engrossed Second Substitute Bill from legislative staff:
• Requires all electric utilities to eliminate from their allocation of electricity coal-fired resources by December 31, 2025.
• Requires each electric utility to make all retail sales of electricity greenhouse gas neutral by January 1, 2030.
• Sets a standard for each electric utility to meet 100 percent of its retail electric load using non-emitting and renewable resources by January 1, 2045. 
• Establishes an administrative penalty equal to $60 for each megawatt-hour for noncompliance, adjusted for inflation. 
• Amends the Utilities and Transportation Commission's ratemaking authority to include consideration of property acquired or constructed during the rate-effective period. 
• Requires electrical and gas companies to use the social cost of carbon for planning, evaluating, and acquiring all resources. 
• Amends and extends sales and use tax exemptions
• Adds federal incremental hydroelectricity as an eligible renewable resource under Initiative 937.

The credits, administrative penalties, and exemptions make this bill too expensive for consumers, creates a false market, and will make attaining the unattainable goals of the bill impossible as well as unnecessarily expensive.


By Cindy Alia, February 28, 2019.

In Spite of the repeated rejection by the public of carbon taxes to offset climate change, legislators have moved several bills into the legislative process to bypass the public will and replace it with their own.

Governor Inslee is desperate to wear the climate change crown in this nation and legislators are clamoring to do his will. 

The most critical bills making the most progress this session are the companion bills SB 5116 and HB 1211.  Call your legislators or the legislative hotline 800 562 6000 and give your opinion on these bills today!

Neither bill has progressed to the floor, but they are close to getting heard on the floor and it is important to have your voice heard just as it was when you voted against this repeatedly in the past.  Without public outcry the bills will pass.

Here are the perceived dangers of the bills; significant increases to consumer costs, the decarbonization of the electric producing sector needs to be technically feasible and fair to rural electric cooperatives. 

The Act establishes a social cost for carbon, an electric utility must consider the social cost of greenhouse gas emissions, and to facilitate broad, equitable, and efficient implementation of this act, a consumer-owned energy utility may enter into an agreement with a joint operating agency organized under chapter 43.52 25 RCW or other nonprofit organization to develop and implement a joint clean energy action plan in collaboration with other utilities. 

Many citizens are concerned major regional energy suppliers such as investor-owned utilities like Avista will have advantages that will disadvantage consumers as the bill contains very similar language as was found in the on-going Avista/Hydro sale debacle that was ultimately rejected by the Washington Utilities Commission as not meeting the standard of a “net public benefit”. 

All told the bills are grossly complicated and self-contradictory with added amendments and carve-outs.

Another bill that will damage your pocket book for the sake of unsubstantiated and unrealistic climate goals is HB 1110 and its companion SB 5412, the credit trading schemes in this bill will cost consumers and will not reach stated goals of meeting and beating California in virtue signaling scams.

You can read the bill here, it has not made it to the floor as yet, and calling 800 562 6000 and briefly stating your opinion on the bills would be an important step in effecting the outcome of this bill.

March 1, 2019