Carbon Tax Bill Dies in Washington Legislature
Good news for coal country...for now.
No thanks to Montana's Democratic Governor Steve Bullock, the Washington State Legislature has effectively killed a bill that would enact a carbon tax.
The proposal was met with opposition from Montana's Attorney General Tim Fox (R-MT), Senator Steve Daines (R-MT), and Congressman Greg Gianforte who all stood up for high paying coal jobs in places like Colstrip. The bill also would have raised gas prices in Washington state.
Fox, along with Wyoming's Attorney General, wrote:
The effect of SSB 6203 goes far beyond environmental concerns in Washington. The United States Constitution forbids states from regulating interstate commerce. Also, Washington’s effort to require out-of-state entities to comply with the statute’s exemption provisions likely conflicts with the federal Clean Air Act. Finally, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has exclusive authority to regulate the transmission and sale of electric energy in interstate commerce, without regard to the source of production.
While Gov. Bullock was silent, Daines and Gianforte urged the Washington State Legislature to reject the carbon tax, adding:
Any increase in prices due to taxes imposed by this bill could have detrimental effects on Montana families. They should not have to suffer again because of the actions of a government body nearly one thousand miles away, in a legislature in which they have no voice. This bill will only end up hurting Montana families. We respectfully ask the committee to take into consideration the harmful impacts of this bill on communities outside their own during the upcoming hearing, and further ask that the committee reject the bill if it comes up for consideration.