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Anne Elk
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PostFri Oct 19, 2018 11:15 am 
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This might be skirting the rules re politics, since it involves legislation. But I know many members are concerned about global warming, glacier melt, etc. and those of us who've been heading into the mountains for years notice the impacts on the terrain, and flora.

So a PSA, I'd like to share Cliff Mass's blog post about the proposed carbon tax. "Just the facts."  Best analysis I've encountered.

http://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2018/10/if-worry-about-climate-change-and-care.html

If Tom wants to call foul and delete it, that ok by me.  Maybe just a lock?   winksmile.gif

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RodF
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PostFri Oct 19, 2018 12:25 pm 
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This is definitely "outdoor related" and, although I-1631 is on the ballot and it is certainly political, Cliff Mass' criticism of its merits is non-partisan.  This is clearly appropriate within Stewardship.

I very much wish to vote for a clean carbon tax that would support education, health, public safety and public transportation.  That would go straight into the state general fund, not into this new bureaucracy of programs of "feel good" programs of highly dubious effectiveness, based on BC's experience.

My own State Rep. Steve Tharinger (D) agrees with Cliff Mass: No on I-1631.  We can do better.

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DIYSteve
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PostFri Oct 19, 2018 12:26 pm 
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The Stranger has a series of articles re Cliff Mass Media's doublespeak re climate change policy.

RodF wrote:
We can do better.

Or we can do nothing. This ballot measure is a binary choice.
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Hutch
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PostFri Oct 19, 2018 12:39 pm 
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Cliff's "facts" are really misleading in this. I've posted this as a comment to his blog but he refuses to allow it to be posted:

Quote:
Sure, there isn't anything in 1631 that explicitly calls for investments in forest projects in Ellensburg, light rail in King County or water projects in Yakima, but why is it the initiative's responsibility to be that specific when there are so many necessary investments and only a limited amount of revenue? What level of specificity in the spending plan would placate you? Climate change is a dynamic, changing phenomena - why would it be smart public policy to write a 20 year plan for specific investments? These projects will have to make the case for themselves for why they’re the best use of revenue. And none of your first three bullet points are precluded from being funded by revenue from the measure.

Revenue is explicitly dedicated to forest and water projects, including prescribed burns that can protect rural communities from wildfires, as the Seattle Times covered just this weekend: https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/environment/on-a-forested-ridge-by-roslyn-crews-bring-fire-back-to-the-land/

Revenue can go to transit investments, including electric buses that mean less diesel exhaust in our air and fewer cars on our roads.: https://www.theurbanist.org/2018/10/10/top-urbanist-action-back-the-i-1631-carbon-pollution-fee-rally-tonight/

Revenue can go to water storage projects like the Horse Heaven Hills water project in the Yakima Valley, according to the campaign's map: https://yeson1631.org/map/

Check out that map for more examples of the investments I-1631 could make to mitigate some of the real impacts we're seeing from climate change.

Also, it’s pretty rich to hear you call out “special interest groups” in one breath and then turn around and criticize the measure for not funding more scientific research like the kind that you do at the University of Washington.

You feel a revenue-neutral policy like I-732 (which got the support of 1 out of 5 Republicans, by the way) and BC’s carbon tax (which after only negligible decreases in emissions the province recently changed to a revenue-positive program much like I-1631: https://www.sightline.org/2017/09/27/bc-is-increasing-its-carbon-tax/) are better policies. We get it. But let’s at least be intellectually honest.
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PostFri Oct 19, 2018 1:17 pm 
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Excellent post, Hutch.  I generally appreciate Cliff Mass's blog, but I think he's wrong on this one.

One thing about specificity in ballot initiatives: once it passes, those specifics cannot be changed even slightly, except through another ballot measure. So if the measure laid out all the funding recipients in great detail (as Cliff thinks it should), and then a year later problems emerge with that plan (as they inevitably would--  bad actors, shifting priorities, revised needs, etc), any adjustments would require another ballot measure.  Not an effective way to run a program! In fact, this is one of the main things that killed the monorail proposal back in 2005: after four separate ballot measures approving it, it became locked into flawed plans, with no breathing room to make it work. (As you can probably guess, I was a bit disappointed by that outcome).
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PostFri Oct 19, 2018 1:42 pm 
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As a unwritten rule (well, technically posted and buried in some locked GW thread) we ask all GW stuff go in one thread.  Otherwise people just start sawing the same sawdust and chasing their tails debating the same thing in multiple places.  I'll leave this one open but once it devolves into the same GW debate it will be merged into the main GW thread.
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Anne Elk
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PostFri Oct 19, 2018 2:31 pm 
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Thanks, Tom, I was thinking maybe it belonged there too.  Ok with me to merge it.

Per points already made; I have less a problem with the spending per se as the fact that it exempts the biggest corporate emitters and is a consumption tax that falls more heavily on those with modest and fixed incomes. That's a total non-starter for me, given this state has the worst tax structure in the country. Those who can afford it buy Teslas and Priuses, and the poor working stiffs get hit twice: once with the carbon tax, and again when the state decides it doesn't have enough money because people are driving less, and raise the gas tax again.  Lots of folks have no choice but to drive.

Cliff Mass wrote:
A group of left-leaning social action and environmental groups, big labor, and native American tribes wrote I-1631, without any moderate or conservative support.   I-1631 creates a carbon fee whose proceeds would be distributed by a committee appointed by our Democratic governor, with substantial portions of the money hardwired to left-leaning groups.

I consider myself fairly left, but pragmatic enough to know that this is a recipe for a lot of mis-spent $$, and not something that has a prayer of being adopted nationally.  You just have to live in Seattle (and been here for 20-30 years) to appreciate the waste that idealists without real plans can make of a budget. Better to go back to the drawing board.

Maybe it's a function of age and remembering the "golden age" of the environmental movement (Nixon era) to know that we've lost more than we've saved, and lost things that are a lot more objective and visible that something on the scale of climate change. I don't think that humanity has the collective mental machinery and political will to deal with it.

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PostFri Oct 19, 2018 3:32 pm 
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Anne Elk wrote:
"...a consumption tax that falls more heavily on those with modest and fixed incomes. That's a total non-starter for me, given this state has the worst tax structure in the country. Those who can afford it buy Teslas and Priuses, and the poor working stiffs get hit twice: once with the carbon tax, and again when the state decides it doesn't have enough money because people are driving less, and raise the gas tax again.  Lots of folks have no choice but to drive."

The reality that many in local government refuse to accept is the fact that you cannot legislate or tax people out of their single-occupant automobiles.
It doesn't matter how many bike lanes you put in, or how many Sound Transits you build, or how many parking spaces in downtown Seattle you eliminate, you are still going to have millions of people driving cars.
The impact of higher fuel costs on driving habits is short-lived at best, as has been clearly demonstrated over the course of the last several decades.
As noted, this is just another hit on those who can least afford it, and it will more than likely go down in flames.

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treeswarper
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PostFri Oct 19, 2018 3:45 pm 
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No is not necessarily a bad thing.  Just voting for the first attempt at a solution for the climate because "something must be done" is a pretty poor way to do business.    It's kind of the same thinking as the homeless debacle--just keep throwing money at it with no accountability or results.

I am damn careful when it comes to any ballot initiative.

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PostFri Oct 19, 2018 6:47 pm 
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I don’t know how I’m going to vote. I’d scroll through the first few Comments to the article to Reply by Jim Lazar.

I doubt if there is a person with more knowledge of energy legislation in WA State than Lazar.

Best.

Pyrites

I must say I’d prefer the B.C. model. The one I despise is cap and trade.

P.
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Anne Elk
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PostFri Oct 19, 2018 7:20 pm 
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Pyrites wrote:
The one I despise is cap and trade.

up.gif  up.gif  That's for sure!

Ski wrote:
...many in local government refuse to accept is the fact that you cannot legislate or tax people out of their single-occupant automobiles.

Most modern American lifestyles just won't work without them. Ask anyone with kids how they'd manage dropping kids at daycare, then getting to work on time, then sports practice, the doctor, etc etc only using public transit.  I don't know how they do domestic life in Europe, but even with Seattle's so-called "urban villages", few except young singletons can make the car-less life work. At least that's the way it seems to me.

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treeswarper
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PostSat Oct 20, 2018 9:22 am 
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Anne Elk wrote:
I don't know how they do domestic life in Europe, but even with Seattle's so-called "urban villages", few except young singletons can make the car-less life work. At least that's the way it seems to me.

Cargo bikes?  Seriously, I make a lot of trips on my e-bike or walk now that I've moved "into town".  The cargo e-bikes look like they'd be handy for families. 

Don't know about Europe, but on the west coast, the closer you are to one of the big cities, the spendier the rent or house price is.  The folks who can't afford that live farther away and need cars for all the reasons already mentioned.

My brain says that will not change until the cities become undesirable places to live.

It is getting better.  Good ol' Lewis County has a county wide bus service, and Okanogan County has one also.  These are both uber-conservative anti-tax counties.  I wish there were trains to ride on the already existing but seldom used tracks here.  That would be a good way to get to Spokane or Wenatchee or.....shudder..... eek.gif Seattle.

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RodF
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PostSat Oct 20, 2018 4:26 pm 
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Has the state analyzed carbon fee revenue loss due to WA drivers crossing state lines for cheaper fuel in OR and ID?

Today, WA gas tax is 18.4 cents/gallon higher than OR and 16.5 cents/gallon higher than ID.  Many Vancouver residents buy gas in Portland, many in Spokane Valley in Post Falls, Clarkston in Lewiston, etc.  Also, Yakama tribal members ship wholesale fuel from OR to evade the WA gas tax.

Under I-1631, that will increase by 14 cents/gallon in 2020, quadrupling to 56 cents/gallon in 15 years, so the difference will grow to over 72 cents/gallon.

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Anne Elk
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PostSat Oct 20, 2018 7:47 pm 
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RodF wrote:
Has the state analyzed carbon fee revenue loss due to WA drivers crossing state lines for cheaper fuel in OR and ID?

Wow, Rod, you just triggered a "flashback" memory to the last years I was living in my birthplace, a New York border town. Back in the late 70's-1980, during the almost now-forgotten oil crisis, we used to make trips across the border to Ontario to gas up.  Hard to believe gas was ever cheaper in Canada, but it was.  No recollection of the exchange rate then, or the price difference.  Kind of amazing - those good old days of low cross-border scrutiny. Hard to believe that ever existed either, compared to what we deal with now.

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PostSun Oct 21, 2018 7:35 am 
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Cliff Mass made a fool out of himself on a blog this summer denying that climate change has caused changes in wildfires. He tried to argue that the number of wildfires has not changed and even in that misleading argument he cut off his data graph at 2010. He was making the same baloney as Trump in responding to the California wildfires and statements by the head of Calfire.
There were other obvious flaws in that blog as well.

What the head of Calfire said is that the size of wildfires and their intensity is increasing and on that there is no debate - statistics don't lie on acreage burned since about 2000. Fire ecologists agree on these changes because there is nothing to disagree about.

Mass kowtowed to the energy sector on climate change and that has happened on a number of his other political posts. He does no Washington citizen any favors with his disingenuous statements regarding climate change.
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