Early in the new year, Democrats in the Washington State Senate intend to leverage their newly won majority to push hard on a climate policy that no U.S. state has managed to pass so far: a carbon tax.
“We fully intend to introduce a carbon tax and an investment strategy,” said Senator Reuven Carlyle, who became chairman of the energy committee following the November election, in an interview with MIT Technology Review. He hasn’t specified an intended fee yet, but said he’d like to see the tax revenue dedicated to renewable energy sources, grid modernization, transportation electrification, and climate mitigation for low-income communities, among other areas.
Some of these same states and legislators have proposed similar programs before, only to see them fail for lack of legislative or public support. But the White House’s regressive environmental policies, Democratic gains in the November election, and shifting public sentiments have improved “the prospects for actually passing some of these,” says Michael Wara, senior research scholar at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment.Read More