Can you say “fix I-732 in the legislature” 10 times fast?
By the No On 732 Team
We bet you can’t. But you know who has a ton of practice saying it? Yoram Bauman and the proponents of I-732.
From the beginning, I-732 proponents realized their rushed initiative had numerous problems. Although they promised revenue neutrality, they failed by nearly $1 billion. And we all know I-732 was never intended to be revenue neutral to families, farms, and businesses. In fact, I-732 misses the mark so badly, nearly every environmental group in Washington opposes it. So does Gov. Jay Inslee.
As problems with I-732 mount, Yoram Bauman and CarbonWA have a new message: “We’ll fix it in the Legislature.” This, by the way, is the same Legislature that CarbonWA says is so gridlocked it couldn’t act on carbon reduction in the first place.
At public events, debates, forums, and at newspaper editorial boards, the response to I-732’s problems is always “pass it now and fix it later.”
That’s not good policymaking and it’s not the right approach as we seek to further reduce carbon emissions in our state.
Here are just a handful of the times Mr. Bauman and CarbonWA have side-stepped questions about high energy costs and the real issues with I-732. The group continues to ask voters to support what they know is a deeply flawed proposal, saying all of its problems can be fixed after the fact and by somebody else.
Seattle Times Carbon-tax initiative’s backers say it’s flawed, needs legislative fix (2/25/16)
“Supporters of an initiative to create a carbon tax in Washington are asking legislators to consider fixing flaws in the measure. But the Legislature appears unlikely to oblige, leaving I-732 facing political headwinds.”
Seattle Weekly Carbon-Cutting I-732 Would Deliver a Tax “Windfall” to Boeing. Should We Care? (9/21/16)
“Both Ryan and Sightline suggested that the legislature could rewrite I-732 to eliminate the tax break.”
The Spokesman-Review Nation’s first carbon tax on the ballot in Washington (10/3/16)
However, if Kaiser can demonstrate that it isn’t getting an equitable break in B&O taxes, “we will go with them to Olympia to fix the policy,” Bauman said.
Seattle Times State carbon-tax initiative pencils out nicely for Boeing (10/7/16)
“Bauman urges voters to pass the initiative for its effect on climate change. And if the tax swap turns out especially beneficial to Boeing, he said, “that’s something the Legislature could come in and address down the road.”
“Our labor allies and I have sat across the table from Mr. Bauman and CarbonWA many times at meetings about I-732,” said Brandon Houskeeper, with the Association of Washington Business. “They consistently put the responsibility to fix I-732’s problems on the Legislature and urge voters to pass it despite its many faults.”
I-732 is Exhibit A as to why you can’t solve complex policy problems with initiatives. They’re inevitably poorly drafted solutions that bring about unintended consequences and harm the state. There is no shortage of proactive measures the state can take to reduce carbon emissions. Measures such as the recently approved multi-modal transportation package that invests in infrastructure and congestion relief. That’s the way we move forward together on tough issues like addressing climate change.