For years, Governor Inslee and some lawmakers in Olympia have suggested Washington’s air could become cleaner if energy producers and polluters were taxed and penalized. However, a Republican state representative thinks there’s a better way to create a clean energy environment: Incentivize! Washington House Republicans’ John Sattgast reports.
SATTGAST: Representative Richard DeBolt says instead of using a stick to beat energy producers and businesses into creating a carbon-free energy future, he has a plan that’s full of carrots.
DeBOLT: “This bill is about reducing the amount of carbon in our atmosphere. Reducing the amount of carbon in Washington state. But using an incentive – using a carrot, rather than a stick”
SATTGAST: DeBolt has introduced House Bill 1226, known as the “Carbon Free Washington Act.” The bill would allow a public utility tax deduction for utilities to transition to clean energy production. It would also provide a sales tax exemption for labor, services, technologies and innovations used to offset or eliminate greenhouse gas emissions.
DeBOLT: (:13) “And if we encourage innovation, we can start reducing pollution tomorrow. If we pass a cap-and-tax bill, alls we’re doing is allowing polluters to pay to pollute, and we’re not reducing anything, but raising money for our coffers.”
SATTGAST: During a public hearing Monday, DeBolt said his measure would make the marketplace bear the costs, rather than taxpayers. The Chehalis Republican said the proposal would keep taxes and consumer electricity rates low, but incentivize industry to use clean energy resources for the future.
The measure is under consideration in the House Environment and Energy Committee. John Sattgast, Olympia.