Washington Carbon Tax Could Raise Prices On Everything

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Posted by Andreas Hellmann on Tuesday, August 21st, 2018, 3:00 PM PERMALINK

Washington state residents could face higher prices on everything if a state carbon tax is imposed. A massive carbon tax -- Initiative 1631 -- is on the Washington state ballot. 

To be very clear: It's a tax that would raise the price of everyday household products.  

As Washington Trucking Associations President Frank Riordan noted:

“Look at anything in your office right now. I can point to where a truck brought it in somewhere. A truck brings it to the train, and a truck brings it off the train. When it comes off a ship, it goes onto a truck. Somewhere along the line, a truck has touched it.”

The carbon tax would make it tough for state trucking companies to stay in business:

“Trucking has always been a tight industry.” Frank Riordan said. “What most people don’t realize is even a good operating modern fleet like ours, we’re at six-miles-per-gallon. We buy many thousands of gallons. Adding 14 cents a gallon when you’re at a six-miles-a-gallon, and you can see what that breaks down to per mile."

Other countries have already experimented with a carbon tax, with terrible results. Carbon tax pushers were kicked out of office in Australian elections and in recent provincial elections in Ontario, Canada. 

Sheri Call, Executive Vice President of the Washington Trucking Associations, outlined the problems with a carbon tax in a recent op-ed in The Lens:

Voters will be considering Initiative 1631 – a carbon “fee” – when they fill out their ballots this Fall. This gives us an opportunity to talk about the essentiality of trucking in our lives and how increased costs for the industry will impact consumers.

Every consumer good that is manufactured, grown or imported at some point will spend time on a truck. A truck has some pretty basic primary costs to operate: equipment, labor and fuel.  Depending on the type of operation, fuel can account for about 1/3 of operating costs for a trucking company.

Cost is a major reason the members of the Washington Trucking Associations are opposed to the carbon ballot initiative. Where possible, the added cost of fuel due to a carbon “fee” will be passed along to consumers.

However, one problem we see with this is the fact that out of state companies who fuel elsewhere are not subject to the tax; they are exempt altogether.  In this scenario, out of state trucks are favored over the myriad trucking companies that are located here in Washington – those who employ Washington families and deliver the goods that keep our economic engine running.

All consumers of fuel will pay increased prices at the pump. Then they will pay again, whether they realize it or not, in the goods and services they buy.

Trucking companies are already doing everything they can to get maximum fuel economy from their trucks, that’s just good business sense. Trucks manufactured today are the cleanest they have ever been.  Our industry looks forward to investing in new, cleaner power technologies when the time comes, however, to penalize the industry now only puts us at a disadvantage by favoring out of state companies – and it will only make it harder for us to adapt.

This “fee” on carbon picks winners and losers” Washington trucking companies stand to lose, and with that so do consumers, as they will be burdened with yet another regressive statewide tax.

See also:

Tim Andrews: The Carbon Tax Was an Economic and Electoral Disaster in Australia -- A Cautionary Tale for the U.S. 

Scoop: Details of the Job Crushing Curbelo Carbon Tax Bill

Yikes: Curbelo's Carbon Tax Bill Provides "Travel Expenses" for UN-style "National Climate Commission"

Curbelo Carbon Tax Bill Pays "Experts and Consultants" Up to $164,200 Per Year

Curbelo's Carbon Tax Would Hike Household Energy Bills by $688

Curbelo's Carbon Tax Threatens 300% IRS Fines for "Any person who fails to comply"

You might lose your job due to Curbelo's carbon tax but don't worry, he'll "retrain" you

ATR Statement on the Passage of Scalise/McKinley Anti-Carbon-Tax Resolution

Hillary Clinton Memo Shows Carbon Tax Devastating to Low Income Households

Hillary's campaign manager on a carbon tax: "To be clear: it's lethal in the general, so I don't want to support one."

Center for American Progress Founder: "We have done extensive polling on a carbon tax. It all sucks."

Even Left-Leaning Washington State Voters Rejected a Carbon Tax

KEY VOTE: ATR Urges "YES" Vote on Scalise-McKinley Anti-Carbon Tax Resolution

41 Conservative Groups Support Scalise/McKinley Anti-Carbon Tax Resolution

Canadians Revolt Against Trudeau's Carbon Tax

Carbon Tax Pushers Beware: Vermont Republican Defeated Carbon-Tax-Supporting Democrat

Carbon Tax Pushers Beware: Australia's Carbon Tax Politicians Were Quickly Voted Out of Office

Photo Credit: Jerry Meaden

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