Washington Voters to Decide on a Carbon Fee

Refinery in Washington.

Dana; Flickr

Refinery in Washington.

Angeliq Rigby, Reporter

In November, voters in Washington state will decide if they want to pass a law that will make companies pay for contributing to climate change by burning fossil fuels. The proposal is called Initiative 1631, and if approved, by the 2020s, businesses will have to pay $15 for every metric ton of carbon dioxide they produce, with the prices increasing every year. 

The law is expected to make about $1 billion every year, and the funds will go to environmental organizations. According to Time Magazine, “Washington would use 70% of the funds for clean air and energy investments, 25% for water and forests, and 5% for healthy communities.” Many oil companies, as well as some people that make up the workforce, are against this proposal because it will cause gas prices to increase and may put jobs at oil companies at risk. Despite these worries, there are still many working-class people that support the law because of the benefits it will have on the environment; many even argue that passing this law will create more jobs. A carbon tax was proposed back in 2016, however, voters rejected it.