Washington State was set to pass the first state wide tax on carbon emissions, Initiative 1631 made it all the way on to the state ballot and considering the liberal leanings of Washingtonians in general it was widely expected to pass, but surprisingly it didn’t.
Kate Schimel, associate editor at High Country News did an indepth investigation on the reasons behind the failure of Initiative 1631 and what that means for other legislative efforts to address climate change. For the most part there wasn’t any particular single reason that anyone can point to, although the fact that the fossil fuel industry spent $31 million to kill the tax did not help. Reading Schimel’s article is absolutely essential to help understand people’s mindset as to why they might have voted against the tax – What Killed Washington’s Carbon Tax.
However, if you want the quick and dirty conclusion without the full read, two quotes from the end give a nice summary and food for thought:
“The fundamentals are there, but the moral urgency, the sense that life after oil is a real possibility, the feeling that anything useful can be done — those aren’t.”
“The big lesson is that we need to seek the root cause of our worries, clarify our fears and to face them head on. Golden thinks the first step is to regain a sense that our collective actions can actually affect the course of climate change.”