Is It Good That the Carbon Emissions Tax Didn’t Pass? How will this affect future generations?
November 16, 2018  //  By:   //  Opinions  //  Comments are off

On Tuesday, November 6th, Washington voters were presented with initiative I-1631 to combat the growing carbon footprint of our state. As the ballots rolled in, the voters turned out to reject the proposed carbon fee initiative. However, voters do not realize the impact of not passing the carbon emissions tax could have on us in the future. Everyday, we are producing more and more carbon into the atmosphere and it will not be long until a detrimental crisis is upon us.

The The total votes since Tuesday evening, was 56.3 percent of voters against the initiative and 43.7 percent supporting it. This is the third time the initiative has been proposed to voters in Washington. The proposal was set to charge fossil fuel companies $15 per ton of carbon released into the atmosphere. The fee would increase $2 every year until 2035 in hopes to decrease the amount of carbon emissions in the atmosphere. The state was planning on using the money collected, to support energy efficient projects, green jobs, public transportation, and much more. The initiative would have been the first in the nation to create a carbon fee. The faith of the government being able to help in making a cleaner environment failed.

What is going to be the cost of rejecting this initiative? According to environmental scientists, the continuation of increased amounts in carbon emissions could lead to the likelihood of more extreme weather such as hurricanes, wildfires, and tornadoes, as the climate changes. Those opposing the initiative warned Washington residents of the impact it could have on families, farmers, and small businesses. Many rely on fossil fuels to get places, and for a cheaper alternative to energy efficient transportation. Although, in the long run, the continuation of carbon emissions is going to impact our future generations. Carbon can affect people’s health as more oxygen is extracted and replaced with carbon. The largest polluters in the State of Washington are currently not paying taxes on released carbon into the environment which everyone is affected by. Pollution from carbon has been linked to cancer, respiratory ailments, cardiovascular disease, asthma, and premature death. According to King County and the Washington Medical Society, diesel exhausts accounts for 78% of the potential cancer risks in the Pudget Sound area. If we tax oil companies and better the health of our people, we will reduce millions in health care costs.

Not only will it improve our health, but it will create more jobs. By encouraging the development of green jobs, the initiative would create over 40,000 more jobs. What people don’t know, is that green jobs will are becoming the future. Our society is moving slowly away from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources.

In the long run, initiative I-1631 is going to benefit our State, what many of the voters do not know, is the impacts carbon emissions can have on us. We need to educate others on the harmful and disastrous effects carbon emissions can have on our environment, climate, and people. “Climate change is going nowhere and neither are we,” Governor Inslee of Washington State said. The fight to combat global climate change has not stopped and efforts are only increasing.

About the Author :

Brianna Bruyere is a senior at Bainbridge High School. She enjoys writing for the Spartan Standard because it allows her to know what is going on in our world and helps to better her writing skills. It’s a different experience for her to be the one writing the story instead of the one reading it. When Brianna is not writing for the Spartan Standard, she is participating in Key Club, Link Crew, and NHS. She also has a job at Pacific Fusion Martial Arts as the Director of First Impressions. Brianna has two younger brothers; one of who you might know Mark Bruyere (Junior at the high school) and James Bruyere (7th grade at Woodward). She enjoys outdoor activities too such as skiing, hiking, paddleboarding, biking, etc.