Better late that never, here are some key readings and such about the I-732 carbon tax ballot measure campaign in Washington State in 2016, plus some other readings.
1. For academic papers relating to the campaign, see my list of academic papers about all this.
2. Guides for other states:
- Brookings Institution paper by Adele Morris, Yoram Bauman, and David Bookbinder from 2016: “State-level carbon taxes: Options and opportunities for policymakers”.
- Carbon Tax Center paper from 2017 with a 2-pager on all 50 states: “Opportunities for carbon taxes at the state level” by Yoram Bauman and Charles Komanoff.
3. Here is Seattle Weekly‘s brilliant cartoon explanation of I-732: “WTF *Is* I-732???”
4. On the (much) longer side, here are two very long articles (approx. 5000 words each) from October 2016 about I-732: “Opposition to Washington’s historic carbon tax is coming from the unlikeliest of sources” by Natasha Geiling in Think Progress and “The left vs. a carbon tax” by David Roberts in Vox. They both cover similar ground; I recommend the Think Progress post because IMHO David Roberts is a dishonest journalist. (Having said that, I don’t think his piece on I-732 is dishonest.)
5. Wonky analyses of I-732:
- Three-part series from Sightline Institute about I-732: Part 1 (with a good introductory note from Sightline ED Alan Durning), Part 2 (which argues that “I-732 is revenue neutral, to the best of anyone’s ability to forecast it” and that “the ‘revenue hole’ case is a red herring”), and Part 3 (which argues that I-732 would be “the biggest improvement in the progressivity of Washington’s state tax system in 40 years”). Note that all three of these pieces were published in August 2016, which IMHO was much too late to be of much value in addressing left-wing opposition to I-732.
- Three-part series by Yoram/CarbonWA with wonky analysis of why “Carbon Taxes Are Even Better Than You Think”: Part 1: Transportation; then Part 2: Electricity; then Part 3: Social Justice.
6. Editorial boards and other prominent voices:
- Washington Post editorial from Oct 27, 2016: “The left’s opposition to a carbon tax shows there’s something deeply wrong with the left.”
- Washington Conservation Voters recommends a No vote on I-732. So does the FUSE Progressive Voters’ Guide. So does Van Jones.
- Naomi Klein, “The carbon tax on the ballot in Washington State is not the right way to deal with global warming”, The Nation, Nov 4 2016: “it would be a disastrous precedent that could set back the climate justice movement for a decade—time that we simply can’t afford to lose.” This article also focuses on the tax breaks for manufacturers in I-732 without mentioning the sales tax cut or the 25% of the federal Earned Income Tax Credit for low-income working families.
- Climate scientist Jim Hansen recommends a Yes vote on I-732.
- The Stranger and the Seattle Weekly (Seattle’s two alt-weeklies) both recommend a Yes vote on I-732. Four members of The Stranger’s editorial board oppose this decision so strongly that they write a blog post about it.
- The Seattle Times editorial board recommends a No vote on I-732, despite endorsing the idea of a revenue-neutral carbon tax in an editorial on Dec 21 2014.
- The Olympian editorial board recommends a Yes vote on I-732; see also their follow-up editorial in 2017.
- Yoram/CarbonWA open letter to the environmental community from November 2014.
- Yoram/CarbonWA open letter to the Western States Petroleum Association from August 2014 (link broken but start mid-way down this page for an emailed version of this).
8. Environmental Justice issues
- Movement for Black Lives platform (link broken but see Wikipedia). Calls to “remove harmful tax breaks and tax undesirable activities instead”, including:
- “Taxing ‘bads’ not ‘goods’: shift from sales taxes to taxing externalities such as environmental damage, and make this approach income-sensitized to hold low-income people harmless”
- “Expand the earned income tax credit”.
- “Why the left doesn’t want a carbon tax (or at least not this one)” by Kate Aronoff, In These Times, Nov 3 2016: “Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza said the I-732 ‘prescribes solutions on our behalf, by ignoring what we have been calling for for many years,’ including green jobs and a just transition away from fossil fuels. She also accused Bauman of ‘blackwashing,’ referencing—in part—his suggestion that aspects of I-732 align with the Movement for Black Lives’ platform.”
9. On the I-1631 campaign in 2018: “Washington votes no on a carbon tax — again” by David Roberts in Vox. The original title of this article (which came out in Sept 2018) was “A Green New Deal is on the ballot in Washington State this year”.
10. On my efforts in Utah, see Clean The Darn Air.