Midterms 2018: Energy Efficiency on the Ballot Donald Drohan

November 2nd, 2018


You may have heard that there’s a fairly important mid-term election being held on Tuesday. Most notable are the many Senate and House seats that are up for grabs. But don’t sleep on the various state ballot initiatives, the results of which are likely to have far-reaching consequences.

Whether it’s about scaling back fracking in Colorado, or curbing methane leaks in New Mexico, or banning offshore drilling in Florida, climate change is on the ballot Tuesday.

The most-watched, however, will be initiative 1631 in Washington State. The measure, which recently landed the endorsement of The New York Times Editorial Board, seeks to curb carbon production through fees on large producers of carbon. Washingtonians rejected a similar carbon tax initiative just two years ago, in part because the funds would be used on items other than climate change. In this version, the revenues can only be invested in climate projects, not on alternative government expenses or public programs,

If the initiative passes, the funds will be directed with a goal of reducing state emissions by 50 million metric tons by 2050. To put that in perspective, the reduction would be equal to taking 10.7 million cars off the road for a year, or avoiding consumption on roughly 5.6 billion gallons of gasoline.

It would also mark the first time a state has passed a “carbon tax,” and hopefully in victory Washington will have developed a roadmap for other states to follow.

Go Vote on Tuesday!