My faith community believes in authentic development, which offers a direction for progress that respects human dignity and the limits of material growth. Humans are causing climate change, but the impacts are not felt equally across our planet; some nations and even areas of our state are experiencing more adverse effects than others. Industry, the single biggest carbon emitter, pays little for their pollution, but makes the biggest profit. I believe this isn’t fair. Gov. Inslee wants Washington to lead in lowering carbon emission, making polluters pay, with a cap-and-trade plan. Over 100 industry polluters together would pay $1 billion a year, to be invested in education ($380 million), transportation ($400 million), tax rebates for low income ($100 million), as well as affordable housing, manufacturing and forestry. A self-described “climate agnostic,” Sen. Doug Ericksen is courted by big oil lobbyist. I believe Ericksen will try to stop the cap-and-trade bill. He cites the uncertain impacts for the economy. But a study completed in September by the state’s Office of Fiscal Management shows there would be very little impact to the economy from the governor’s plan. More importantly, I believe it’s too expensive not too. We are the ones that will pay; with ocean acidification, less water for agriculture from droughts, poor health and flood and fire damage (since 1990 fire damage costs have gone from $4.5 million to $140 million a year). I believe polluters should pay!
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