Rep. Shelly Short says low and middle income families hit the worst with governor’s new energy tax scheme

Rep. Shelly Short, R-Addy, and ranking Republican on the House Environment Committee, took issue with Gov. Inslee’s proposed energy tax scheme today, saying it relied on sketchy science, limited studies, broad assumptions and would drastically impact low and middle income families in Washington state.  She released the following statement:

“The governor’s proposals today are a continuation of the ideology he espoused in his transportation package yesterday and confirm his desire to give government more control over Washington citizens’ jobs, wallets and lives.

“He says he wants to place an energy tax on industries and businesses that produce carbon, assuming this is the goose that laid the golden egg. But there is no goose. There is no golden egg. Families and individuals will bear the brunt of the burden of his proposals as industries pass these new costs on to consumers. Those feeling the financial pinch the most will be low income families who pay a higher percentage of their limited incomes on nondiscretionary expenses like fuel for their cars and energy to heat their homes. His policies show a serious disconnect from the free market system and basic economics 101.

“We’ve heard several ideas from the governor floating around Olympia. We’ve heard ‘revenue neutral,’ we’ve heard ‘spreading it out.’ But what’s troubling is the fact we have no idea – and neither does the governor – how much his policies will cost; how much money will make it back into the state’s economy; and who will be on the hook if his numbers don’t pencil out. Will Washington taxpayers be forced to pay the final bill when his grand ‘energy tax’ scheme doesn’t work?

“There are ways to bring green energy industries to our state without taking existing revenues out of the economy. If you want to incentivize green businesses, fine. But let’s do it without placing an additional financial burden on our struggling individuals and families.

“We need to remind folks that if you completely eliminated Washington state – every automobile, every plane, every industry, every smoke stack, every forest fire, person and animal – the net effect on global carbon emissions would be LESS than three-tenths of one percent.

“At the end of the day, this is just the beginning. This is another step in placing a Washington D.C.-based big government agenda in front of every other priority in Washington state, which will come at the expense of jobs, our economy and our state’s competitive advantage.”


Washington State House Republican Communications