Keep Washington Competitive Cautions Governor, Legislature on Cap-and-Trade Proposal

January 28, 2015

OLYMPIA — Keep Washington Competitive (KWC), a coalition of business and labor groups working in support of competitiveness issues in Washington state, today released the following statement regarding HB1314, a bill to implement components of the Governor’s controversial cap-and-trade proposal that is being considered this week by the House Environment Committee.

Kris Johnson, president of the Association of Washington Business, said employers share the governor’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but they differ on how to reach it. “Washington has worked hard to achieve one of the cleanest economies in the country,” Johnson said. “Carbon emissions in Washington state are below their 1990 levels, despite the addition of approximately 1.8 million new residents since then. Every Washingtonian has played a role in the success, including employers. Unfortunately, the governor’s proposal will drive up the price of energy for every person in the state, including families and manufacturers. In addition, it takes the focus off passing a transportation revenue package, something that employers and the governor both say is a priority. Lawmakers have not passed a transportation revenue package since 2005. We hope to see a shift in focus to address our state’s other pressing economic and infrastructure needs.”

Herb Krohn, State Legislative Director United Transportation Union SMART, continued: “Just as our economy is showing signs of gaining traction, this proposal threatens to set us back. There would be negative consequences for Washington’s workers and our economy as a whole. Other states like California that adopt cap-and-trade taxes have seen their manufacturing-sector job growth drop – that is not in our state’s best interests.”