Washington State to Impose Carbon Tax… Because Climate Change and Chicken Little of the Sea!

Guest ridiculing by David Middleton

Energy & Environment

Washington could be the first state to charge for carbon emissions that cause climate change

By Steven Mufson October 28

The bride had asthma. The scenic Seattle skyline — the ideal backdrop for photographs — was shrouded in smoke from wildfires. And Perfectly Posh Events, the wedding planner, had to scramble for an indoor venue in the middle of summer, usually the best time of the year for an outdoor exchanging of vows.

“I’ve lived in Seattle my whole life. This is not something I remember growing up with,” said Holly Olsen, owner of the business. “Clearly there has been some kind of change that happened.”

What’s happened is climate change. It has contributed to the dry conditions that fueled forest fires, blanketing Seattle with smoke this year. It has altered the acidity of the oceans, damaging oyster farms in Seattle’s Puget Sound. And now, climate change has made its way onto the Nov. 6 ballot, in the form of a statewide initiative that would impose a $15-a-ton fee on carbon emissions that cause global warming.


The Washington Post

How in the Hell could someone write something this FRACKING stupid?

It has altered the acidity of the oceans…

This is how:

Steven Mufson

Washington, D.C.
Reporter covering energy and other financial matters
Education: Yale University, BA in economics and political science

Steven Mufson covers energy and other financial matters. Since joining The Washington Post, he has covered the White House, China, economic policy and diplomacy. He has worked at The Post since 1989 and has been its chief economic policy writer, Beijing correspondent, diplomatic correspondent and deputy editor of the weekly Outlook section. Earlier, he spent six years working for the Wall Street Journal in New York, London and Johannesburg, and wrote a book about the 1980s uprisings in South Africa’s black townships.

Honors & Awards:

  • Shared the following: 2011 Sigma Delta Chi award for “Breakaway Wealth”;
  • 2012 American Geophysical Union’s David Perlman award for explanatory earthquake coverage;
  • 2009 Association of Food Journalists for project;
  • 1988 Alicia Pattterson Foundation fellowship

Foreign languages spoken: Some French, a little Chinese
Books by Steven Mufson:  

  • “Fighting Years; Black Resistance and the Struggle for a New South Africa”
  • Keystone XL: Down the Line

The Washington Post

He’s apparently a professional science “explainer”… A science explainer dumb enough to write this:

It has altered the acidity of the oceans…

The oceans aren’t acidic, haven’t been acidic at any time during the Phanerozoic Eon, and couldn’t become acidic even if we burned every short ton of coal, barrel of oil and cubic foot of natural gas in the Earth’s crust by next Monday.

But wait!  It gets even stupider!

Taylor Shellfish, a family business that has been plying the waters of Puget Sound since 1890 and now employs 700 people, has already been getting clear signals of climate change.

A decade ago, it lost 75 percent of the oyster larvae critical to producing baby oysters. The family consulted a leading expert at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, but the diagnosis wasn’t good: Carbon dioxide that had been stored in the ocean was disrupting the coastal ecology, causing a shortage of carbonate ions. That made it impossible for the tiny larvae to build shells without using up the energy they need to build feeding organs in the same crucial 48-hour period.

“Probably the most difficult part of the message is that the water upwelling along the Washington coast is actually 30 to 50 years old and it’s been circulating at depths,” Bill Dewey, the company’s senior director of public affairs, said. “So even if the world stops burning fossil fuels today, our fate is already sealed for the next 30 to 50 years. The ocean is going to continue to get more acidic because of what is already absorbed and in the pipeline.”

Upwelling ≠ Climate Change

While long-period oceanic oscillations can be correlated to coastal upwelling patterns, upwelling is not “climate change.”  Furthermore… The upwelling episode that damaged the oyster larvae occurred “a decade ago” and the water was “actually 30 to 50 years old” at the time.

First, a bit of elementary school arithmetic:

  • 10 + 30 = 40
  • 10 + 50 = 60
  • 2018 – 40 = 1978 (the frigid depths of That 1970’s Climate Science Show)
  • 2018 – 60 = 1958 (second half of the International Geophysical Year)

Atmospheric CO2

  • 1958 315 ppmv
  • 1978 336 ppmv

If oysters can’t hack 315-336 ppmv CO2, they didn’t evolve on Earth… But they did.  The oldest fossil oysters date back to the Triassic Period.

Coastal upwelling is what makes certain areas of the Pacific Ocean extremely productive:

Coastal Upwelling

An important process affecting primary productivity during the spring and summer off the Pacific Northwest is coastal upwelling. Upwelling is caused by northerly winds that blow along the Oregon coast from April to September.  These winds transport offshore surface water southward (orange arrow in Figure CU-01), with a component transported away from the coastline (to the right of the wind, light green arrow).  This offshore, southward transport of surface waters is balanced by onshore, northward transport of cool, high–salinity, nutrient–rich water (dark blue arrow).

Diagram of factors affecting coastal upwellingFigure CU-01. Forces affecting coastal upwelling.

The strength of an upwelling process can be calculated based on estimates of wind speed.  Using such data, Dr. Andy Bakun (1973) developed the coastal The next link/button will exit from NWFSC web site Upwelling Index.

The Upwelling Index is, as its name implies, a measure of the volume of water that upwells along the coast; it identifies the amount of offshore transport of surface waters due to geostrophic windfields.  Geostrophic wind fields are calculated from surface atmospheric pressure fields measured and reported by the U.S. Navy The next link/button will exit from NWFSC web site Fleet Numerical Meteorological and Oceanographic Center(FNMOC) in Monterey, California.

The Upwelling Index is calculated in 3–degree intervals from 21°N to 60°N latitude, and data are available from 1947 to present.  For the northern California Current, relevant values are from 42, 45, and 48°N.  Year–to–year variations in upwelling off Newport (45°N) are shown as anomalies of the upwelling index Figure CU-02.  The years of strongest upwelling were 1965–1967.

Figure CU-02.Figure CU-02. Anomalies of the coastal Upwelling Index during May to September each year, 1946 – present

Many studies have shown correlations between the amount of coastal upwelling and production of various fisheries.  The first to show a predictable relationship between coho survival and upwelling were Gunsolus (1978) and Nickelson (1986).


Northwest Fisheries Science Center

Chicken Little of the Sea vs. Washington’s Oysters

The bad oyster crop occurred in 2007 and was deemed to be “An Upwelling Crisis: Ocean Acidification” by NOAA.

Dr. Richard Feely explains…

Feely can’t say for sure whether acidic waters are to blame. He and other scientists have started to work with an oyster hatchery in the region to install an observing system that regularly records pH levels of the seawater pumped into the hatchery. “What we do know is that oyster farmers are finding more severe impacts when they see corrosive waters in their hatcheries,” Feely says.

While a number of environmental problems, including a low-oxygen dead zone of the coast of Oregon, could be contributing to the mass kill-offs of oyster larvae, Feely believes that corrosive waters are mainly responsible for exacerbating the bacterial infestation and killing off oyster larvae. Hatcheries in the region report that their die-offs tend to occur after periods of persistent northwesterly winds, when deep waters well up and enter the bay, and the pipes that feed the hatcheries. The oyster larvae are swimming in these acidified waters, which can be corrosive enough to dissolve their fragile shells. To make matters worse, the hatchery managers observe that Vibrio tubiashii seems to thrive in a more corrosive environment.

The NOAA article included some “helpful” graphics:

The oceans have never been acidic enough to be pure water during the Phanerozoic Eon, not even during the nefarious Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum.

If the total myth of ocean acidification didn’t feature the oceans turning into battery acid, or even becoming acidic… Why feature a graphic with a lead-acid battery label?  The oceans can’t even reach coffee or hand soap… not even under the rosiest Climatariat RCP8.5 fantasies.

In Climatariatese, “more acidic” means “neutral” and “less acidic” means “alkaline.”

For the sake of science, I will now replace the fake phrase “ocean acidification” with the more appropriate moniker: “Chicken Little of the Sea”.

Here’s how Chicken Little of the Sea has devastated Washington’s oyster harvest:

Historical trends: Figure 2 summarizes 28 years of shellfish production data for Washington State. From 1986 until 1998,total shellfish aquaculture production stayed relatively stable, between 11.7 and 15.1 million pounds. Between 1998 and 2005, total production increased considerably, reaching a peak in 2005 at 24.9 million pounds. After 2005, production leveled off again, decreasing to a low in 2011 of 22.5 million pounds. Pacific oyster, Manila clam, and mussels have continued to be the three primary staples of shellfish aquaculture production, with the Pacific oyster maintaining the highest production by species in Washington State. Manila clam production was almost equal to Pacific oyster production in 2012, but a drop in Manila clam production in 2013 increased the gap slightly.

Shellfish Aquaculture in Washington State

What’s that?  You missed the devastated bit?  So did I.

About those fires


Oregon Department of Forestry

Click on the link for a larger PDF. Oregon is pretty close to Washington.  Clearly, neither the bride with asthma nor the frustrated wedding planner were around in the early 20th century.

Washington’s Expensive and Futile Carbon Tax

From The Washington Post article:

Some climate experts criticize the fee for being too small. After kicking in at $15 a ton, the fee would increase $2 a ton a year until 2035. It would raise more than $1 billion annually by 2025.


Quoting a study by NERA Consulting, which often works for the oil and gas industry, Bieber said that the measure would cost the average Washington state household $440 a year at the gas pump and on utility bills. She said it would raise $30 billion over 15 years and create “an unelected board of political appointees who can spend money any way they choose.”

This is how a carbon tax would affect the prices of some common “climate wrecking”fuels:

Carbon Tax per Metric Ton of CO2
2019 $15
2025 $27
2030 $37
2035 $47
per Gallon of Gasoline (8.89 kg/gal)
2019 $0.13
2025 $0.24
2030 $0.33
2035 $0.42
per Thousand Standard Cubic Feet of Natural Gas (53.12 kg/1,000 scf)
2019 $0.80
2025 $1.43
2030 $1.97
2035 $2.50
per Short Ton Sub-Bituminous Coal (1,686 kg/short ton)
2019 $25.29
2025 $45.52
2030 $62.38
2035 $79.24

Carbon tax as a percentage of recent prices:

per Gallon of Gasoline % of $2.70/gal
2019 5%
2025 9%
2030 12%
2035 15%
per 1,000 scf of Natural Gas % of $10.91/1,000 scf
2019 7%
2025 13%
2030 18%
2035 23%
per Short Ton of Sub-Bituminous Coal % of $12.10/short ton
2019 209%
2025 376%
2030 516%
2035 655%

And this is how much it would affect the average surface temperature of the Earth:

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October 30, 2018 7:30 am

I just can’t believe how incredibly stupid people are when facts don’t matter.

Bryan A
Reply to  Steve
October 30, 2018 10:11 am

$30 Billion over 15 years??
The state is just being Shellfish

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Steve
October 30, 2018 10:35 am

Facts? We don’t need no stinkin facts.

Robert W Turner
Reply to  Steve
October 30, 2018 11:34 am

We’re witnessing what 40 years of de facto democrat ran department of education will get you.

It seems like there was a major sudden change in America in November 1963 that is still snowballing and will eventually erode what this nation was originally founded on.

BobW in NC
Reply to  Steve
October 30, 2018 12:14 pm

As is apparently the case with NC’s Governor Roy Cooper. He wants to join the Paris Agreement states like California!

Cooper sets global warming goal to cut NC greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent
North Carolina would cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2025 under an ambitious statewide goal set by Gov. Roy Cooper on Monday.
With Cooper’s signing of the executive order, North Carolina joins states like Colorado, California and others that have set statewide targets for reducing emissions of gases that are associated with global warming and climate change. The order commits North Carolina to adhering to the 2015 Paris Agreement environmental treaty, Cooper, a Democrat, is among 17 state governors who have joined the U.S. Climate Alliance to commit to the goals of the Paris Agreement.


October 30, 2018 7:40 am

I live in the state, where a warmist/alarmist goofball is the Governor, who has been crying over global warming/climate change for a long time.

He will never stop supporting this madness, since he is a deep believer in CO2 as the demon molecule.

Reply to  Sunsettommy
October 30, 2018 8:03 am

The question as to why they want to do it is usually as simple as who gets the money from the tax?

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  LdB
October 30, 2018 12:52 pm

Last time they tried this the Greens did not support it because they didn’t get to say where the money would go. This time I suppose they do.
In any case, this is just a hidden tax.
Washington State’s motto is “State with Hidden Taxes.”

Sam Pyeatte
Reply to  John F. Hultquist
October 30, 2018 3:11 pm

Of course the plan must pass muster in the election on the 6th of Nov. I do not think the people of Washington are so stupid as to approve this monster. The people against have twice the money in play as the parasites pushing this outrage.

Reply to  Sam Pyeatte
October 30, 2018 5:35 pm

You underestimate how easily humans vote against their own self interest.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Sunsettommy
October 30, 2018 6:04 pm

““I’ve lived in Seattle my whole life. This is not something I remember growing up with,” said Holly Olsen, owner of the business. “Clearly there has been some kind of change that happened.”

What’s happened is climate change. It has contributed to the dry conditions that fueled forest fires, blanketing Seattle with smoke this year. It has altered the acidity of the oceans, damaging oyster farms in Seattle’s Puget Sound. And now, climate change has made its way onto the Nov. 6 ballot, in the form of a statewide initiative that would impose a $15-a-ton fee on carbon emissions that cause global warming.”

Just because she hasn’t experienced, must mean it’s bad and humans are causing it.

If she bothered to learn a little history of the place she lives, she would know that 100 years ago, smokey air was the norm, not the exception. The PNW was a constant blaze.

Gov Inslee is the same way. He’s either stupid, or willfully ignorant of his state’s history, and why it’s called “The Evergreen State”.

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
October 31, 2018 9:56 am

My wife and I were in Seattle at the beginning of July, and the air was perfectly clear the entire time we were there. ‘Course, we are from the Southern California coastal plain, so our idea of clear air may need a bit of calibration.

October 30, 2018 7:49 am

David …

“they didn’t evolved on Earth” …..Evolve ?

October 30, 2018 8:00 am

In all, about 30 million gallons of raw sewage have poured into Puget Sound—


October 30, 2018 8:00 am

David .. “The oceans can’t even reach coffee or hand soap…” ? Your graph shows soap at 10, ocean at 8 ?

Reply to  David Middleton
October 30, 2018 8:21 am

David …So sea water pH is lower than coffee but more than soap, so your comment — ” The oceans can’t even reach coffee or hand soap…” is in error…or maybe I just need more coffee ! LOL

Reply to  Marcus
October 30, 2018 8:41 am

You need to think your comments through before posting them.

Reply to  Anthony Watts
October 30, 2018 8:57 am

OK, more coffee, less typing !!

Reply to  David Middleton
October 30, 2018 9:12 am

Aha !! I thought you were looking in just one direction….More coffee coming up !!

p.s. never knew that “”a gallon of gasoline, which weighs less than 3 kg yields nearly 9 kg of CO2?”…Proves that your never too old to learn …thanx ..

Reply to  David Middleton
October 30, 2018 9:39 am

David ..
Just curious on 2 things…What prevents seawater from becoming more alkaline or more acidic ?? ( I’ve regressed to Chemistry 55 in my “Golden Years”) and how do you find the time and patience to write all these great essays ….?

Reply to  David Middleton
October 30, 2018 10:38 am

Aha !! The “Green Dream” of no Humans existing to spoil Mother Earth…(Except them of course, them being special and all !) Thank you for all your hard work and long hours to improve our knowledge !!)

Reply to  Marcus
October 30, 2018 10:30 am

I was confused as well – I thought David was just going in one direction, rather than stating a range.

I blame Mufson’s mendacity in using acidity as a synonym for PH. It confuses the whole discussion. Not a single dictionary defines acidity as including bases.

Reply to  Joshua
October 30, 2018 10:50 am

Thank you…..

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  David Middleton
October 30, 2018 8:22 am

Ocean’s 11.

Steve Keppel-Jones
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
October 30, 2018 9:02 am

THIS ocean goes up to 11!

October 30, 2018 8:06 am

AGW has entered the fantasy zone. If it’s not exactly like it was last year, ‘ clearly climate change’ brought to you by the magic molecule CO2. …. What happened to the Arctic being ice free? The ‘carny in the coalmine”? What? Too much ice to make delivery by barge?
Notice how when one talking point becomes inconvenient, there is always another. Why, the ocean is so acidic! Is that so? Perhaps because it’s harder to prove than melting ice.
You can see the progression of their thoughts. Sea level rise was predicated on thermal expansion of the seas. I’m sure the fear mongering was suppose to seize power before the non event happened. Every future AGW horror becomes harder to quantify.
Sea level didn’t rise by 4 feet,
The Arctic didn’t melt.
And the ocean isn’t acidic.
Can we work on something real. The US isn’t the ones piling their garbage on the beaches for the tide to take it out. The solution isn’t to fix the garbage problem, it’s to ban plastic. We went to plastic to ‘save the forest’. Remember?
The watermelon people have the shortest memory.

Reply to  rishrac
October 30, 2018 8:26 am

The ‘carny in the coalmine”? Why would anyone have a “carnival in a coal mine ?? (and “Carny’s are probably smarter than most “climate scientists” anyways…

October 30, 2018 8:08 am

First, one of my “favorite” stupid quotes after some event taking place in nature is, usually said by someone under fifty, “I have lived here most of my life and don’t remember anything like this.” The news media seeks out such folks.

Second, the aquaculture industry believe they are equivalent to agriculture. Instead they are about where human technology was when we first started domesticating chickens, goats, pigs and cattle.

Having been around the oyster industry, and aquaculture, much of my adult life, there are a lot of things that can influence oyster larval and adult survival (or the survival of the early life forms of any marine or estuarine organism.) One of the biggest is sudden changes in salinity. My guess is that the oyster hatcheries pulled something in with the upwelling water that stressed or even attacked the larvae and it most probably was not changes in pH.

October 30, 2018 8:11 am

I keep trying to post but keep getting a message that it is duplicate posting. Since only eight people had commented at this point I checked and I am certain it is not a duplicate posting. What gives?

George M Hebbard
October 30, 2018 8:15 am

@ 8.89 Kg/gallon of gasoline, you have lost all your credibility! Were you trying to say, carbon per gallon or something else?

Reply to  David Middleton
October 30, 2018 10:02 am

Yes I don’t know why they call it carbon tax when 70% of the tax is on the oxygen

Reply to  David Middleton
October 30, 2018 10:20 am

Yeah. It seems you didn’t lose your credibility.

Ppl shud hold their horses.

Dr. Bob
Reply to  David Middleton
October 30, 2018 10:56 am

The easy way to calculate GHG (CO2) emissions is:
Gasoline contains about 86% carbon by mass. So mass of fuel X %C in fuel X 44/12 (mass CO2/Mass C) = mass CO2 released during combustion. Density is about 6.22 lbs/gal.

The “Carbon Intensity” of a fuel is based on the energy consumed during production of the fuel from the first resource (crude, biomass, etc.) plus the CO2 released during combustion. This is known as the Life Cycle Assessment of the fuel. The benefits of biofuels fuels are totally based on the assumption that New CO2 does not contribute to the carbon cycle where as fossil CO2 does contribute to the cycle. This is the basis for the Renewable Fuels Standard and the California Low Carbon Fuels Standard. Each has different mechanisms for supporting “renewable” fuels as they cannot compete with fossil fuels on a cost basis. This perverts the marketplace in a great many ways but will be perpetrated for a long time as the closest thing to eternal life is a government program.

Robert W Turner
Reply to  David Middleton
October 30, 2018 11:38 am

But this does not consider incomplete combustion and other combustion products such as NOx.

HD Hoese
October 30, 2018 8:21 am

I have published this before, but worth repeating, from the November-December 2018 issue. https://www.americanscientist.org/article/trashing-the-tanks

Article suggesting showing trash in aquariums and zoo exhibits shows one tank with healthy coral, one bleached from “acidification” at the Birch Aquarium at Scripps. Same amount of fish, must not matter.

Especially for an animal which becomes so attached to its home, oysters and their community are actually very complicated. Farming them in the wild was worked out in Louisiana well over a century ago. New to the field ‘experts’ with copious government funding will solve all problems including those with nitrogen and carbon dioxide. If they are similar to the experts that wanted to put them on the endangered species list, it will be interesting (and expensive).

Texas will soon out produce everybody in the Gulf!

Rud Istvan
October 30, 2018 8:50 am

The oyster hatchery problem was at Netarts Bay, Oregon. The inexcusable ‘scientific’ nonsense put out by Feely and PMEL was thoroughly exposed in essay Shell Games in my 2014 ebook Blowing Smoke. Even used two of the same illustrations as in this guest post.

October 30, 2018 9:04 am

In uniting the forces of politics and pseudoscience you have these four simple Maxwellian equations. Parts of these equations were developed at Evergreen State College and others are from the Jerry Brown Book of Policy Scams.

Where BM is bad models, R is new revenues, PP is political power, T is time, and C is the speed of light

R = C*BM^2

R * T = 2*PP

T + BM = 0

where R + T does not equal science tests of BM

Steve Keohane
October 30, 2018 9:21 am

My ‘Chicken Little of the Sea’ from a few years ago:

Robert W Turner
Reply to  David Middleton
October 30, 2018 11:40 am

10,000% of your daily value of BS!

October 30, 2018 9:33 am

For future reference, the Washington State Department of Commerce has developed a spreadsheet that quantifies the costs and CO2 reduction expected from various taxing scenarios. I was pleasantly surprised to find this generated by the wacky governor’s administration. No need to rely on fossil fuel interests to see the effect of taxes/fees.

October 30, 2018 9:46 am

Richard Feely needs to examine the buffering effect of seawater in a laboratory.
I assume he hasn’t. To my knowledge, he’s never given any indication of having done this.
As a suggestion, fill a tank with seawater, filtered to remove living material in case of metabolic effects skewing the result.
Temperature affects pH, so this would need to be considered as well.
Then stir well with an atmosphere of varying CO2 concentrations above it and see if this is enough to alter the pH.
Maybe we’d then see an end to the ‘ocean acidification’ nonsense which he so enthusiastically espouses. There’s not much chance of this however from what I’ve seen of the way he manages to describe minor claimed changes in alkalinity as ‘acidification’.
To him, a minor lowering in a pH value is ‘acidification’ – utter nonsense, deliberate scaremongering, and of course the media and gullible politicians lap it up.
‘Corrosive waters’? Why does the word ‘charlatan’ come to mind?

Reply to  Carbon500
October 30, 2018 10:00 am

Corrosive waters

Good point. As the water goes from somewhat alkaline to a little less alkaline, it becomes less corrosive. yes/no?

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  commieBob
October 30, 2018 6:08 pm

Isn’t salt corrosive?

Reply to  Carbon500
October 30, 2018 12:13 pm

How is ‘corrosive water’ different from the stuff that makes iron rust?

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  Susan
October 30, 2018 1:21 pm



Note the difference between the terms “corrosive” and “caustic”.
Also therein, go to ‘rusting of iron’ and follow in that with “redox”.
Sometimes the phrase “reduced iron” will be seen. This might give the impression of ‘less’ iron, but that is a simple linguistic meaning, and not a chemical one.

Information Source
I starting reading WUWT and a few other sites in Sept., 2008.
My old text books were way out of date (black & white diagrams and photos). I went to the local university and asked a few departments if they had newer ones that I could have. Most do, sometimes free, sometimes a donation is requested. I got year or 2 old ones for biology, physics, chemistry, and geology. These were a help, and they helped with words that then saved time looking things up on the web.

October 30, 2018 9:46 am

I got out of there at just the right time, 2009. I could see this coming back then.

Roger Knights
Reply to  John
October 30, 2018 11:38 am

Boeing moved its headquarters out about then. Amazon has ceased its expansion in Seattle and is building a second HQ for 50,000 elsewhere. Seattle small business numbers are going down.

Svend Ferdinandsen
October 30, 2018 10:30 am

“impose a $15-a-ton fee on carbon emissions that cause global warming.”
Too many words even in the best meaning, makes it not better.

Good luck to only tax the CO2 that causes global warming!

October 30, 2018 10:40 am

The problem with a carbon tax, is that it is addictive revenues to a Gov’t. Once they get a taste of those additional revenues, especially into general revenues, then it is really hard to dial that back. They probably don’t even much care about any climate details when this is a licence to collect a tax on everything related to energy, food, shelter, heating/cooling and pretty much everything else in one way or the other. But they will sure dance to that tune to keep the tax going. Would have to be a promise to get elected by the opposition to undo a carbon tax like Ontario just did in their recent election to pull that off, because once a Gov’t has those carbon tax revenues, then they can implement policies and programs to buy the election. Permanently. And it is insidious, because ‘carbon’ is in pretty much in everything and a tax on most everything in the chain of products coming down the pipeline. Probably the ‘perfect’ tax if you wanted to ensnare as many products across as wide a spectrum as possible.

Luckily, one of the main reason’s that a carbon tax isn’t being considered by Trump, is because he knows that a carbon tax is massively inflationary as it raises the costs of everything in the value chain. While it maybe temporarily brings in tax revenues, there is just that much less money in the system to buy everything else. Maybe the poorer middle class get some type of rebate in some jurisdictions, but unfortunately small and big business gets caught in this unfair tax, which is somewhat off-loaded onto all consumers paying more for everything. Which just raises the price of everything and therefore inflation, and the Gov’t collecting the carbon tax just has more monies to get itself reelected.

Alan Tomalty
Reply to  Earthling2
October 30, 2018 2:37 pm

Standards, subsidies and taxes. The bane of the free market. Standards should only be used to prevent injuries or bad health effects. Subsidies should only be used to prop up a company that produces a domestic product that is key to national security. Taxes should only be used as a government income source. Too often however the government uses standards to interfere in the life of all its citizens. At the same time governments subsidize almost everything. Taxes are collected for all sorts of reasons. Ex: liquor and tobacco taxes, estate or inheritance taxes, gift taxes, company asset taxes, and carbon taxes.

It is this last one that irks me the most. Carbon taxes are ridiculous. One of 3 things can happen. 1) The company can refuse to pay them and move out of the country or threaten to move out before they are enacted. In this case everybody loses. 2) The company can pay them and then raise their prices so that with business as usual no emission reduction of CO2 occurs. In this case only the company loses if it also exports its product. The consumers don’t lose because the carbon taxes are supposed to be given back to the public at large. However the general price level of all carbon related goods goes up so that inflation goes up. However since no decrease in CO2 emissions occurs, there was no reason to have the tax in the 1st place. 3) The company can change its source of fuel to a lower carbon entity at a higher cost and pass on its necessary price increase to its customers. The customers have no choice because all the competitors have to do the same thing. In that case there is a reduction in CO2 emissions but since the atmosphere needs more CO2 NOT less, everybody loses.

It is this third scenario that factors into my main point. Even if you believe in AGW(human caused global warming/climate change) , here are the stark facts of trying to do anything about it. PM Trudeau in Canada plans on introducing a tax on the emission of CO2 and all greenhouse gases except water vapour, starting January 1, 2019. B.C. and Alberta are at present, the only provinces that have a carbon tax. The federal price on carbon will harmonize with those and will be forced on any other province that does not implement one by that date.

Canada puts out 1.5 % of world total of CO2 and its level of CO2 emissions is as low as it was 20 years ago. Canada signed on to the Paris agreement on limitation of non condensing greenhouse gas emissions(CO2,methane,…etc) to a cut of 30% from its’ 2005 level of 732 million tons(CO2 equivalent) by the year 2030. That amounts to a promise to cut its’ emissions by ~220 million tons. China puts out 31% of the world total and increased their output 4.1% in 2017 and is on track for an equal 4% increase this year.

In 1991 Norway was the 1st country along with Sweden to introduce a carbon tax, and they have found that their tax was responsible for reducing their increases of emissions by only 2.32% compared to a 0 rate on carbon. However Norway’s CO2 emissions still went up. To top it all off Norway found that the carbon taxes reduced their GDP by 0.06%.

In the Norwegian scheme there were so many exemptions that the effective coverage of the carbon taxes was only 64% of industrial production. The Norwegian price for carbon is around $25 Can per ton. Trudeau has promised to introduce Canada’s carbon tax or CO2 equivalent tax at $20 per ton in 2019 and increase it $10 per ton every year until $50 per ton by the end of 2022. The government of Canada website says that there are ~ 600 industrial reporting facilities that report their CO2 emissions to the government. However they account for only 37% of all CO2 emissions in Canada. The others dont have to report because they are under the legal requirement of 50000 tons per year.
However the differing prices between Norway and Canada will not have any significant effect on the results because there is very little opportunity for any company in Canada in at least 7 of the provinces, to switch to a non CO2 producing fuel because those 7(except Manitoba,B.C. and Quebec) do not have significant hydro power; so the companies will simply pay the tax to stay in business. Theoretically this should not amount to any significant reduction in CO2 because Canada is different from Norway in a fundamental way. In Norway any firm has access to hydro elecricity.

In this 1st phase which was supposed to cover 75% (165 million tons) of the planned reductions until 2022 with the remaining 25% (55 million tons) being applied after that until 2030 and beyond. However since only 37% of total greenhouse gas emissions in Canada are generated by the large greenhouse gas emitters; and only the large ones are required to report them to the Government of Canada; that is only 37% (amount tracked) * 705 (present day emissions) = 260 million tons is the amount tracked. However as a result of industry pressure, the rules have been again changed so that companies will be required to pay tax on only 20% of their emissions with some companies like in the cement and steel industries being required to pay tax on only 10% of their emissions. So let us assume the net overall % will be a 18% requirement. So you have to take 18% of 260 = 47 million tons which is roughly 6.66 % of total emissions of 705 million tons today,subject to tax for the 1st phase. For comparison purposes Ireland achieved a decrease in emissions only after 4 straight years of increased emissions despite a carbon tax. British Columbia despite having a carbon tax since 2008 has not achieved any decrease in CO2 emissions.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has said that that the average climate computer model forecasts an increase in temperature of 3C by the end of the century (82 years from now) if the world doesn’t reduce its carbon footprint. The said reduction of temperature goal is 1.5 C by end of century in order to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 C.

Canada has committed to reduce greenhouse gas emmissions per Paris agreement by 2030 of 30%. 30% of 1.5 % = 0.45% of world total

In the 1st phase of reductions which will culminate by 2023, this will instead reduce our greenhouse gas footprint by 6.66 % (if all of the top 600 emitters switch to a non carbon fuel;) instead of 30%. That will leave 93.333 % of the target reduction unchanged for the 2030 target.
However you actually have a 0.0666 reduction of 1.5%(Canada’s % of world total) = 0.1% which will be Canada’s contribution to world total reduction. Don’t forget that carbon trading and a carbon price dont actually guarantee that any reductions will ever occur. If the taxes get paid there is no reduction in emissions.

But if the promised reductions do occur then you multiply by goal of 1.5C so that you have 0.001 * 1.5 = 0.0015 C
That is a reduction of a little over 1 thousandth of a degree C at the end of the next 82 years. And the actual reduction in temperature will be negligble because most emitters will simply pay the tax. It is also a function of how many exemptions and what discount carbon tax %’s are actually determined in the future besides the already announded ones. Even so, since this is the 1st phase only, Canada’s goal in this phase is to cut 75% of 30% of its emissions which = 22.5% . However since only 37% industrial emitters have to report and the effective emissions subject to tax is only 18%; the real number is 18% * 37% = ~ 6.666 % However the difference isnt much because Canada’s emissions have been flat since 2007.

China’s increase last year as per the above is .3 * .041 = 0.0123 or 1.23% of world total
Since Canada’s reduction will be 0.1% (see above) of world total, that means China’s increase for 1 year is 0.0123/ 0.001 = ~ 12 times the amount of Canada’s (total 4 year reduction) for each year if the emissions go lower in Canada to the same degree as the increased price effect after 4 years(assuming that no Canadian emitters actually pay the tax and instead substitute a 0 carbon fuel in their manufacturing process). Don’t forget that Canada’s reduction is only at a maximum effect by 2022 because of the increasing price of $10 per ton per year. In the 1st year 2019 or any other year, the reduction could be the whole amount or any amount depending on how many firms simply pay the tax vs the number that switch to a non carbon or lower carbon fuel source. China has refused to decrease its output and only promised to try to limit their increases by 2030. China is not a developing country because it has 45% of the world’s skyscrapers.

What will all of this cost Canadian companies if all pay the tax?

Price of carbon by 2022 will be $50 per ton by 2022 and at 705 million tons * 37% reporting * 18% effective emmissions subject to tax = 47 million tons . So you have 47 million * $50/ton = 2.35 billion $ Can. However since the carbon tax will start in 2019 at $20 per ton, the yearly taxes will be 2019= 47 million * $20 = $940 million ; 2020= 47 million * $30 = $1.41 billion ; 2021 = 47 million * $40 = $1.88 billion; 2022= 47 million * $50 = $2.35 billion So total cost over 4 year period is $6.58 billion and assuming no other increases, the yearly cost after that will remain at $2.35 billion per year until the 2nd phase starts before 2030. Of course all this assumes that there won’t be further exemptions to the 37% (% of CO2 BY firms that are tracked) * 18% (effective rate subject to tax) of emissions that are reported as of now. However the amount of tax will be less than that because some emitters will switch fuels. Assuming the 2nd phase has the same rules but only collects 1/3 more of the 1st phase; the additional total will add another 33% (25%/75%) and will be $ 3.1255 billion of tax every year until 2030. However that will not meet the Paris commitment to cut emissions by 30%.It will only reduce Canada’s emissions by 6.66 % + 2.22 % = 8.88 % assuming that none of the top 600 emitting firms pay the tax and all switch to a non carbon fuel.

So we are going to have to either tax $6.58 billion in the 1st phase or have the companies spend more to switch to a non carbon fuel, to save 1 thousandth of 1 degree C of world temperature as of the year 2100. The stupid part is that the higher the actual tax collected the more carbon dioxide emissions occur and the less the temperature gets reduced. So in the end , part of industry will pay the tax because switching to a non carbon fuel is impossible ( Ex: industrial kiln) and the rest will switch to a lower carbon source. Either way it raises inflation on all carbon source industries which then insidiously seeps into the prices of everything else in the country.

After the 1st phase this will still leave Canada short 173 million tons of its Paris commitment to cut by 2030 and Trudeau has said that Canada will meet its commitment by 2030. Well, the only way that would happen is if 37% 0f 732 million = 270 million tons and being 173 million short you divide by 270 million = 64% of the 600 largest emitters in Canada closed down and left the country.

What will this cost each household in Canada per year?
Minimum of $200 Can/yr and maximum of $475/yr Can for the 1st year. Some estimates are that the carbon tax alone by 2023 of $50/ton could add 1% to the inflation rate. That would mean a minimum of $500 per person more per year. Since these costs are because of increased inflation; those costs will be borne by everyone every year going forward. Also, most provinces have promised to rebate all the money back to consumers. Well what is wrong, if we get all our money back anyway, you ask? Well, 6 things are wrong. 1) You have created a federal carbon tax bureaucracy which will never go away. 2) the carbon part of the economy will have been price inflated, thus inflating the whole economy 3) you have given free money to those people that were not using carbon based sources of energy because when you give the money back you have to give it to everybody. 4) As well as everyone getting the same rebate cheque, that cheque will not cover the costs of the increased inflation to those people that are buying and using products from the carbon based side of the economy. The reason is; because of No.3 above, that the people who are not buying and using products from the carbon side of the economy are getting some of that money that would have gone to those that were using products from the carbon side of the economy. 5) extra costs for each company affected in accounting for the taxes or in switching to a new fuel. 6) If the company is an exporter the export price will either have to be raised, or obtain an exemption on that % of the company product exported, or a new government subsidy created to cover the company’s extra export price. The other huge consideration is that since the global warming/climate change subject is a big hoax anyway, the whole exercise will have been a worse than useless activity.


Alan Tomalty

Reply to  Alan Tomalty
October 30, 2018 8:02 pm

Once carbon taxes are enacted, then try to get the same agenda implemented in other places. This is supposed to prevent businesses in one place re-locating to other places to escape carbon taxes. Also known as preventing “carbon leakage”.

Greg Cavanagh
Reply to  Barbara
October 30, 2018 10:30 pm

I’m sure that theory will work as well as their Climate Science theory 🙂

Reply to  Barbara
October 31, 2018 9:34 am


Articles: about 341
Search results: “carbon leakage”

Reply to  Barbara
October 31, 2018 12:26 pm


Carbon leakage.

Direct link: https://unfccc.int/gcse?q=“%20carbon%20leakage%20”

October 30, 2018 10:42 am

At the base of it all, isn’t it possible for all all carbon emissions cause global warming?

Alan Tomalty
Reply to  Jimmy
October 30, 2018 8:07 pm

There isn’t any valid theory that makes it so and there is NO evidence that increases of CO2 cause any warming that isn’t beneficial. The atmosphere needs more CO2 NOT less.

Stephen Singer
October 30, 2018 11:04 am

I hope that more people like me have sized up this crappy idea and voted against it like I did on the ballot I recently sent in to the county election dept. in my Washington state county.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Stephen Singer
October 30, 2018 6:10 pm

I did too, Stephen.

James Beaver
Reply to  Stephen Singer
October 30, 2018 8:47 pm

I voted against it. If it passes everyone is going to squeal very loudly at the gas/diesel pump and when they pay their natural gas/propane bill. I’m hoping a repeal bill will follow soon after.

Robert W Turner
October 30, 2018 11:42 am

I really hope they pass this. But when people are forced to flee the state to find work, I hope they leave their insanity in Washington.

Reply to  Robert W Turner
October 31, 2018 12:36 pm


Articles: 45
Search results: Jay Inslee, Washington State, USA.

October 30, 2018 1:07 pm

Resident of WA here.

The ballot is being sold as a “pollution” tax. In and usual move the WA State Attorney General whom we call Side Show Bob because his job is a sideshow and he sues Trump at the drop of a hat and immediately sends out a fund raising letter for his 2020 Gubernatorial campaign, wrote the ballot title.

In reality is a gas and fuel oil tax pure and simple with no sunset and no caps. It exempts things like private jets, and the big carbon producers in the state.

It is also sold as tax on big oil as the point of taxation is production of fuels. And they use the myth that the companies will not pass on the tax to the consumers as added costs.

My favorite ad for this “carbon tax” is when the announcer in dark tones says it will tax polluters and the images on the screen shows clean up of an oil spill.

WA State has little input into the total carbon output and this measure will impact a fraction of a fraction of carbon output.

The spending for and against this thing is approaching $30 million.

The entire thing is a scam, and it is aimed at one thing. Getting a carbon tax in place in the US as a precedent.

I believe it will fail at the ballot box, cross my fingers, knock on wood.

Reply to  John C Mount
October 30, 2018 6:19 pm

Fellow WA resident.

I did my small part to help it fail at the ballot box.

Between Sleepy Jay Inslee and Side Show Bob, we may end up being the carbon tax pioneer state.

In the war to get us out of our cars, we’re paying for light rail to run over floating bridges, in a sanctuary city and state. What could go wrong? Never mind we’re wasting $billions on 1900’s technology (trains) in a region that’s supposed to be a technology center (smart vehicles? smart roads? self-driving cars?) Second highest state gasoline tax in the country, carbon tax a possibility, new income tax being sold. California here we come!

Of course the state constitution says we must have a balanced budget, but we don’t. The info on state finances at truthinaccounting DOT org was enlightening.

Reply to  John C Mount
October 30, 2018 6:54 pm

True. Done at the sub-national level. State by state and city by city to implement the Kyoto Protocol.

Then collected tax money can be used to implement more of the Kyoto Protocol agenda.

John F. Hultquist
October 30, 2018 1:42 pm

Robert @ 11:42 says: ” . . . when people are forced to flee the state to find work, . . . ”

Here is one of the lies being put forth:
“And we know from several different studies is that this will create about 41,000 jobs.”

The claim is that the money will fund new clean green funky jobs and (and) other taxes in the State will go down so the “fee” will be neutral.
This doesn’t make sense, so I think “insanity” is a good word choice.

So, my question is: Where do we go? {rhetorical question}
[Full disclosure – I don’t need to find work. But I likely will volunteer less as the cost of driving goes up.]

old engineer
Reply to  John F. Hultquist
October 30, 2018 10:35 pm

John H.-

[not a rhetorical answer] Come to Texas,

Jonathan Griggs
October 30, 2018 1:55 pm

As someone who lives and votes in the state of Washington all I have to say is “The hell we are”. A very similar ballot imitative was attempted 2 years ago and was overwhelmingly voted down.

They changed the terminology, per the usual tricks, and added a few extra bits, but it is essentially the same non-sense. I seriously hope voters see through this again, we already have one of the nations highest gas taxes. For the life of me I can’t figure out why democrats and people on the left hate the poor so much as the continue attempting to burden them with sneak a-taxes like this.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Jonathan Griggs
October 30, 2018 6:14 pm

“For the life of me I can’t figure out why democrats and people on the left hate the poor so much as the continue attempting to burden them with sneak a-taxes like this.”

I can’t figure out why the poor keep voting for them.

I live and vote in WA as well (Whidbey Island). Can’t see this passing, but stranger things have happened.

October 30, 2018 3:48 pm

Puget Sound oysters/ acidification details examined here: http://appinsys.com/GlobalWarming/InsleesBillions.htm

October 30, 2018 7:09 pm

I just happened to wander up WA-405 on a Friday in the middle of July last year. At 3 in the afternoon we were stopped dead on a north bound five lane portion north of Bellevue for about 15 minutes. The south bound lanes were also stopped. Looking around I now understand why western Washington is so green. It’s all the CO2 from those car exhausts…

What bunk!


Craig B
October 30, 2018 7:41 pm

The Wash. state carbon tax (Initiative I-1631) is $15/metric ton of carbon content the first year, then increasing incrementally every year thereafter. These numbers are a red herring. They are way too low to accomplish the stated purpose of I-1631, i.e., “to quickly and effectively reduce pollution”. Making the I-1631 carbon tax rate 10 times higher (which would be a $4/gallon increase by 2035) only moves the US gas price to be on par with Europe (i.e., $7/gallon), which already sells fewer electric cars than the US (1.1% vs 1.7% in 2017). Beyond this, theoretically a carbon tax only works (albeit at a horrendous cost) if it is applied globally, not just in a few states. It is disingenuous for backers of I-1631 to claim this as a solution to reduce droughts, sea level rise, wildfires, etc. It will do nothing of the sort. If you plot temperature data from the Tri-Cities, WA (maximum daily temperatures by year from 1895 to 2017), it shows no increase over time. None. In the end this is nothing more than a new tax on gasoline (and natural gas), most of which middle class Washingtonians will pay, except those living close to a state line.

michael hart
October 30, 2018 8:32 pm

“What’s happened is climate change. It has contributed to the dry conditions that fueled forest fires, blanketing Seattle with smoke this year.”

I don’t know how old the person is who claimed to have lived in Seattle all their life, but it doesn’t sound much changed to me. I lived there from 1996-2003 and then again briefly around 2010. It always rained a lot in winter and but had fine dry summers for about three months. Unwatered grass and other vegetation always grew vigorously for most of the year, but turned from green to brown in summer-ideal for fires. I suspect that the incidence of fires near the city is similar to may other places in that it depends more on human management of trees and vegetation than it does on weather and climate.

James Beaver
Reply to  michael hart
October 30, 2018 8:54 pm

You are correct. I’ve lived in western WA (mostly) since 1973. Very few fires on the western side of the mountains. Vast forests (many National Forests, several National Parks), beautiful mountains, and a Seattle – King County population that is dumber than the seagulls (a.k.a. flying rats).

October 31, 2018 11:53 am

Let us all – “Walk towards the fire and not worry about what they call us”

October 31, 2018 1:00 pm

“it would raise $30 billion over 15 years and create “an unelected board of political appointees who can spend money any way they choose.”

Stupid, stupid, stupid snowflakes.

What they are enabling is helping to keep higher taxes from being imposed on the rich.


Because the bulk of these carbon revenues will be coming from the middle class via the fact that there are way more of them than rich people. More revenue from the middle class means less pressure to raise taxes on the rich.

Effing stupid morons… They are dupes for the rich and have zero clue that they are.

And what about the trickle down effect of higher energy prices, won’t many other things go up in cost?

Gary Mount
October 31, 2018 4:13 pm

Email I received today

Dear Avista Customer,

Avista takes pride in providing you safe and reliable energy at an affordable price. We also want our customers to be informed on topics that matter to you. Topics like Initiative 1631 where it is in the hands of you as voters to decide the future of the initiative.

Avista has not taken a position on this issue as we believe climate change is a complicated policy issue, and because the policy will affect the entire economy there can be unintended consequences without a fully-informed analysis of the policy.

While we understand the intent behind Initiative 1631, we feel that addressing climate change in a way that balances financial impacts and a desire to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is best addressed by the Legislature. The legislative forum provides for transparent, broad involvement and careful deliberation.

As we find this issue is in the hands of Washington voters we have done a preliminary analysis of how this would affect your bills as represented in the chart below.

Initiative 1631 estimated rate impact for WA customers (fee increases annually).

comment image

In any future carbon policy, whether it’s a fee, tax, or regulatory mandate, utilities like Avista are well-positioned to invest in carbon-reducing energy technologies on behalf of our customers. We feel this should occur with the least administrative and regulatory burden as possible.

As an Avista customer you can be proud of the significant degree of renewable energy you use – from our hydro facilities, from wind and solar sources, and from our biomass facility.

In fact, Avista has one of the smallest carbon footprints of major electrical generators in the country. And we continue to make steady progress toward a cleaner future through investing in a range of renewable energy and other technologies that are reducing carbon emissions.

Avista supports growing our use of renewable energy, in a timeframe and through approaches, such as advancement of energy storage, that continue to provide safe, reliable energy, at an affordable price.


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