Carbon tax goes down in flames – again

From Mike Bastasch:

Washington voters rejected a ballot measure backed by a vast coalition of liberal groups to tax carbon dioxide emissions from in-state fossil fuel combustion.

The measure, called Initiative 1631, is the third attempt to impose a carbon tax in Washington state. Voters rejected a similar ballot measure in 2016, and carbon tax legislation failed earlier in 2018.

Had the measure passed, Washington would have become the first state to tax carbon dioxide emissions. The political battle over the tax became the most expensive in state history for a ballot measure — drawing $45 million in spending.

Initiative 1631 was put forward by the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy, a coalition of environmentalists, businesses and other liberal groups. The measure called for taxing emissions at $15 a ton in 2020, which will increase at $2 a year above the rate of inflation until the state meets its emissions goals.

More here

Ryan Maue summed it up pretty well.

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91 thoughts on “Carbon tax goes down in flames – again

  1. … the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy, …

    Jobs … what a joke. We have had wind and solar projects for nearly thirty years all over the world. There is no evidence that any of those projects produced a lot of jobs. When they raise the price of energy, as they always do, they result in a net loss of jobs.

    ‘Green Jobs’ is a cruel joke.

    • Even if true it is a stupid concept. Someone has to pay the wages of those jobs. That money would have to come out of higher prices charged to cover the extra wages. Having to have a ossil fuel backup to the solar and wind is tantamount to doubling the size of your football team with an extra practice squad . You have to pay those extra players whether they get in the game or not.

    • I suspect ‘green job’ is actually the euphemism for that specific kind of ‘playing with oneself’ that left-tards take part in while cooking up and failing to justify these virtue signalling schemes. You know, imagine all the ‘green jobs’ that will be had writing the fairytale press release about how a thin air tax will save the planet.
      One can concede that after a vigorous collective ‘green jobs’ session down at the offices of the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy, someone has to mop up all the spillage and maybe that is also a case of sustaining a ‘green’ job?

    • I’ve been to a solar farm of 35 MW size in NM. It had one guy there in a small metal building and maybe one other one out somewhere. The one guy I found there was actually managing this and two other sites in the state remotely. Also, it does not take high-rise cranes to install solar arrays or special hauling caravans for the blades on the highway. That was a few years ago. Now we have automated production lines for panel factories and the start of auto loaders for panel installation at the utility scale sites. The labor cost of production and installation is falling rapidly. But the lobbyist spin is geared toward the low efficiency, high-labor cost rooftop solar where tax credit mining is the driver. Political leaders don’t want to hear that because it complicates their one-liner spin stories and goes against their small business lobby story.

  2. Great decision! Congratulations to all those who voted against this stupid stealth tax! As per the eponymous website “CO2 is life” 😃

    • I live in Washington State and voted against it. There was nothing stealthy about the taxes that this measure would collect and waste. It was set up to be a feeding trough for a few groups; greeners and Indian tribes. The claim to reduce carbon emissions was a transparent sham.

      So far it has only got a majority in 2 counties and lukewarm support at that.

  3. And Colorado voters shot down the anti-fracking/anti-fossil fuel initiative that was disguised as a drilling distance safety. Called Prop 112, the Fossil Fuel Development Minimum distance lost 57-43. If it had passed, it would have seriously put a dent in the State of Colorado revenue from drilling permits and taxes. Every green, environmental NGO and Liberal organization had strongly supported Prop 112, and sending it down in flames was another blow to them from voters.

    • A bit of a surprise to me, considering the unfortunate left turn this state has taken in the last decade. In August Colorado surpassed both Alaska and California in oil production. Prop 112 would have certainly put a damper on that. Occasionally reason wins.

  4. The 1 million molecule argument against global warming

    ****************************************************************************

    If it can be proved that the sensible heat gained from condensation is carried away to stratosphere and beyond , then the alarmists would have to argue that the 18 to 19 W/m^2 of IR from the surface in 1850, has to have set the global warming cycle in motion upon increased CO2. Since temperature is a local phenomenon and water vapour is anywhere from 50 to 100 times the amount that CO2 is in the atmosphere , then the disappearance of that water vapour because of condensation vastly outweighed any effects that CO2 had in 1850. CO2 could not possibly have caused enough of a temperature rise based on only 18 to 19 W/m^2 of IR being sent back as back radiation. I have calculated that there are 1.45 x 10^6 (1,450,000)
    CO2 molecules to catch every one of the photons (18.5 W/m^2) leaving the surface per second. So there is enough CO2 to catch the photons but to warm the surface of the troposphere you also have to warm N2 and O2. So collisions come into play. However in deserts where there isn’t much water vapour, they are the hottest places on earth. The back radiation doesnt do anything to heat a desert because meterologists have calculated that the Sahara desert loses more radiation than it gains. The difference is made up from sinking air caused by Coriolis effect and the rising air in the tropical forests caused by rainstorms. So because collisions have always occurred between O2 and N2, and CO2; these collisions could not possibly have resulted in AGW before 1850. Since we had only 68.8% of the present day CO2 in 1850 there were 1,450,000 *.688 = ~ 1 million CO2 molecules in the atmosphere in 1850. Those 1 million molecules were then added to at an average rate of 0.002288 or 0.2288% per year. In 1850 there were already enough CO2 molecules to catch every photon of IR leaving the earth surface per second. Since IR travels at the speed of light, the theory of photon bouncing between C02 molecules and earth surface to warm the lower troposhere is bogus, because if you don’t consider collisions , then the isotropic (all direction of emission of CO2 photons ) guarantees that within 1 second all the photons get booted to outer space. When you do consider collisions with the N2 and O2 in the 1850 scenario, the heat absorbed by those collisions has to have had found its way to outerspace or else we would have had runaway global warming in 1850.Those million molecules of CO2 in 1850 did not have any super properties to prevent global warming. They did what they always have done absorb and emit and collide. Today’ s 407 ppm of CO2 still collide but since there are ~ 1.5 million of them now, the alarmists are saying that that extra 500000 CO2 molecules are now a catastrophy for mankind. Never mind that they have greened the earth by almost 20% more, but the alarmists are saying that their collisions are now causing global warming. If a million CO2 molecules colliding in 1850 did not cause global warming why should 50 % more of them do so now? The UAH satellite dataset says that over last 40 years, the world has a trend of 1.3C per century. I will gladly take it and raise you a further 2 C per century. It is cold here in Canada. Alice cannot measure the temperature in Alice in Wonderland because “There are no thermometers” says the Queen.

    • “~ 1 million CO2 molecules in the atmosphere in 1850. ”

      THIS should read: ~ 1 million CO2 molecules (per photon leaving the earth surface per second) in the atmosphere in 1850.

      “Those 1 million molecules”

      THIS should read : Those 1 million molecules (per photon leaving the earth surface per second)

      • “~ 1.5 million of them now”

        THIS should read : ~ 1.5 million of them now (per photon leaving the surface per second)

        • I look at it as a reduction in mean path length per photon, with increased CO2 density. Thermalization a few meters close to the surface happens, as a CO2 molecule suffers 30,000 energy altering collisions before it can re- emit. The net result is a slightly warmer surface. I question how much, as outbound heat transport follows T4 radiation, water vapor, and convection.

          • I realize that the diurnal /day night reality would involve a scale of 0 to 2x the average amount of IR that is reaching the surface and being reemitted but that doesnt change the average. The number of collisions has an important result to the scenario. In atmospheres like Venus with 96.5% CO2, the CO2 molcules are basically mostly colliding with themselves. On Venus the surface pressure is 10 times what it is on the earth and the density is 54 times what it is on earth. The TOA solar irradiance of Venus is twice that of earth but since Venus CO2 clouds are so thick almost none of it makes it to the ground. So back radiation is close to 0 on Venus. The much higher temperature of Venus isnt a result of TOA irradiance but of a much denser atmosphere. Even on earth, back radiation really is only important from water vapour clouds. Since there are no CO2 clouds on earth, the only thing that raises the temperature (semi permanently) of the lower troposphere is that thermalization you mention due to collisions. So both planets warm for basically the same reason; collisions. In 1850 collisions happened before the onset of SUV’S, and there wasnt runaway global warming. How could an increase of CO2 by 50 % be responsible for any warming when it is still only 0.04% of the atmosphere?

            If CO2 is causing global warming at 407 ppm it had to be causing a little bit of global warming at 280 ppm in 1850. But that 280 figure was stable for 400000 years according to ice cores. Ther was no runaway global warming before, therefore at 280 ppm there was no increase in global temperature. If there wasnt any increase in global temperature at 280ppm what magical property of CO2 would cause global warming now?

  5. Interesting.
    The corporations paying greenmail should wake up.
    The climate extremists are not popular, just loud and shrill.
    All over the world climate extremism is failing.
    Climate extremist policies are not working anywhere.
    It is long past time for pushback.

      • In terms of impact, climate extremists have failed completely. In Australia the climate corruption is putting off the day if reckoning.

        • In Australia, the climate extremists have won on every front. We are closing down coal-fired power stations and increasing the price of electricity. Our energy-consuming industries are moving elsewhere: that means oil refineries, aluminium smelters, everything. All of the major parties in all Australian parliaments support this, so there is no likelihood that it will change.

          • They are winning battles but losing the war.
            Only by corrupting the political process are the extremists winning anything.
            Physics doesn’t agree with the alarmists and the Australian people are suffering.
            The climate extremists have imposed Lent but banned Easter.

          • I agree with rubberduck, the extremists have “won”. It will be simply far too expensive to build new coal/gas fired generation capacity in Australia with greentape and lawfare. It’s almost as “never ever” as nuclear here. Thus, the main, three or so, generators (AGL the biggest I think) are in a position to strangle supply, and they are doing so, because, due to sell-off of public assets to private companies, they can. So they are sold state assets, cheaply, and simply run them in to the ground leaving only one option; Renewables.

            AGL (and other generators/investors) are laughing all the way to the bank.

            Going totally off-grid? In large cities, not possible, that has been covered.

      • Yes, but so long as economic macro-managers keep their grubby hands off the periodic table, there will always be such a thing as a free diamond. THAT’S the America I want to live in. It would break my heart if my kids had to spend their hard-earned pocket money stocking up on diamonds for Valentine’s Day. Even a cent per stone is unAmerican—it’s the principle, not the price. Will our classe climatique really be cruel enough, one day, to take away American childhood?

        MAGA!
        KCF!

    • ‘until the next paroxysm of capnophobia comes over our “leaders.”’

      I don’t think you’re going to have to wait long.

  6. Brad Keyes seems unaware that carbon dioxide, the product of the combustion of carbon, is NOT the same as elemental carbon.

    • Diamonds are not Forever – Lavoisier proved the existance of oxygen by burning diamonds to smoke in a bell jar. He was the first under the guillotine for waste of state wealth.

      A carbon tax would have shown no crime was comitted, the smoke was exculpatory evidence.

    • I believe that may have been a way to twit the supporters who always call it “CARBON” when they mean carbon dioxide.

      I have always thought when I hear the press going on and on about “bad carbon this and bad carbon that” that they are all self hating carbon-based life forms.

  7. A small victory to be sure. When AGW becomes truly dead by major universities, organizations, and scientific publications then I will rest easy. Until then the greens will keep putting this stuff on the ballot. Even though these measures were voted down, the fact is too many people voted for them.
    I haven’t checked but I believe Polais won here in Colorado. The first statement he made when running was to move Colorado to a total sustainable state. He didn’t say anymore about it afterwards,but I’m sure that’s his agenda. The issue of AGW was ranked next to last or dead last, that didn’t stop Obama from making it a priority over things like trade, jobs and the economy. Perhaps you may remember his first commercials of him standing in a weed filled lot with a plant closed behind him. Too many moonbeams have moved here from the state where wonderful energy policies are made. So successful, they felt the need to leave and infect Colorado.

    • The “sustainable’ buzzword, that nobody can clearly define. To a South African, this resonates with the ongoing government buzzword “transformation”. In fact, this means taking what was run by ‘whites’ to being run by ‘blacks’. The major disaster is South African Airways, once a decent airline. The politically appointed chairperson stated that her direction was to ‘transform’ SAA. Not make it more efficient, or more popular, or more on-time or anything practical like that – just transformed. SAA is now losing about $30 billion per year, and is effectively bankrupt. I would guess that the Greens’ ‘sustainable’ whatever, is going to end up something like that – i.e. expensive, impractical or non-functional, and eventually supported by the taxpayer.

  8. That $45 million could have given a good kick-start if used for small scale pilot projects on how best to adapt to and benefit from climate changes.

    • But what is changing? All the claims are so vague, wetter and drier, warmer and colder, and they can not predict anything reliably, just lots of wishy washy claims.

  9. Other representatives have also lost their jobs, “Republicans in the Climate Solutions Caucus (CSC), a bipartisan group meant to put forward policies aimed at addressing global warming.”
    “Carbon Tax Curbelo Loses in Florida”

    “Caucus members defeated by their Democratic opponents included Barbara Comstock of Virginia, Scott Taylor of Virginia, Daniel Donovan of New York and Peter Roskam of Illinois. ”

    https://www.dailycaller.com/2018/11/07/climate-caucus-republicans-suffer-a-string-of-election-defeats-including-their-pro-carbon-tax-leader/

    • I see where Carlos Curbelo, Republican representative from Florida, lost his election yesterday by a slim margin.

      Curbelo favored a carbon tax and believed something needed to be done to curb CAGW.

      So I have mixed feelings about his loss. We needed his Republican seat, but we don’t need his carbon tax.

  10. WHen the idiots speak of a “carbon tax” do they mean that, or a carbon dioxide tax?

    Is $20/ton equivalent to on;ly $6.67 per ton of C2 or $60/ton of CO2.

  11. Will progressive leaders listen this time to voters or forge ahead in the other direction in the legislative session as the Nature Conservancy commands?

  12. I’m relieved this didn’t pass in Washington, but based on the election results here in Oregon, I’ve got my eyes shut, just waiting for it to simply get imposed here.

  13. Whew!
    Major relief.
    My wallet thanks you. For now.
    Though WA state still continues the march to extreme left, Cali-style government.

  14. Any group calling itself an “Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy” while pushing for a carbon tax is composed of either liars or fools. A carbon tax will remove jobs and decrease energy.

    I’m glad that, Seattle notwithstanding, there are enough strong-minded folks in Washington to see through the charade.

    Here in CA, watch new governor Gavin Newsom make outgoing Jerry Brown look like Mr. Sobersides.

  15. Do not uncork the champagne yet. This issue will live on. I live in Washington State, and can assure you that the people that organized this ballot initiative are visiting today all of the newly elected Democrats in both houses of our state legislature. Many of the remaining Republican State Representatives (including mine) and Senators were defeated yesterday. Democrats, i.e. “progressives,” will have solid control of both houses, plus a governor (Jay Inslee) that would gladly sign anything capable of passing the legislature. A revised carbon tax scheme will be introduced this coming session. How far it goes through the process remains to be seen, but I am forecasting a watered down version of the initiative moves through the pipeline and may pass both chambers.

    • After posting this, saw Ryan Maue’s tweet a couple of hours ago on the same subject. I am a huge fan of Ryan’s work, and I hope what he tweeted (no hope in legislature) is true. But, D legislators from the Seattle/Tacoma/Bellevue metro area will not allow a second thrashing at the polls deter them from trying. If not in 2019, then 2020 and so on. They can’t help it; it’s how they are wired.

    • These people are driven by a Great Moral Cause – Saving the Planet [TM] which allows them to ignore democratic results and pursue the Cause by any means necessary

      • True – and they keep getting elected and re elected because they manage to make the voters ‘feel’ they are doing something ‘good’ for the world/earth/etc.

  16. Canada’s government needs to dramatically change how to think about our energy future. The benefits of fossil fuels in terms of human flourishing need to be weighed carefully against the environmental impacts of fossil fuels.

    Fossil fuels are directly responsible for our present high standard of living. Where there is access to cheap reliable plentiful energy from fossil fuels we see life expectancy increasing by more than 40%, an eradication of starvation and malnutrition, and people are no longer living in the grinding poverty present in most of human history. Therefore it is anti-human and immoral to restrict access to fossil fuels by means of carbon taxes or other punitive carbon policies. Source: Reference A.

    A summary of the best available climate science is as follows: The historical and geological record suggests recent changes in the climate over the past century are within the bounds of natural variability. Human influences on the climate (largely the accumulation of CO2 from fossil fuel combustion) are a physically small (1%) effect on a complex, chaotic, multicomponent and multiscale system. Unfortunately, the data and our understanding are insufficient to usefully quantify the climate’s response to human influences. However, even as human influences have quadrupled since 1950, severe weather phenomena and sea level rise show no significant trends attributable to them. Projections of future climate and weather events rely on models demonstrably unfit for the purpose. As a result, rising levels of CO2 do not obviously pose an immediate, let alone imminent, threat to the earth’s climate. Source: Reference B.

    Fossil fuels drive economic growth and jobs. Fossil fuels provide more than 80% of the world’s energy demand and will continue to do so into 2050. Renewable energy can only provide a small percentage of world energy. Proposals under the Paris Agreement to drastically reduce fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions would devastate Canada’s economy. Reducing GHG emissions to 80% less than 1990 levels by 2050 implies that living standards would be reduced to that of the 1800’s. Source: Reference C.

    Given that access to cheap plentiful reliable energy is necessary for humans to flourish, and, given there is no evidence to support anthropogenic global warming as a result of the use of fossil fuels, and, given that drastic reductions in fossil fuel use would devastate Canada’s economy, Canada’s Carbon Policy should be to:

    a. Remove Canada from the Paris Agreement. Its a really bad deal for Canada.

    b. Abolish Carbon taxes.

    c. Abolish punitive carbon policies intended to thwart the use or development of fossil fuels and the bringing of them to market. Promote fossil fuels.

    d. Stop subsidizing renewable energy projects such as wind and solar. They are not reliable, are very expensive, and are not plentiful on any order of scale.

    e. Fund pure unbiased climate research that is independent of UN IPCC as a means of due diligence. Climate change is a natural cycle that we need to better understand.

    References:

    A. ‘The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels’ by Alex Epstein. Summary of the book here:
    http://industrialprogress.com/fossilfuels/

    B. Amicus Brief City of Oakland vs BP etal. Climate Science Overview 2018. Happer, Koonin, and Lindzen
    https://www.sealevel.info/Happer-Koonin-Lindzen.pdf

    C. ‘Energy and Prosperity’ 2017 Presentation Slides by Roger Bezdek http://americafirstenergy.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/1B-Energy-and-Prosperity-Bezdek.pdf

    Suggested Reading

    Books

    ‘The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels’ by Alex Epstein. ISBN 978-1-59184-744-1

    ‘Evidence Based Climate Science’ Edited by Don Easterbrook. ISBN 978-0-12-804588-6

    ‘Climate Change – The Facts 2017’ Edited by Jennifer Marohasy. ISBN -10: 0909536031

    Science Papers

    ‘Harmonic Analysis of Worldwide Temperature Proxies for 2000 Years’ 2017 Lüdecke and Weiss.

    ‘Grand Minimum of the Total Solar Irradiance Leads to the Little Ice Age’ 2013 Habibullo Abdussamatov. ISBN 978-5-44690-122-7

    ‘Reinforcing the double dynamo model with solar-terrestrial activity in the past three millennia’ 2017 Valentina V. Zharkova et al

    ‘Increased ionization supports growth of aerosols into cloud condensation nuclei’ 2017 Henrik Svensmark et al.

    ‘Sea Level Manipulation’ 2017 Nils-Axel Mörner

    Data

    NOAA Mauna Loa CO2
    https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/full.html

    Atmospheric Transmission. Robert H Rohde prepared this figure for the Global Warming Art project. It shows CO2 absorption spectrum is fully saturated.
    https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Atmospheric_Transmission.png

    UAH Satellite Global Temperature Anomaly – 0.13C per decade and flat since 1998
    http://www.drroyspencer.com/latest-global-temperatures/

    UN IPCC models versus UAH and RSS data over prediction by 0.41C in 26 years
    http://notrickszone.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Models_IPCC-vs-reality-1.png

    Historical Changes in Atlantic Hurricane and Tropical Storms – No Trend
    https://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/historical-atlantic-hurricane-and-tropical-storm-records/

    National Forestry Database Forest Fires – No Trend
    http://nfdp.ccfm.org/en/data/fires.php

    Global Average Absolute Sea Level Change 1880 – 2014 – No change in trend 2 mm/year
    https://datahub.io/core/sea-level-rise

    • Washington’s failed initiative, I-1631 was worse than a tax by many times over. It was the epitaph of the State’s planned demise. Washingtonians can finally take a breath again after holding it, now that I-1631 failed. The public should be aware of this chicanery. Let me explain.

      I-1631 would put the former president of the Sierra Club of Washington, Hillary Franz in charge of a panel of appointees to distribute proceeds from the tax (sorry, they called it a “fee” to avoid state oversight). Franz is the current Lands Commissioner in Washington State. One can calculate the first year cost to a family of four of the “fee” at $796, with the local Avista Utility providing a calibration of this cost, but also costs that include fuels for transportation, consumer staples, food, and heating. Natural gas heating and NG-coal generated electricity accounts for only 15% of the tax bill although Washington is the most hydro powered state in the U.S. and transportation another 40%. The fee would start at $15/tonne CO2 and increase annually by rate of inflation plus $2/tonne CO2. The Sierra Club’s Saul Alinsky Dave Foreman plan is to “empty” Washington State of its residents by remaking the state into a wildland (Wildlands Project https://nwri.org/the-wildlands-project/) by bankrupting family farms as ours and businesses, forcing sales (to you-guessed it). The enormous I-1631 funding source made that possible. The Sierra Club two years ago (Hirst decision) facilitated our liberal State Supreme Court mal-interpretation of law that now outlaws drilling of any new water well on privately-owned lands. Had I-1631 become law and IF current spending continues into the future, a family of four would have paid to the “fee” (into Hillary’s Club coffers) $3,000 in the tenth year, $7,000 in the twentieth year, in thirtieth year $18,000, etc., etc., all this time the “fee” accelerates at an exponential rate and in 50 years the cumulative cost to a family of four would exceed $1.2 million but there was no end to it, except when the Sierra Club is satisfied that Washington’s climate debts are paid! All of this is happening under the watchful eyes of the State’s AGW-crazed liberal governor.

    • The climate extremists have dismissed rational processes when it comes to energy and climate.
      That dismissal is causing their irrationality to grow and grow.

  17. Now we just need a greenhouse experiment showing marijuana plants grown with high CO2 levels and plant growth differences at different concentrations. That’s the only thing they respond to these days. Is it good for craft breweries and marijuana or not?

  18. I’m waiting for the enviro-loons in the state government to try to get a judge to overturn the results. Making a decision like the government is looking out for the common good of the environment. Wouldn’t be surprised if that happened.

  19. Now WUWT has got me feeling jolly — How about if we rural counties get together and pass a ballot measure imposing 1631 on King County?

    Hydro power from the Mighty Columbia River is not renewable according to Olympia, so we may have to raise taxes on that too, just in King County, in the interest of being logically and legally consistent.

    They are already prepared to ration electricity, with their new Smart Meters. So no worries.

    Rural counties need to be creative and proactive in days like these. (:

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