Report finds nearly 56,000 fewer jobs annually over next 20 years; increase in gas prices
OLYMPIA, Wash. (Feb. 5, 2015) – Members of the Washington Climate Collaborative – a coalition of Washington workers, farmers and employers – released analysis of Gov. Jay Inslee’s carbon cap- and-trade tax plan today. The analysis, conducted by consulting firm Energy Strategies and researchers affiliated with two Northwest universities, concludes that the over $1 billion tax increase will cost the state an average of nearly 56,000 fewer jobs annually between 2016 and 2035.
“This plan will hit everybody in the state, either directly or indirectly,” said Terry Willis, a farmer from Grays Harbor. “The new taxes will eventually affect all farms and the companies that buy our food. Our farm sells produce to a major food manufacturer, but when their energy costs go up they may have to look elsewhere for product. It will have a real impact on Washington farmers.”
The Energy Strategies’ analysis also confirms the Governor’s own analysis that his plan will immediately raise the price of gas by at least $.11 per gallon on all Washingtonians, not just the 130 Washington companies he has identified.
“Local farmers are the lifeblood of my business, but because they’re so small they pass on the price of gas to me,” said Amy Igloi Creed, Owner of Amy’s on the Bay Restaurant & Bar. “I already pay over $3200 a year in these delivery fees. With the price of gas going up immediately by $0.11 per gallon these fees are going to get bigger and I’ll be forced to start buying from large national companies. These increases will put small, local producers out of business.”
Additionally, the new report confirms the Governor’s own analysis that his plan will raise the price of gasoline, natural gas, and electricity. According to the report, these direct price increases will cost the average Washington household nearly $60 more per month. The report also concludes that households will be hit by a reduction in income. Based on their analysis, the average annual loss of household income will be nearly $1200.
Members of the Washington Climate Collaborative are committed to protecting the environment and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. But, they believe policies the state has already adopted can be continued and expanded. According to the Energy Strategies report, Washington’s per capita greenhouse gas emission rate is 36% lower than the national average. Between 2005 and ￼￼2011, greenhouse gas emissions have seen an average annual decrease of .5% despite a 25% growth in the state economy and 500,000 new residents.
“As Washingtonians, we value the environment, and wish to protect it,” said Daren Konopaski, Northwest Carpenters Union. “However the burden to do so shouldn’t fall solely on working families at the expense of their family budgets, or jobs. We need balanced policies that secure jobs, and protect our environment.”
You can read the full Energy Strategies report here.