Washington Legislature Rejects Montana Carbon Tax
Montana Attorney General Tim Fox was celebrating the decision last week by the Washington State legislature to deny issuing a proposed ‘carbon tax’ on coal-fired energy from Montana.
Fox made it clear in a recent letter to Governor Inslee stating, “Washington State has no authority to enforce environmental regulations in Montana. Senate Bill 6203 is unconstitutional and would have had significant impact on Montana’s economy. The Washington Senate made the right decision by rejecting this misguided proposal.”
In speaking with KGVO News on Friday, Fox expanded on his comment.
“The Washington legislature was considering a bill that was being pushed by their Governor Jay Inslee that would have established a carbon tax,” said Fox. “We spent a lot of time looking at that legislation, and it was clear on its face that not only was it poor policy, but from our perspective, it was against the Constitution. In essence, they wanted to regulate emissions outside of their own state, and no surprisingly, they were giving a pass to electricity generating plants that were within the state of Washington.”
Fox said the bill was both unlawful and unconstitutional.
“It teed up a commerce cause problem as well as the violating the Clean Water Act, and FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) law, so my partner and colleague, the Attorney General of the State of Washington, Peter Michal and I drafted a letter to Governor Inslee and to the legislature, and I’m happy to report that the bill died in the state senate in the last 48 hours.”
Not to be outdone, Fox said the Washington governor is not giving up his fight to punish Montana economically for its coal energy.
“Governor Inslee has indicated that he will attempt to push a citizen initiative to try to do the same thing, and if they were successful in doing that, there will be state attorneys general in Montana and Wyoming who will set things straight.”