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State lawmakers proposed a carbon fee as part of a $17.1 billion transportation funding package.




— Washington State


State lawmakers proposed a carbon fee as part of a $17.1 billion transportation funding package. If passed, the measure would be the first of its kind in the nation and raise about $7.9 billion over the next 10 years. Washington lawmakers have proposed a carbon fee as part of a transportation funding package, the third major attempt at limiting the atmosphere-warming gas through such a policy since 2018. If passed the measure would be the first of its kind in the nation, but similar proposals in the state have failedeven as scientists have ratcheted up dire climate warnings.


At $15 per ton, the fee would raise about $7.9 billion over the next 10 years, part of a $17.1 billion fee-and-bond package unveiled Thursday by Senate Transportation committee chairman Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens.


Despite the failure of earlier versions, signs point to the idea gaining popularity nationwide: At least 10 other states have already introduced carbon fee or tax proposals, amid warnings from scientists of significant negative global warming impacts including food shortages, wildfires, and a die-off of coral reefs as soon as 2040.


The Washington package also includes a 6-cents-per-gallon fuel tax increase, and would fund projects including highway maintenance and the state ferry system. It would also fund federally-mandated culvert replacement projects, expected to cost $3.5 billion alone according to Hobbs' estimate.

"If you look at this package as a whole it deals with both environmental and infrastructure needs," Hobbs said.

Sen. Curtis King, a Yakima Republican, said it was too