Governor’s carbon tax bill dies in Legislature

Jay Inslee says proponents made progress this year but need to keep pushing the idea.

By Phuong Le / Associated Press

OLYMPIA — Another ambitious effort to pass a carbon tax in Washington has faltered as both Gov. Jay Inslee and the bill’s prime sponsor conceded Thursday that there weren’t enough votes to pass the measure out of the state Senate.

Washington would have been the first U.S. state to impose a straight tax on carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels such as gasoline and electricity and the legislation has been closely watched nationally.

But Inslee told The Associated Press Thursday that they were still one or two votes shy of passing it out of the Senate. It also needed to clear the House.

Inslee, a Democrat, says they made real progress in advancing the issue but need to keep on fighting.

Bill sponsor Sen. Reuven Carlyle, a Seattle Democrat, says they got very close but a handful of senators still couldn’t get there. He says he expects to see a carbon pricing policy in the state in coming years.

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