For previous InfoAlerts, visit:
Reason #1 http://images.usw.org/download/rapid/InfoAlert_WA_732_1.pdf
Reason # 2 http://images.usw.org/download/rapid/InfoAlert_WA_732_2.pdf
Initiative 732 Will Hurt Jobs and Derail Better Proposals
Initiative 732 could ultimately impact those whose livelihoods depend on fossil-fuel and carbon-producing industries as well as industries that are dependent upon energy costs.
Thousands of Steelworkers in Washington work in these kinds of jobs.
Initiative 732 places a new tax on burning fossil fuels, then attempts to offset this new cost by lowering the business and occupation tax on manufacturers. But, here’s the catch for jobs:
There’s no provision for “leakage.”
There’s nothing in I-732 that would prevent a manufacturer from moving outside of Washington or out of the U.S. to avoid the new taxes and then shipping their products back into Washington. I-732 could end up incentivizing job loss while shifting pollution elsewhere. That’s what’s referred to as “leakage.” It’s a problem that must be addressed in any policy aimed at reducing carbon emissions.
There are no job creation goals, nor any assistance for workers whose jobs are harmed.
In the event that workers lose their jobs from Initiative 732, there is no type of assistance that will help them transition into new jobs, nor are there any job creation goals that could help reduce fossil fuel emissions, such as infrastructure investment. Additionally, according to the Economic Impact Final Analysis on I-732, “The industries showing the largest loss in employment are manufacturing, agriculture, and utilities. Most of these jobs are living wage or better.” It is currently estimated that job losses will exceed 15,000 in the manufacturing sector alone.
Better solutions are possible.
A broad cross-section of unions, environmental groups, business interests, community groups and others have been working to develop sound policy through the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy. The debate over I-732 takes this work out of the spotlight, potentially delaying or derailing better solutions.
“I-732 is a flawed tax swap that will eliminate 15,000 manufacturing jobs in Washington and transfer our carbon emissions to other regions with fewer environmental standards,” remarks Dan Wilson, President of USW Local 338 in Spokane Valley, WA.