by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Despite increasingly apocalyptic warnings from U.N. officials, 2018 has seen a number of high-profile defeats for policies aimed at fighting global warming. Politicians and voters pushed back at attempts to raise energy prices as part of the climate crusade.
It started in June with election of Ontario Premier Doug Ford. Ontario residents overwhelmingly voted Ford’s conservative coalition into power on a platform that included axing the Canadian province’s cap-and-trade program.
Ford said his first priority upon taking office would be to “cancel the Liberal cap-and-trade carbon tax.” Ford then joined a legal challenge led by Saskatchewan against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s policy of a central government-imposed carbon tax on provinces that don’t have their own.
Carbon tax opponents called Trudeau’s plan an attempt to “use the new tax to further redistribute income, which will increase the costs of this tax to the economy.” …
… Back in the U.S., $45 million was being pumped into the battle over a Washington state carbon tax ballot measure. Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee, who has 2020 presidential ambitions, supported the measure though refiners, but other opponents outspent carbon tax supporters.
The Inslee-backed measure called for taxing carbon dioxide emissions at $15 a ton in 2020, which would increase at $2 a year above the rate of inflation until the state meets its emissions goals.
However, Washington voters rejected the carbon tax measure in the November election despite Inslee’s support. It was the second time in two years that Washington voters rejected a carbon tax ballot initiative.