The Seattle Times doesnt care about poor people.
The Seattle Times uses poor people as a human shield to protect oil company profits. KAMILPETRAN/GETTY IMAGES

The Seattle Times is a sham and a disgrace. Last week, they endorsed Dino Rossi. Electing Rossi to the House of Representatives could keep both houses of Congress in Republican hands, which means no oversight of Trump and his racist, anti-woman, anti-gay, anti-First Amendment, pro-Second Amendment agenda. Their endorsement of Rossi could mean the difference between our country surviving or not.

Now, if you can believe it, the Seattle Times is coming after the environment itself, recommending a no vote on Initiative 1631. In an editorial published over the weekend, Seattle Times argues that we should not charge petroleum companies for the carbon they emit because the costs would be passed onto consumers, therefore the proposal would have a disproportionate impact on poor people.

In other words, the Seattle Times Editorial Board is pretending to be concerned for Washington’s poorest people while using them as human shields to defend the profits of petroleum companies. There is no other way to read their editorial opposing Initiative 1631, which would impose a modest carbon fee on petroleum companies.

The reason they want you to vote no? Here’s what they say: “It’s a largely inescapable, regressive tax especially on middle income families… Everyone would pay more for housing, food and other goods, because higher energy prices increase their cost.”

This is a disgusting line of reasoning from a for-profit family-owned corporation that has worked hard to keep Washington’s tax system unfair and regressive. The Times has fought against a state income tax on people who make more than $200,000 a year (they endorsed rejecting it), and they fought against the city’s head tax (which would have raised money from major corporations to help with homelessness). Both of those policies they advocated against would have made our state’s tax system less regressive. In other words: better for poor people.

So don’t be fooled by their sudden feigned fake-ass concern for poor people. They oppose this new climate fee not because they are worried about poor people but because they are an entrenched player on the side of millionaires and billionaires, including oil companies, and if the climate has to suffer a while longer, well, that’s fine with them.

This initiative, which would impose a $15 fee on every ton of carbon produced with a $2 increase each year, is a serious threat to the bottom line of petroleum companies and their Earth-destroying profit model. Those companies have poured in nearly $26 million to fight I-1631, making this the most expensive ballot initiative in Washington state history. Big Oil is scared. I-1631 is obviously a threat to them; that means it’s worth fighting for.

The carbon fee will almost certainly raise energy prices for Washingtonians. Homes will be more expensive to heat, food will be more expensive to move to grocery stores, and gas will go up 14 cents a gallon, according to the Washington Policy Center.

And that’s the fucking point. Carbon-emitting activities, like burning petroleum, are supposed to cost more under these climate-saving measures. A carbon fee is supposed to disincentivize the use of carbon and systematically change our habits, while encouraging clean alternatives.

Plus, I-1631 attempts to mitigate its impact on poor people by spending at least 10 percent of the carbon fee’s revenue on investments like: bill assistance, public transportation, weatherization, and community-owned renewable energy. If the carbon fee collects as much as it is estimated to, then that means over $100 million going into those cost-saving programs.

As the earth’s climate changes the world’s poorest people will feel the brunt of this disaster. They will be the first to lose potable water, the first to choke on noxious fumes, and the first to have their homes ruined in extreme weather. Before the Seattle-Times-supported Trump Administration fucked over the Environmental Protection Agency, the EPA listed low-income communities as especially vulnerable to climate change.

The Times faces this mountain of evidence in support of I-1631 and what do they do? Instead of supporting the statewide carbon fee, they tell us that the real solution is to pass a national carbon tax. There is no chance that the United States of America under Donald Trump’s leadership would even humor a discussion about a national carbon tax, much less pass one into law. Just look at this thing Trump posted to Twitter this morning:

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The Blethlens may lack moral fiber, but they are not idiots. They know the Trump administration and the Republican Party do not believe in science or fighting climate change. The Seattle Times is in the pockets of the world’s richest people and corporations. That’s why they have opposed income taxes, public transit, and corporate taxes. And that’s why they are fighting one of the country’s most viable measures to fight climate change.

Make Washington an example in the fight against climate change. Tell the Seattle Times to fuck off, and vote for I-1631.

If you'd like to read endorsements that weren't written by right-wing puppets, read The Stranger's.