"What are we doing here? Why are we punishing American companies?"

gas tax gas pump KOMO pic2.jpg
KVI's John Carlson interviews Ironworkers Local 86 about why their labor union is opposed to I-1631, which would raise taxes on carbon fuel like gasoline, natural gas and home heating oil. (photo: KOMO News)

Washington ballot initiative I-1631 asks voters to pay a higher tax on carbon fuel in an effort to emit less green house gases. The issue will be decided by Washington voters on the November 6, 2018 general election ballot.

KVI show host, John Carlson interviewed Ironworkers union Local 86 district council president, Steve Pendergrass about the labor union's opposition to I-1631.

"Do we (Local 86) believe there's global warming? Yes we (Local 86) do. Do we (Local 86) need to address it? Yes we (Local 86) do. Is I-1631 is the answer? Absolutely not." says Pendergrass, who says the biggest concern for the labor union is that future manufacturing development would disappear in the state if the taxes associated with I-1631 are approved by voters.

Pendergrass notes that his labor union members commute 30-60 miles a day to work sites and I-1631, "is basically a gas tax."

According to the TriCities Herald, the measure proposes a $15 per metric ton fee on carbon emissions by the state’s largest polluters starting in 2020, with an incremental increase of $2 per metric ton plus inflation each year. For gasoline bought at the pump, estimates of I-1631 would add 14 cents to the price per gallon because oil companies will likely pass along some of the financial costs of the tax(es) to consumers.

The Ironworkers union says any steel production in Washington would most certainly be off-shored to China or Korea if I-1631 restrictions are approved.

"You take our state convention center (in Seattle) and we're gonna do a major expansion here this next year. And the steel has been outsourced to Asia. China and Korea emit three-times more green house gasses in the manufacturing of steel" says Pendergrass. "What are we doing here? Why are we punishing American companies and sending these major projects over seas?", wondered Pendergrass.

For the full interview, click on the image above.

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