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First-in-U.S. carbon fee on Wash. fall ballot


SEATTLE (AP) – Voters in Washington state will be asked this fall to do what state and federal leaders have been reluctant to: charge a direct fee on carbon pollution to fight climate change.

If the measure passes, it will be the first direct fee or tax charged on carbon emissions in the U.S.

Experts say it will show that states can take climate action, even if the Trump administration doesn’t, and nudge other states to follow.

Initiative 1631 would charge industrial emitters that use or sell fossil fuels in the state. The proposed fee starts in 2020 at $15 per metric ton of carbon emissions and increases $2 a year.

Proponents say polluters who release carbon emissions responsible for global warming should pay to address its impacts. Opponents say the burden will fall to consumers in higher energy costs.

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