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After losing at the ballot box and in the Legislature, carbon-tax supporters are now proposing a carbon fee that is unfortunately little more than a gift to powerful utilities and a penalty for low-income people.

This revamped carbon tax relies on the same misguided premise that has plagued the failed British Columbia carbon tax: That a nominal increase in carbon-based fuel prices will drive down consumption. The problem is that the vast majority of consumers cannot stop heating their homes, or driving to work or school. In the end, emissions don’t fall, but prices rise.

Voters are far more supportive of mandating renewable energy development than carbon taxes or fees that hit users instead of corporate polluters. Rather than cutting deals with utilities to put forward a flawed carbon tax, environmental leaders should give voters what they want: bold action to cut emissions and transition to 100 percent renewable energy.

Thomas Meyer, Olympia, Senior Organizer, Food & Water Action