The study for a state business coalition says the governor’s cap-and-trade proposal would reduce annual average employment in the state by about 56,000 jobs.
OLYMPIA — A business coalition opposed to Gov. Jay Inslee’s top climate legislation released a study Thursday saying the plan would hurt the economy and cost jobs — a finding at odds with a state analysis.
The study for the Washington Climate Collaborative (WCC) said Inslee’s cap-and-trade proposal, which would impose a new carbon charge on oil refineries, fuel distributors and other major polluters, would reduce annual average employment in the state by about 56,000 jobs. The average household would pay nearly $60 a month in higher gasoline, natural-gas and electric bills, the study said.
The study was conducted by the consulting firm Energy Northwest, with aid from research faculty at the University of Idaho and Washington State University. It was paid for by WCC, a coalition that includes the Association of Washington Business and the Western States Petroleum Association.
Those findings clash with an analysis by the state Office of Financial Management (OFM), released in December. The OFM study found that while gas and energy prices would rise under the cap-and-trade plan, the net effect would be negligible. The OFM study predicted cap and trade would result in nearly 11,000 additional jobs by 2035.
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Information in this article, originally published Feb. 5, 2015, was corrected Feb. 6, 2015. A previous version of this story misstated the name of the consulting firm that helped conduct a study of Gov. Jay Inslee’s proposed state cap-and-trade plan.