Not counting Bloomberg's pledge, the I-1631 campaign has raised nearly $6.6 million in donations, according to campaign-finance records. Oil companies and others have poured more than $21 million into an effort to oppose the campaign.
OLYMPIA – The Washington state campaign to put a carbon fee on fossil fuels is getting some help from former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
In a speech Tuesday in New York City, Bloomberg said he would donate $1 million to the Initiative 1631 campaign, which is on the November election ballot.
Bloomberg is also pouring $20 million into the Senate Majority PAC to boost the Democratic Party’s effort to wrest control from Republicans in the mid-term elections. Republicans hold a 51-49 majority now.
Bloomberg’s donation comes as oil companies and others have poured more than $21 million into an effort to oppose the campaign.
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Nick Abraham, communications director for the Yes on 1631 campaign, said the announcement came as a welcome surprise.
“I think folks have seen a lot of headlines right now about all the oil money coming in,” Abraham said. “This helps us.”
Not counting Bloomberg’s pledge, the I-1631 campaign has raised nearly $6.6 million in donations, according to campaign-finance records.
By putting a fee on fossil fuels, the initiative is intended to speed up a transition toward cleaner energy and assist Washington in adjusting to climate change. Money from the fee could go toward projects such as helping people buy electric cars or thinning forests to deter wildfires.
Opponents of I-1631 have called it an energy tax that will drive up gas and electric prices, or a poorly-designed policy that would dampen the state’s economy without doing much to reduce carbon emissions.