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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

January 1, 2009 at 4:15 PM

Pollution-permit giveaway

Do not forsake us

As the co-owner of a small, Seattle-based company, I was surprised to read that Gov. Christine Gregoire plans to give away pollution permits in the state’s groundbreaking cap-and-trade program [“Governor favors mostly free permits for polluters,” Politics & Government,” Dec. 13]. This is the worst possible decision for Washington consumers and small businesses.

We’ve come this far, blazing the trail for smart, effective policy to slow global warming and build a robust clean-energy economy (with good jobs and local industries) for the state. The governor should be commended for all the progress we’ve made. Why backpedal now?

By giving away permits instead of auctioning them for the public good, Gregoire is making the decision to hand windfall profits to oil companies at the expense of consumers. What’s more tragic is that it’s just as easy to do this right. Designed with protections for local families, cap-and-trade generates revenue for investments in our communities, for rebating energy costs directly to Washington consumers, and for creating good jobs and stabilizing our economy. Investments like these not only take care of immediate economic woes, but they position our state to lead as the nation and world moves to clean-energy technology.

We have an opportunity to do this right. There’s no good reason that Gregoire would make the decision to forsake Washington’s families as we move into a cleaner, greener era.

— Judith Dailey, Seattle

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