LETTER: Clallam commissioner hopefuls’ talk on carbon tax encouraging

Initiative 732 research indicates the measure would net benefits for Nippon Paper Industries USA.

It was interesting reading that the Clallam County commissioner candidates discussed Initiative 732 and its impact on Nippon Paper Industries USA paper mill [“Carbon Tax Debate; Commissioner Hopefuls Differ On Issue,” PDN, Aug. 31].

I-732 has four provisions: put a price on carbon, lower the sales tax by 1 percent, fund the Working Families tax rebate and eliminate the business and occupation (B&O) tax on manufacturing.

The impacts on the Nippon mill would include:

• Because Nippon uses co-generation energy from its biomass-burner plant, it would not pay the carbon tax on its energy.

• Because the mill sells its excess energy, which would not be subject to the carbon tax, that energy should increase in value.

• The mill would benefit from the elimination of the business and occupation tax on manufacturing.

• The carbon tax would increase the price of fuel, so haulers of pulp to the mill would probably raise their prices somewhat.

However, fuel is probably relatively minor compared to labor and overhead costs.

The I-732 organization has researched the net cost to manufacturers and has concluded that for the pulp and paper industry, even not generating biomass fuel, I-732 would be close to cost-neutral.

Nippon Paper Industries USA should do even better than that.

It’s encouraging to see a discussion of this important initiative and its economic and environmental benefits for Clallam County.

Voters should think carefully about the leaders we choose and what their legacy will be to our children and grandchildren.

Dick Stockment,

Quilcene

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