Washington’s New Cap-and-Trade Program: A Costly and Badly Flawed Climate Mandate

New program is 3x more costly than predicted

Washington’s newest climate mandate is the most expensive Cap-and-Trade program of its kind in the nation. The cost to comply with this program is estimated to be $1.3 Billion in the first year alone.1 This is 3 times more expensive than originally predicted when the program was passed by the legislature.2

Many experts are highly skeptical about the long-term feasibility of this program. In Washington’s rush to become the “greenest” state in the nation, the program doesn’t consider whether there is even a realistic way to comply with the aggressive goals that have been set by the program or what the cost impacts will be for Washington’s economy and consumers.3

  1. Washington Research Council, Memo on SSB 5126, Allowance Prices and Revenues, March 8, 2023 (based on February 28 allowance auction price of $48.50).
  2. Washington Office of Fiscal Management, Fiscal Note, E2SSB 5126, May 21, 2021 (based on a projected allowance price of $22.78 in 2023, and estimated 2023 auction revenue of $441,226,518).
  3. Carr Bon-Neutral Consulting, “Concerns Regarding Washington’s Cap-and-Invest Program,” April 2022.