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

New program is on track to be 4x more costly than predicted

Washington’s newest climate mandate continues to grow more expensive. The Seattle Times reports this program has already collected nearly $1.5 Billion in compliance costs through August 31, 2023.1  This is nearly 4 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. Seattle Times, “WA’s carbon-pricing auctions collect nearly $1.5 billion as allowances reach record price, September 6, 2023”.
  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.