Top green priority in the legislature: a tax on oil – Crosscut

Top green priority in the legislature: a tax on oil
By Daniel Jack Chasan
*1/6/10 Crosscut —

To paraphrase Sen. Everett McKinley Dirksen: $120 million here and $120 million there, and pretty soon you’re into real money.

That $120 million is the amount that People for Puget Sound and its allies in the Environmental Priorities Coalition hope to raise for stormwater projects through a $1.50 per barrel tax <> on petroleum products (including gasoline, motor oil, and asphalt, but not jet fuel) that will go before this month’s session of the legislature.

The Department of Ecology would dole out the money for capital projects and retrofits that deal somehow with the petroleum content of stormwater, and with those or other projects that have the highest priority based on ecological or water-quality benefits. (It is the most ambitious part of a remarkably limited wish list <> that the environmental community has taken to Olympia. The greens also want to minimize spending cuts for environmental programs and phase out bisphenol-A from infant and other food and drink containers.)

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