The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Lisa Nurnberger,, 443-668-9219


Oil Companies Spent Record Amounts to Successfully Block WA Carbon Fee

Statement by Adrienne Alvord, California and Western States Director, Union of Concerned Scientists


Yesterday, Washington voters rejected a ballot initiative, the first of its kind in the country, that would have established a fee on carbon dioxide emissions that cause global warming.

Below is a statement by Adrienne Alvord, California and Western states director at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

"The results of this ballot initiative are extremely disappointing. The oil industry spent more than $30 million dollars, a record in Washington, to mislead voters about the initiative, and evidently their deceit paid off. The public should know that the opposition was led by oil companies that profess to support a carbon tax. BP, the biggest single funder of the No on 1631 campaign, says it supports a carbon tax. So do Chevron and ExxonMobil, both members of the Western States Petroleum Association, a group which was among the top dozen No on 1631 campaign funders.

"These oil companies need to be held accountable for lying and continually blocking any and all efforts to address climate change. Washington residents deserve clean air; a healthy ocean and bays, which are becoming overly acidic because of increasing carbon dioxide emissions; and access to the clean energy economy. But oil companies are blocking progress, putting their profits first.

"The Yes on 1631 campaign built a strong coalition across the state, with more than 400 organizations supporting the initiative. We were proud to be part of such a broad and diverse coalition. We will continue to work with our partners to address climate change because its impacts are much too serious to ignore.

"This fight is not over."

The Union of Concerned Scientists is the leading science-based nonprofit working for a healthy environment and a safer world. UCS combines independent scientific research and citizen action to develop innovative, practical solutions and to secure responsible changes in government policy, corporate practices, and consumer choices.