This editorial will appear in Thursday’s print edition.
Environmentalists looking for money to clean up Puget Sound hope to make well-placed friends by offering a generous cut of the take.
They’re promising $150 million this year alone to help lawmakers balance the state budget. All the Legislature has to do is nearly triple the tax on petroleum, pesticides and other chemicals.
What’s not to like, right? The environmental lobby gets to lock down a funding source for clean water projects, lawmakers get a “green” solution to their budget woes, and no one’s the worse for the wear – well, except those big bad oil companies.
Wrong. Environmentalists, in calculating what they could sell in Olympia this year, ignored other political realities – specifically those surrounding the state budget. They’d be lucky to ever see much of the money once they whetted lawmakers’ appetite for it.