Spokane City Council Hands Yet Another Victory to Fringe Leftist Group, Opening Door for New Taxes
By Stephanie Cates, Spokane County Republican Party Chair
The Spokane City Council gave the anti-fossil fuel group “350 Spokane” a victory on July 17 by passing an ordinance that creates a new regulatory framework and opens the door to higher taxes – all in the name of fighting ‘climate change’.
This group is an offshoot of “350 Seattle”, and is affiliated with several job-killing initiatives in Spokane under the banner “Envision Spokane”. They are also advocating a ban on the transport of oil and coal through Spokane via railroad and opposed to the Millennium Bulk Terminal, which would create jobs in our state.
Council President Ben Stuckart admitted he was prompted to push the ordinance after President Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Accord. Although many spoke in opposition at the Council meeting, Stuckart dismissed those who disputed that global warming is happening by telling them it was “settled science”.
The City Council ordinance, now codified into municipal law, establishes official City policy to institute and enforce an open-ended, unknown number of “strategies” to control the actions of our citizens in the name of reducing our carbon footprint. Carbon tax, cap-and-trade, restrictions on property rights – it’s not hard to “envision” that all of those things and more could be forthcoming.
For Council members that believe in bigger government, this ordinance gives them plenty of leeway to enact an unknown number of policies. After all, in the words of Jonah Goldberg, “If you honestly believe that climate change will end all life on Earth (it won’t) or lead to some dystopian hell where we use the skulls of our former friends and neighbors to collect water droplets from cacti, what policies wouldn’t you endorse to stop it?”
Whether or not one believes that human-caused ‘climate change’ is destroying the planet, the real question is: Does the government deserve more of our money to increase the burdens on the taxpayer, in the name of protecting us?
And should our City Council be more concerned with securing and maintaining OUR rights, or the ‘rights’ of the environment?
It’s time we replace the far-left City Council members like Breean Beggs and Candace Mumm with servant leaders who listen to the hard-working taxpayers in Spokane, without taking orders from extreme leftist groups and special interests. (We recommend Tim Benn in District 1, Tony Kiepe in District 2, and Matthew Howes or Brian Burrow in District 3.)
It’s also time we acknowledge the settled science of economics, and reduce our government footprint to improve the business climate here in Spokane.