Top 10 Questions for Governor Jay Inslee

This week, the Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee will convene to discuss what state and local leaders are up to on the issue of climate change. The Subcommittee leadership has summoned Washington Governor and Democratic presidential candidate Jay Inslee to appear as their star witness.

This hearing is a welcome opportunity for members of the Subcommittee to question Mr. Inslee on the implications of his policies and the actions he has taken both as Washington’s governor and as a candidate for the presidency of the United States.

We hope that members of the Subcommittee will ask Governor Inslee the following top ten questions from the American Energy Alliance:

  1. Given that under your leadership Washington State has failed not once, not twice, but 3 times to implement a carbon tax (once in the state legislature and twice at the ballot), what leads you to believe that the American people would support a national carbon tax?
  2. Given your expressed commitment to tackling climate change, if the entire U.S. stopped all of its carbon dioxide emissions under the Green New Deal, what would the temperature impact be in the year 2100?
  3. Washington State’s “Clean Energy Fund” has supported more than $100 million in taxpayer funds in clean energy and grid modernization projects. Have these taxpayer-funded programs had an impact on global mean temperature?  
  4. The U.S. contributes just 15 percent to global greenhouse gas emissions totals annually—and that number continues to fall. What percentage impact would a U.S. carbon tax have on global emissions totals?
  5. Converting the world’s largest economy to renewable energy by 2045 (the deadline you proposed in your state mandate) would vastly and rapidly increase demand for rare earth minerals mined almost exclusively in China. Why do you believe the U.S. should be dependent on China for the resources needed to meet our energy needs?
  6. The U.S. has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by more than 10 percent since 2005, while global emissions have continued to climb. Why should the United States be bound by Paris Agreement emissions reduction commitments while large countries with growing economies, like China and India, continue to emit more each year?
  7. 2018 Capital Alpha Study found that a federal carbon tax would push static costs and revenue burdens onto the states and local government. How do you support a federal carbon tax in spite of the fact that it would force excess costs onto state governments that they can’t afford?
  8. Do you see it as an appropriate use of political office, or tax-exempt status, for politicians to arrange for off-book donor-funded staffing of advocacy campaigns or “profile-building” by non-profit groups? Should the National Rifle Association, American Petroleum Institute, et al., be available for donors to run an elected official’s advocacy? Or is there something unique about your relationship with the United Nations Foundation and Hewlett Foundation, the latter which paid for the former to hire ‘staff’ and run your “U.S. Climate Alliance” with donor funding?
  9. Similarly, given that activist donor groups directly provided six-figure report-writing services to your climate campaigning, along with the public relations services to promote it, do you see any campaign-finance-related or ethics issues with a public office-holder contracting out his office as a consultant? Can other groups hire, pay for and place advisors in the elected official’s office?
  10. What is the carbon footprint of your presidential campaign? What steps are you taking to reduce your dependence on commercial or private jets and SUVs for your transportation needs?

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