Letter to the editor: Fires, floods and other environmental damage from the effects of climate change have a cost


In his column on May 31, Sen. John Braun extolls the Republican efforts to repeal Initiative 2117, the Climate Commitment Act.  The Climate Commitment Act is a small step toward the reduction of greenhouse gasses. Does anyone really believe we can modify the onset of climate change without some cost? We have had 150 years of industrial development that piled up enormous wealth with very little attention paid to the costs or consequences for the environment and/or human health.

In the 1970s, the Cuyahoga River in Ohio caught fire because it had been used as a dumping spot for all sorts of flammable industrial waste. It was a “dead” river and a health hazard. The fire also initiated the calls for environmental protection and spurred Republican (not MAGA) President Richard Nixon to establish the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Sen. Braun states that gas in Washington costs “far more than in Oregon and Idaho.” Gas prices in Chehalis are $4.65-4.75 per gallon. In Oregon, the gas prices are averaging $4.32 per gallon and in Idaho around $3.75 per gallon. Oregon has no sales tax, but a state income tax with four brackets that start at 4.5% and rise to 9.9%. Idaho has a state sales tax base of 6% which local governments can raise to 9%. Idaho also has a flat rate state income tax of 5.7%.

Toxic smoke from summer forest fires from British Columbia to California have impacted our summers in Lewis County for several of the last years. Like the Cuyahoga River catching fire, the forest fire smoke haze is a direct health hazard. Fires, floods and other environmental damage from the effects of climate change have a cost. Remember that when you are at the gas pump. Vote no on I-2117.


Marty Ansley