5 Reasons Why My Fellow Washington State Voters MUST Vote Yes For 1631

5 Reasons Why My Fellow Washington State Voters MUST Vote Yes For 1631

In just about two weeks, it'll be time to make sure we get our ballots turned in. And if you live in Washington state, this is why you need to vote for 1631.

Keleri
Keleri
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College is a really interesting time. It's the first taste of adulthood before we're thrown into the real world, and there are lots of things that we college students get to learn during this transition period. One of the more weighty parts of adulting happens to be coming up very soon: voting.

I know not everyone is registered to vote this year, but if you are, it isn't something that should be taken lightly. With our state laws especially, it's very important that you vote, because your voice matters. I'm writing this, fellow Washingtonians, to implore you to vote for 1631.

The first time I heard about 1631 was in a commercial while I was watching a show on Hulu, and it was against the measure. Then, not even five minutes later, I saw another commercial, this time in support of the measure. With all the information being tossed around right now about it, it can be pretty hard to distinguish what the measure is actually about and what it will do. I did some research, and read the measure for myself. This is what I learned.

1. 1631 is NOT a tax

For some reason, everyone seems to think that 1631 is a tax. When really it's actually just a fee. The difference lies in how the funds received can be used. The revenue from taxes can be used for any governmental function that is determined to have a public purpose by lawmakers. In other words, the money can pretty much be used for whatever the government wants as long as it seems like there's a public purpose behind it.

Fees, on the other hand, are a lot more specific. The money gained from fees can only very specifically be used for providing services, benefits, or to reduce the effects of said fee. NOT for general government purposes.

2. 1631 isn't directed at consumers

Another thing that people seem to be very afraid of is the idea of paying more money into the government, and that's not what the point of this measure is at all. What the measure does is create a fee for the state's large emitters of pollution. The fee will start out with $15 per metric ton of carbon content (in 2020) and will increase by $2 each year until our state's greenhouse gas reduction goal (to be completed by 2035) is met and it seems to be on the path to meeting the state's 2050 goal.

At this point, the fee will no longer increase, except to be adjusted with inflation. So the measure isn't even technically directed at the consumers. Is there a risk that companies will try to offset the cost of the fee by raising prices? Yes, that is definitely a risk. But if they take the steps to instead reduce their greenhouse gas output, the fee that the large emitters have to pay will be less. So overall it would benefit them more to just go along with the changes and decrease their pollution.

3. The exemptions are not what you think

One of the biggest points of controversy with 1631 is that people think it excuses the state's biggest polluters. While it is true that there are exemptions for the fee, these exemptions are very specific. The first exemption excuses coal closure facilities that are legally bound to comply with greenhouse gas emission performance standards by December 31, 2025.

This includes every coal closure facility that emitted more than one million tons in any calendar year prior to 2008. There are five oil refineries in Washington state, and three of those fall underneath the top 10 emitters in the state. Due to a law passed in 2011, all five of these oil refineries are required to either maintain an energy efficiency that is above-average when compared to the rest of the state or reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 2025.

Washington's biggest emitter is the TransAlta Power Plant in Centralia. In 2014 they produced seven point four million metric tons of greenhouse gases, almost triple that of the state's second highest polluter. A lot of people are outraged because 1631 completely exempts this power plant, but the reason why it's exempt is because it's already set to close down its coal plant by 2025.

In 2011, the TransAlta Energy Transition Bill was signed into law by Governor Christine Gregoire, and it requires the TransAlta plant to cease half of its coal-burning by 2020 and the other half by 2025. They're already trying to develop the transition from coal burning to other energy resources such as wind and solar, which is why this plant is exempt. The other exemptions are less controversial and are mainly designed to avoid unnecessary fees.

4. There is a set plan to hand the money

While the measure doesn't have exact plans for how the funds from this fee will be spent, it is specific on how it will be distributed and managed. In the writing of the measure, it specifically states that 70% of the money must be put in the Clean Air and Clean Energy Fund, 25% must be put into the Clean Water and Healthy Forests fund. The remaining 5% must be put into the Healthy Communities Fund.

Moreover, these funds are run by committee and the public board that will be created by the measure, headed by the chair of the board, who has to have knowledge about and a demonstrated commitment to reducing pollution and moving towards a cleaner energy society. The committees will also include tribal members and representatives of the lower-income communities that might be affected by the measure so that they are able to receive help if they should need it.

Obviously, I haven't covered everything in the bill, but if I haven't convinced you to vote for it, I can at least hope you'll do more research on it so that you can make the most educated decision before you submit your ballot. Happy voting!

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I'm An 18-Year-Old Female And I Will Never Be A Feminist

Honestly, I'd rather be caught dead than caught calling myself a modern-day feminist.
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"A man told me to have a good day... I'm triggered." How ludicrous does that sound? Tune in because that is the extent of modern day feminism.

Sure, I think boys are stupid and that I'm probably better than 90% of the male population, but that doesn't make me a modern-day feminist. Now I believe that woman should stand up for themselves, and Golding's quote: "I think women are foolish to pretend they are equal to men, they are far superior and always have been," is by far one of my favorite quotes... but modern day feminism is not something I want to be associated with.

I'm all for "anything you can do I can do better," and "We can do it!" but realistically speaking in some situations, that isn't feasible. As an 18-year-old woman who works out regularly, and is stronger than the average female, I couldn't carry a 190-pound man back to a safe zone after he was shot on the front line of a war even if I tried. It is not anatomically possible for a grown woman to be as strong as a fully developed male.

Reality check: Men and women are not equal.

They are not physically equal, they are not mentally equal. Modern-day feminism is equality between the two genders, but corrupt and on steroids. I support what feminism used to be. I support women who work hard and have goals and ambition... not girls who hate men and stomp around with no shirts on to piss off the public. Feminism has developed into a polluted teaching that young men and women are plunging into.

We are built dissimilarly.

The human brain is literally an organ that is sex oriented. There is a cognitive difference, that singlehandedly destroys gender equality.

I will not spend my time running a revolution against anyone who likes Donald Trump. I am not going to binge watch Trump's twitter in an effort to start some leftist gob of drama. I refuse to be part of this head hunt to attack all Republicans on the newest Instagram post made about how feminism is stupid. I do not hate men, and society would crash and burn without the successful men and women who work together to create what we call the United States of America.

Why, you ask? Why are the 15-25 year olds of our society clinging to feminism? They are hopping on the rapidly growing bandwagon where all the hipsters, feminists and Trump haters reside. It's "cool" to hate Donald Trump. Twitter is a world of liberalism, hatred and fake love towards all. Social media is where this generation is living — and modern-day feminism brews there.

We need to keep separation in the household within roles.

We must raise our children to do what they are best at rather than trying to do something they are incapable of just to prove an irrelevant point.

Women must stand up for what they believe in and be strong in their shoes, while not getting so caught up in what your modern day feminist says she thinks is right.

We cannot let this briskly changing society sway us away from what is going to keep the world working precisely.

Cover Image Credit: Macey Joe Mullins

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Super Early 2020 Presidential Election Prediction

How I think each state would go in a 2020 presidential election scenario of Donald Trump vs a generic Democrat

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The 2020 presidential election is nearly two years away but that doesn't mean we can make predictions on how each state will go. With the 2018 midterm elections two months ago I believe that it is clearer how the 2020 election might turn out. This is super early but I am super interested in presidential politics and I want to get my opinion out there on the 2020 election.

So this prediction will be Donald Trump vs a generic Democrat. The incumbent president almost always wins their party's nomination when they run for a second term so I don't see a good possibility for someone on the republican ticket other than Donald Trump. The reason why I am matching him up against a generic democrat is because there is no telling who the democratic nominee will be at this point in time and the candidate will make a significant difference in how I predict each state so I think using a generic democrat is a good middle ground. Also I will be assuming that there will be no significant 3rd party candidates.

The solid blue states that will almost definitely vote democrat since they have done so overwhelmingly in the previous couple of elections are Maine's 1st congressional district, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Washington D.C., Illinois, California, Oregon, Washington, and Hawaii for a total of 183 solid electoral votes for the Democrats.

The solid red states that will almost definitely vote for Trump again since they voted for him and previous republicans overwhelmingly are South Carolina, West Virginia, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska (except the 1 electoral vote awarded by their 2nd congressional district), South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Utah, and Alaska for a total of 125 solid electoral votes for Trump.

All of the states not mentioned are either swing states or they could at least be somewhat competitive. I'm gonna call each of these states starting from the least competitive of the remaining states and ending at the most competitive.

I think the state of New Mexico will be won by the Democrats. New Mexico is perhaps no longer a swing state. Hillary Clinton carried the state by 8.22% in 2016 and Obama carried it by over 10% in 2008 and 2012. Also with nearly half of its population being Hispanic/Latino it is difficult seeing a Trump victory here. Democrats lead 188-125.

I think Trump will win Texas. In 2016 Texas lost it's status as a solid republican state as Trump was only able to win it by 9%. Further in the 2018 midterm elections, Incumbent Republican Ted Cruz was barely able to keep his senate seat from his Democratic opponent Beto O'Rourke. All of this plus a diversifying population is bad news for Republicans in the state of Texas. However, since Texas isn't projected to become a swing state until 2024 or 2028 Trump should be able to hold on to Texas by 5%-10% in 2020, unless if he faces a candidate like Beto O'Rourke. Democrats lead 188-163.

I think Virginia and Colorado will go to the Democrats. I feel like these states have been very similar in the most recent presidential elections. Bush won both of those states in 2000 and 2004 by 4-8.5 point margins but then they swung towards the Democrats when Obama won them in 2008 and 2012 by similar margins. In 2016 Trump failed to make these states significantly closer, losing both by about 5%. Trump also has a -4 approval rating in Virginia and a -10 approval rating in Colorado. That on top of Democrats' gains of house seats, and Tim Kaine and Jared Polis easily winning their elections, makes projecting Colorado and Virginia as blue states not a very difficult choice. Democrats lead 210-163.

I think Ohio and Iowa and Maine's 2nd Congressional District will go to Trump again. Obama won these states in 2008 and 2012 by 3-10 point margins but Trump was able to greatly swing these states to the Republican column by winning them by 8, 9, and 10 points respectively. Iowa was more republican in 2016 than Texas. Republicans held on to their governorships in the 2018 midterm elections. Even though Trump has a -7 approval rating in Iowa and Republicans lost 2 house seats I still think Trump will win it again since he won it before by a 9 point margin. Same goes for Maine's 2nd Congressional District. Even though Republicans lost it in 2018 an 10 point margin is convincing that Trump will hold on to it. Democrats lead 210-188.

I think Trump will win Georgia. Georgia was similar to Texas in 2016 because those were both states where Trump underperformed his republican predecessors. Trump only won it by 5% in 2016 while Mitt Romney won it by almost 8% in 2012. Georgia is becoming a very diverse state with a very large African American population and it will become a minority majority state within a few years which doesn't bode well for future republicans. In the 2018 midterms, Brian Kemp was barely able retain Georgia's governorship for the republicans. However, I still think Georgia will remain a lean republican for this next election. Expect this state to become a tossup in 2024 and 2028. Democrats lead 210-204

I think Trump will win North Carolina. North Carolina despite being a swing state seems to lean republican. Obama barely won it by 0.33% in 2008 but then lost it in 2012 by 2% and Trump won it in 2016 by almost 4%. Trump's approval rating is also +2 in North Carolina. Trump leads 219-210.

I think Trump will win Nebraska's 2nd congressional district. Trump only won it by about 2% in 2016 and Obama was able to win it in 2008. However, in the 2018 midterms it remained a republican district by 2% so I think Trump will still hold on to it by a narrow margin. Trump leads 220-210.

I believe that Maine at large, Nevada, Minnesota, and New Hampshire will remain blue states. These were the four closest states that Clinton won in 2016 by margins under 3%. I think they will remain blue because Trump has poor approval ratings in these states which are -9, -5, -10, and -12 respectively. Republicans weren't even competitive in the Minnesota senate and gubernatorial races. In one of the senate races Minnesota voted more democratic then solid democrat states like Washington, Delaware, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. Republicans also lost a senate seat and the governorship of Nevada. Republicans failed to make any pick ups in New Hampshire and Maine. Democrats lead 232-220.

I think Trump will win Florida. Florida is always a tricky state to call since it is always super close. Florida is a very diverse state with a high and growing hispanic/latino population but I still think Trump will hold on to it despite that. Trump has a +2 approval rating here and in the 2018 midterm elections Republicans held on to the governorship and flipped a senate seat. With this in mind I think Trump can edge it out. Trump leads 249-232.

I think the Democrats will flip Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania; the three crucial rust belt states that were critical to Trump's victory in 2016. I feel this way because his approval ratings in these states are -10, -9, and -5 respectively. All 3 of these states voted to have Democratic governors and senators in 2018 and they lost a few house seats too. Trump was only able to win these reliably democratic states by less than 1% in 2016. Democrats win 278-249

There is one final state and that is Arizona. This may be a bold prediction but I think the Democrats will win here. Like with Georgia and Texas, this state is becoming very diverse and will soon be minority majority and trump underperformed his republican predecessors only winning the state by 3.5% compared to 9% by Romney in 2012. His approval rating in the state is -2. Also in 2018 the republicans lost a senate seat and a house seat here. I just see that this state is trending more and more democratic every day and a Trump loss here is very possible. Expect this state to be one of the closest in 2020.

And that's my prediction, I have the Democrats winning the 2020 election 289-249. This prediction is super early and a lot can change from now and Election Day.

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