Ex-Secretary of State in Olympia to talk climate change

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is hosting former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to talk about his carbon tax proposal.

Inslee invited the former U.S. senator to Olympia Tuesday to participate in meetings on the governor’s proposed tax on fossil fuel emissions.

Kerry is scheduled to meet with lawmakers as well as business, tribal, environmental and labor leaders.

Kerry was secretary of state during President Barack Obama’s second term and helped negotiate the global pact on climate change, the Paris Agreement. Kerry has criticized President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from that accord.

He has also spoken in support of Inslee’s plan to tax carbon emissions.

Senate Bill 6203 has a hearing Thursday in the Senate Ways and Means Committee. It would impose a new tax of $10 per metric ton of carbon emissions, lower than the $20 per ton Inslee originally proposed. The tax would gradually increase until it’s capped at $30 a ton.