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Mike Massa 1

Hello, CarbonWA friends: Washington may be one small step closer to passing a price on carbon! The Senate Energy, Environment and Technology Committee held a hearing Tuesday on Gov. Inslee’s proposed carbon tax bill. More than 30 individuals and organizations spoke in favor — and nearly 70 more signed in as supporters.

Carbon Washington co-chair Mike Massa joined Gail Gatton from Audubon Washington and a representative from the League of Women Voters to testify in favor of the bill. All three organizations are members of Advocates for a Carbon Tax Now (ACT NOW).

“We believe that pricing carbon pollution is a necessary step for reaching our state’s emission reduction goals,” Mike told the senators. “SB 6203 is a constructive proposal that gets many of the big policy pieces right.

“This bill proposes a steadily rising carbon tax covering most of the state economy, creating a strong market incentive for all of us to use energy more efficiently and transition to cleaner sources. That price signal will also motivate both entrepreneurs and established companies to develop innovative clean energy solutions that drive economic growth. Importantly, the proposed tax rate is predictable, enabling businesses and households to plan their budgets.”

You can read Mike’s complete testimony here and watch the video here.

The hearing room was full, with around 100 people on hand to testify or to listen. Organizations speaking in favor included The Nature Conservancy, REI, Skanska, MacDonald Miller, the Washington Education Association, the Makah Tribe, the Washington State Labor Council, 350 Everett, Sierra Club and more.

Here’s Mike’s take on the day:

“I think the key storyline is the increase in the number of businesses and organizations that took a supportive or at least constructive position compared with hearings on previous bills. My general sense is that more companies signed in Pro for the first time with this bill, and many traditional opponents signed in “other.’”

The AP covered the hearing — “Some businesses backing carbon measures” — and Reuters featured CarbonWA in their piece “2018 could see wave of West Coast climate pollution pricing.”

Keep the momentum up: Join or call in for 1/22 Lobby Day!

January 18th: CarbonWA and ACT NOW are hosting our next legislative strategy call. Want to get involved in the session or get the latest intel on the prospects for climate action? Get the call-in information by emailing megan@carbonwa.org.

January 22nd: CarbonWA is sponsoring a lobby day with Audubon Washington, Climate Solutions and many others called “100% For The Climate,” focused on advocating for a price on carbon, clean energy, and low carbon transportation solutions. You can sign up to join us in person here and you can sign up to attend remotely by calling your legislator on 1/22 here.

February 19th: As we outlined in our legislative analysis, climate action will probably have to be bipartisan to pass this legislative session. We are in talks with partner groups around hosting a lobby day near the end of session (tentatively 2/19) highlighting the demand for bipartisan climate action in Olympia. Stay tuned!

March 8th: Session ends. It’s a short one — so be sure to keep up with our newsletters to stay in the loop!

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Onward!

The CarbonWA Team