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Hello, CarbonWA friends:  In case you missed it, we released the essential climate change voters’ guide for Washington State! It identifies a number of key races that we need to win for climate action at the state level. Vote, donate, and volunteer because the climate is on the line this election. Don’t believe us? Take a look at the just released IPCC report which projects greater impact and cost of climate change than earlier reports and urges nations to seriously reduce emissions over the next decade.

The Pragmatic Case for 1631

If you’ve been following the Initiative 1631 debate, you’ve probably seen that we endorsed the initiative, but also that some of CarbonWA’s friends and allies are landing on both sides of this one. We’ll level with you: I-1631 isn’t perfect. We liked some of the previous carbon pricing iterations better. But if you are on the fence please read our pragmatic case for why we want you to vote yes: (more…)

A newly released study exploring the impacts of initiative 1631 by the NERA economic consulting group, funded by the No on 1631 coalition, should not be used by lawmakers or voters when evaluating Initiative 1631. Below, a handful of essential issues with the study are explored. Additional technical flaws exist as well, but are not addressed in this analysis.

Betting Against Renewable Energy

A significant unknown facing climate policy advocates and detractors alike is that rate at which cleaner, greener technologies will become affordable and reliable enough for widespread use. Most models address this by modeling multiple scenarios that try to capture this uncertainty.

The NERA study is underpinned by a significantly conservative forecast of future clean energy prices and deployment, produced by the EIA. The EIA is, in general, regarded as a respectable and transparent outlet for energy-related data. However, their future forecasts have come under severe scrutiny as most of their renewable forecasts in recent years have failed to track with actual reality. As one peer reviewed examination of the EIA forecasts put it, “most of EIA’s projections for renewables sharply under-projected generation or capacity.” You can dig into this more here, but a sharply conservative forecast for future renewables growth will skew every result that follows it, and the failure of the NERA study to also present an ‘optimistic’ case, leads to an imbalanced result. Which leads us to our second concern: (more…)

Remember: Ballots are due November 6th and do not require a stamp! You can mail your ballot, drop it off in a drop box, or download a new one if you can’t find it. Join your friends and neighbors in voting this election!

Elect Sharon Shewmake

Carbon Washington Endorses Sharon Shewmake (D) for State Representative in Washington’s 42nd District, Position 2
“As a mother, professor, economist, and climate policy expert, Sharon Shewmake is the ideal candidate to bring forward smart policy, pragmatism, and a commitment to climate action to Olympia,” said Kyle Murphy, Executive Director of Carbon Washington. “Carbon Washington has been actively supporting Shewmake’s race to replace incumbent Vincent Buys because he does not appear to be paying attention to climate change at all.” 

Big Picture

Sharon supports a price on carbon and would work to make it happen if elected. She wants the revenue to help grow the economy for workers and even wants to see it linked to pre-school education policy, in the long term freeing up more investment from criminal justice spending. In the nearer term Sharon is also interested in green building codes.

Local Focus

In Whatcom Sharon is concerned about the impact on shellfish and salmon, increased flooding of the lower areas, air quality from forests burning, and the continued impact of climate change on Mt. Baker’s snow pack.

“I want climate legislation that grows our economy and cuts carbon pollution,” said Shewmake to Carbon Washington. “If Washington State can be a leader, other states will see what is possible and copy us. This is our pathway to addressing the climate crisis as a nation.”

Learn more about Sharon and support her campaign directly here.

To protect future generations from the harms of a warming climate, and to create a prosperous clean energy future, we need to elect leaders like Sharon Shewmake.

WHATCOM DROP BOXES CLOSE 8PM NOV 6th

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Visit the entire Climate Voters Guide here.

 

 

Disclosure: Carbon Washington Action’s top 5 donors are Richard Wesley, Yoram Bauman, Philip Jones, Yates Wood and McDonald, and Rock Ventures LLC.

Seattle, WA – September 25, 2018 – Carbon Washington, the organization behind the state’s 2016 ballot initiative to put a price on carbon (I-732), has endorsed Sen. Steve Hobbs in his re-election bid and Jared Mead in his race for state representative in Washington’s 44th District.

Sen. Steve Hobbs

“Steve Hobbs isn’t afraid to stand up for what he thinks is right, and we value his independent streak and moderate approach,” said Kyle Murphy, Executive Director of Carbon Washington. “While we hope that in the future he will show more openness to clean fuels legislation, he is the best choice for Senate in the 44th District for voters concerned about the environment.”

“As chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, I will continue to advocate for a sustainable transportation infrastructure including investments in multi-modal and commute-trip reduction programs,” said Hobbs in response to a questionnaire distributed by Carbon Washington to candidates running for legislative office in Washington. “I think there are opportunities for electrification of vehicles, ports, and ferries that are exciting and should be pursued… As one state taking action we continue to look for a formula that works well for Washington, recognizing the many diverse needs of citizens and employers in all corners of the state. We first and foremost need to be responsive to local concerns and needs as we craft effective carbon policy that is compatible with the culture and economy of our state.”

Carbon Washington also endorsed Jared Mead in his 44th District House race.

Jared Mead

“Serving as an aide to Senator Guy Palumbo last year, Jared has been in some of the most important climate policy discussions in the state,” said Murphy. “As a younger candidate, he is well positioned to speak for a generation that will be inheriting the impacts of climate change. He’s one of the candidates we are most excited about running for office this year.”

“I first decided to run for office to pursue climate policy,” said Mead in his questionnaire. “It is a passion of mine. I even went back to school to pursue my electrical engineering degree in an effort to better understand wind and solar technology… I will always fight to spread awareness about climate change and constantly pursue ways to clean our environment and reduce our human footprint.” (more…)

Seattle, WA – September 25, 2018 – Carbon Washington, the organization behind the state’s 2016 ballot initiative to put a price on carbon (I-732), has endorsed Sharon Shewmake for state representative in Washington’s 42nd District.

Dr. Sharon Shewmake

“As a mother, professor, economist, and climate policy expert, Sharon Shewmake is the ideal candidate to bring forward smart policy, pragmatism, and a commitment to climate action to Olympia,” said Kyle Murphy, Executive Director of Carbon Washington. “Carbon Washington has been actively supporting Shewmake’s race to replace incumbent Vincent Buys because he does not appear to be paying attention to climate change at all.”

“I want climate legislation that grows our economy and cuts carbon pollution,” said Shewmake in response to a questionnaire distributed by Carbon Washington to candidates running for legislative office in Washington. “If Washington State can be a leader, other states will see what is possible and copy us. This is our pathway to addressing the climate crisis as a nation.” (more…)

Seattle, WA – September 25, 2018 – Carbon Washington, the organization behind the state’s 2016 ballot initiative to put a price on carbon (I-732), has endorsed Democrats David Daggett and James Thomas in their races for Washington’s 35th District House seats.

Dave and Jeannine Daggett

“David Daggett understands that climate policy solutions can be job creators in his rural district, especially when it comes to biomass and alternative fuels – and to support the vibrant shellfish industry,” said Kyle Murphy, Executive Director of Carbon Washington. “His opponent, Republican incumbent Drew MacEwan, has taken some steps to deepen his understanding of climate issues, including participation in a bipartisan trip to Europe to learn about clean energy, but he has not yet turned his learning into concrete proposals or support for climate action.”

“Businesses should realize the positive long-term cost/benefit tradeoff of reducing CO2 pollution before devastating environmental damage occurs,” said Daggett in response to a questionnaire distributed by Carbon Washington to candidates running for legislative office in Washington. “Having worked for many years in Fortune 500 companies, I have seen that incentives can motivate companies to make better environmental progress. Putting a price on CO2 pollution will encourage its reduction and will also create new business opportunities. However, a means needs to be found to not burden the working class, and especially the economically challenged.”

James Thomas

Carbon Washington also endorsed James Thomas in his 35th District House race. “Thomas is a solid choice, with years of experience in the district working on economic issues,” said Murphy. “He knows that addressing climate change also means protecting jobs in the shellfish and timber industry.”

“I will continue to promote environmentally responsible economic development and I will fight and vote for measures that confront climate change directly and aggressively,” said Thomas in his questionnaire. (more…)

Seattle, WA – September 25, 2018 – In recognition of both candidates’ strong position on climate issues, Carbon Washington, the organization behind the state’s 2016 ballot initiative to put a price on carbon (I-732), has endorsed incumbent Senator Mark Miloscia (R) and his challenger, Claire Wilson (D), in Washington’s 30th legislative district.

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Sen. Mark Miloscia

Sen. Miloscia has been very engaged in finding and supporting bipartisan, smart, accountable carbon reduction policies,” said Kyle Murphy, Executive Director of Carbon Washington. “We need more leaders like Sen. Miloscia who are willing to work across the aisle to address the increasingly urgent climate challenges facing us today.”

“I will support all efforts that try for compromise, quality, accountability,” said Sen. Miloscia in response to a questionnaire distributed by Carbon Washington to candidates running for legislative office in Washington. “Only by working together, in a spirit of compromise, quality, and accountability, will we develop a carbon reduction plan that truly works.”

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“If elected, I will be a vocal and public champion in the legislature for carbon reduction policies and insist that we include an environmental lens when making budget and other policy decisions,” said Wilson in her questionnaire. “I will advance environmental bills to reduce our state’s emissions, support clean industries, and mitigate the damage caused by effects of climate change we are already seeing — like wildfires and decreased air quality throughout the state. I will work with affected communities, especially tribal nations and communities of color, to ensure their voices are leading the way to a more sustainable economy and environmental future.” (more…)

Seattle, WA – September 25, 2018 – Carbon Washington, the organization behind the state’s 2016 ballot initiative to put a price on carbon (I-732), has endorsed two legislative candidates in Washington’s 47th District (Kent-Auburn-Covington): Republican State Sen. Joe Fain, who is running for re-election, and Democrat Debra Entenman, a Democrat running for state representative.

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Sen. Joe Fain

“Sen. Fain has been one of the most consistent Republican voices on climate change,” said Kyle Murphy, Executive Director of Carbon Washington. “He supported Initiative 732 and continues to bring a true bipartisan spirit to solving the challenges associated with climate change. We applaud his courage tackling a complex and urgent issue.”

“Combating climate change requires sober thinking and reasoned action based on the best available science,” said Fain in response to a questionnaire distributed by Carbon Washington to candidates running for legislative office in Washington.

Debra Entenman

Carbon Washington also endorsed Debra Entenman, who is running for state representative. “Entenman is committed to addressing climate change through smart policy and strongly supports the transition to renewable energy sources,” said Murphy. “Meanwhile, her opponent, Incumbent Mark Hargrove, does not have a sensible position on climate issues. For voters who care about addressing climate change and protecting future generations, the choice is clear.”

“I believe that climate change is real, caused by the use of fossil fuels and can be slowed and reversed by legislative policies,” said Entenman in her questionnaire. “[These] may include cap and trade, fees and pricing, and EPA policies that include reductions in auto emissions.”

Update (10/25): We remain concerned about the sexual misconduct allegations against Sen. Fain made on Sept. 27, after he received our endorsement. Sen. Fain has requested an investigation, which we believe is the appropriate course. We will continue to monitor the situation.
 (more…)

2018 CLIMATE VOTERS’ GUIDE

***BALLOTS DUE NOVEMBER 6TH***

Remember: your ballot doesn’t need a stamp. If you lost your ballot, you can download a new one from King County here, Whatcom County here, or get a new one from Snohomish County here,  or Pierce County here. Your friends and neighbors are voting this year, join them and vote for the climate!

Yes on Initiative 1631

CarbonWA is in support of Initiative 1631, which would place a fee on carbon emissions and invest in clean energy and climate change mitigation. But, we encourage you to do your own research. You can read more about the initiative in a detailed analysis we produced earlier this year or on the campaign’s website.

Top Races for State House of Representatives

The candidates highlighted below are smart climate champions, but they also represent the most competitive races where the chamber’s ability to move climate legislation hangs in the balance. Some great legislative leaders, like Joe Fitzgibbon, are safe bets to win re-election so we didn’t highlight them up front as top races. Our full endorsements list (bottom) includes all of our House endorsements.

42nd LD – Sharon Shewmake: We’ve already told you about Sharon. She’s a longtime CarbonWA supporter, an environmental economist, a mom, a professor, an activist, a carbon pricing supporter – it doesn’t get any better than this! She’s running neck and neck for state house in the 42nd LD against Vincent Buys, who is a vocal opponent of climate action, is embroiled in a Cambodia scandal, and wh” You can support Sharon here. GO SHARON!

 44th LD Jared Mead: In last legislative session’s heated carbon pricing debate, Jared was in the thick of it as an aide to Senator Guy Palumbo. Jared’s a millennial who is savvy and committed on climate issues. He got more votes in the primary than the incumbent, Republican Mark Harmsworth, who hasn’t been a climate leader. Jared’s the dad to that small orange dog too. GO JARED GO! Support Jared here. 

35th LD – David Daggett: David is a PhD engineer who helped out with the March for Science. He supports climate action but understands the needs of his rural district. He told us, “Putting a price on CO2 pollution will encourage its reduction and will also create new business opportunities. His opponent, Drew MacEwan, took a trip to Demark to learn about clean energy but used that to conclude we don’t need a price on carbon. David is running competitively in this lean-Republican district. Help David win here!

47th LD – Debra Entenman: Debra Entenman is a solid pick. She’s smart and knows her district after a long stint as Congressman Adam Smith’s aide. She believes we need to take action, stating unequivocally “I believe climate change is real, caused by the use of fossil fuels, and can be slowed or reversed by legislative policies.” This statement alone puts her head and shoulders above her opponent. This one’ll be a nail-biter. Support Debra here.

Top Races for State Senate

Here are some of the races that will determine whether climate action is within reach and whether the chamber can move climate legislation forward. As with the House, we didn’t highlight some of the easy choices. These races will be key to electing a climate majority to the Senate.

30th LD – Mark Miloscia: Mark Miloscia has been another important Republican voice on climate change. He’s been very engaged in finding bipartisan, smart, accountable carbon reduction policies. If we had more leaders like Mark, Washington would’ve solved this challenge by now. Mark supported I-732, has been engaged on carbon pricing, and has supported net-metering. We especially appreciate Mark’s focus on good government and accountability. Mark summarizes his approach in saying, “Only by working together, in a spirit of compromise, quality, and accountability, will we develop a carbon reduction plan that truly works.” Climate voters will make a good choice if they return Mark to the Senate – help him win here!

In the 30th, democratic challenger Claire Wilson is also a reasonable choice. We also endorsed Claire because even though she has less direct experience on climate than Mark, she’s made addressing climate change a priority. Claire said in her questionnaire, “I will advance environmental bills to reduce our state’s emissions, support clean industries, and mitigate the damage caused by effects of climate change we are already seeing — like wildfires and decreased air quality throughout the state.” You can support Claire here. 

26th LD Emily Randall: This race presents one of the top prospects to expand the climate majority in the Senate. Emily is running in one of the most competitive districts to replace retiring Senator Jan Angel. Angel was not engaged on climate issues, and we aren’t confident that Emily’s opponent Marty McClendon would be either. Emily had this to say: “We need to address our greenhouse gas and carbon emissions — keeping our air and water clean for our salmon and orcas, our children and our grandchildren.” You can support Emily here.

47th LD – Joe Fain: Senator Fain has been one of the most consistent Republican voices on climate change. When discussing his approach with us, he said “Combating climate change requires sober thinking and reasoned action based on the best available science.” Specifically, Joe endorsed I-732 and has since sponsored a bill that would require utilities to factor the cost of carbon emissions into their long-term plans.

Update (10/25): We remain very concerned about the sexual misconduct allegations against Sen. Fain made on Sept. 27, after he received our endorsement. Sen. Fain has requested an investigation, which we believe is the appropriate course. We will continue to monitor the situation.

The Rest of Our House & Senate Endorsements

 

Race

Name

CarbonWA’s Take

1st Rep

Shelley Kloba

Rep. Kloba has been a reliable environmental vote. On climate, she says, “I support common-sense approaches to reducing our fossil fuels.” Vote Kloba!

4th Rep

Mary May

If she wins, May promises to “sponsor and support legislation aimed at incentivizing clean and renewable energy production.”

7th Rep

Michael Bell

Bell told us, “Climate change cannot be denied…We have the technology to accomplish this and stimulate the economy at the same time. Why would anyone oppose these actions?” We couldn’t agree more – vote Bell!

9th Rep

Matt Sutherland

Matt sold us on his race in this video of a debate where he calls out the incumbent Joe Schmick for his anti-science climate denial. On climate, Matt says, “We have an opportunity and an obligation to the future.” Matt also served in the military and studied clean energy at WSU.

25th Rep

Jaime Smith

Smith says about climate change, “waiting is not an option when our children’s lives are on the line.” Vote Smith.

26th Rep

Joy Stanford

Stanford says “I believe Washington should be at the forefront of the clean energy economy.” She support public-private partnerships, and wants to focus on job creation and reducing traffic.

27th Rep

Laurie Jinkins (Pos 1)

Jake Fey (Pos 2)

Incumbents Fey and Jinkins have been reliable climate advocates and voters in the 27th should send them back to Olympia.

32nd Sen

Jesse Salomon & Maralyn Chase

Incumbent Chase backed I-732 and has been an independent voice within her party for climate action. Salomon is challenging her as a fellow Democrat, with solid experience in local government and with climate change as a priority. Voters looking for daylight between Chase and Salomon might find ST3 (Chase is skeptical of ST3’s bang for the buck) and density defining issues.

34th Rep

Joe Fitzgibbon

Joe Fitzgibbon has been the strongest representative on climate issues in Olympia. He’s provided leadership on carbon pricing and low carbon fuels. If we could clone him (will someone work on that?) and send 10 more Joe Fitzgibbon’s to Olympia, we would.  

34th Sen

Joe Nguyen

Joe Nguyen is a good choice here. His summed his stance in saying, “I am proud to support a carbon tax in Washington State and to ensuring that implementation of policies are done in an equitable manner.”

35th Rep

James Thomas

Thomas put together a competitive primary in this lean-red district. He’s an economic planner who would be an upgrade on climate issues from the current incumbent, Griffey.

39th Rep

Ivan Lewis

Lewis supports carbon pricing and says, “we are faced with a moral crisis” when it comes to climate change.

44th Sen

Steve Hobbs

Steve Hobbs isn’t afraid to buck his party, and we value his independent streak. At times he’s frustrated us, like when he withheld a committee vote for carbon tax legislation, but he is the stronger choice for the 44th. Hobbs pledges in his questionnaire “to advocate for a sustainable transportation infrastructure including investments in multi-modal and commute-trip reduction programs.

45th Sen

Manka Dhingra

Senator Dhingra deserves a full term after winning a narrow special election last year. She co-sponsored carbon tax legislation in her first year and is a strong transit supporter.

48th Sen

Patty Kuderer

Challenger Rodney Tom might be someone who could bridge partisan divides on climate, but he has so far failed to speak up about the issue. Kuderer, on the other hand, co-sponsored carbon tax legislation last session. Kuderer has our support.

48th Rep

Amy Walen

Walen has a wealth of experience in Kirkland city government (including helping pass a plastic bag ban), and has concrete ideas to advance climate action. Go Amy!

A few final thoughts to leave you with: We didn’t endorse in every single legislative race. In some cases, this is because we thought both the incumbent and the challenger were middling on climate issues, so there wasn’t a distinction to draw. In other cases, it was because a potentially good candidate didn’t complete the questionnaire (a requirement) or engage with our process. That’s fine, because its a lot of work for candidates to get all the questionnaires done, but it explains some of our curious omissions like Reuven Carlyle and Gerry Pollett. Other climate leaders aren’t up for re-election. Our endorsement list also tilts to the Democratic side mostly due to participation rates among the candidates. A number of Republicans who have engaged with us on climate issues, like JT Wilcox, just chose not to pursue our endorsement. We are still excited to work with them next year. We also received some interesting questionnaires from candidates in both parties, like Republican Chris Gildon in the 25th, that weren’t sufficient for an endorsement but who we want to work with and who just might earn our endorsement in the next round.

Disclosure: No candidate or committee sponsored or participated in the creation of this voters guide or subsequent advertisements promoting it. Carbon Washington Action’s top 5 donors are Richard Wesley, Yoram Bauman, Philip Jones, Yates Wood and McDonald, and Rock Ventures LLC.

The Youth Climate Trial that has meandered through Washington’s court system has stalled for the moment.

The case, pursued by eight young petitioners and supported by attorneys from the Western Environmental Law Center and Our Children’s Trust, asserts that the state is failing to protect young people from climate change impacts, and that young people have a right to a stable climate under the Washington State Constitution and the Public Trust Doctrine. King County Superior Court Judge Michael Scott has dismissed the case as of August 14. However, the plaintiff’s plan to appeal, so we don’t expect this to be the last word on the case. Read more about the legal background and the trajectory of the case: https://www.ourchildrenstrust.org/washington  

Despite the failure to compel state action, the case holds a number of lessons for climate advocates as we advance policies to reduce carbon emissions.  (more…)