Campaign News

Hello, CarbonWA friends: As the other Washington is gripped with a major transition of power, CarbonWA is also going through its own (hopefully smoother and more climate friendly!) leadership changes. Read on for an update!

Carbon Tax(es) Galore in the Legislature! 

It’s looking like the carbon tax proposed by Governor Inslee as a part of his 2017-2019 budget may not be the only carbon-pricing legislation to appear this session. The Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy looks to be introducing a proposal for a smaller performance-based carbon tax and Republican budget lead Senator John Braun has discussed carbon pricing in the past and may wade in with his own ideas. 

All proposals should be judged based on how effective, equitable, and viable they are. We must be ready to ask: Are there troubling exemptions that may weaken the carbon reductions in these proposals? How will low-income families across the entire state be impacted? Does this plan have a chance of passing – and if it passes, does it have a chance to spread to other states?

Right now, we are prepared to work with both parties to advocate that a carbon tax be included in any final budget. We hope that the Governor’s plan serves as the starting point because while not perfect, it gets one major thing right: an aggressive and steadily rising carbon price. 

Inauguration Have You Down? GIVE FOR CLIMATE ACTION IN 2017

As you are considering how best to use your time and resources to fight climate change in 2017, please consider what makes CarbonWA different. We don’t just talk about climate action. We gather signatures, we organize, we advocate for specific laws and policies and we aren’t afraid to take risks. If you want to see us working in 2017 in the legislature and exploring paths back to the ballot, please consider making a gift now or in the near future when you can. It helps us the most to donate directly through our website (or you can mail a check to CarbonWA, PO Box 85565, Seattle WA, 98145).

You can also help by writing or meeting with your legislators to deliver our survey and request that they commit to fighting for climate action. And if you don’t want to do it alone go through our list of chapters to reach out to other local volunteers. You can also find your legislator contact info here.

As the other Washington moves climate action to the back-burner, this may be the most important period ever for Washington State to take an aggressive leadership role in advancing solutions to climate change. If not us, who? If not now, when? 

CarbonWA Leadership Updates: Yoram and Duncan moving on, Kyle staying on. 

CarbonWA has always been driven by a changing group of dedicated grassroots citizens committed to fighting climate change. Amidst CarbonWA’s roughly eight year history the one constant has been Yoram Bauman. Yoram has tirelessly brought his economic expertise, fundraising acumen, humor and candor to climate activism. That is why we are saddened to announce that he will be moving to Salt Lake City in April to be closer to family. He expects to remain involved in climate activism and as an adviser to CarbonWA, but he will no longer be at the center of the organization. We are all beneficiaries of his work. Yoram can be reached at yoram@carbonwa.org or yoram@standupeconomist.com, and he wants to send this message: “Putting a carbon tax on the ballot was my dream, and I am incredibly grateful to everyone who helped make that dream come true. Thank you for looking past my shortcomings, and rest assured that future carbon pricing efforts will be able to start on more solid ground because of the I-732 campaign. Onward!” 

Campaign Co-Director Duncan Clauson, who was instrumental in setting up our campaign and managing our operations for the last 2 years, is also moving to a volunteer adviser role and can be reached atDuncan.c.clauson@gmail.com. Many of our star staff, like Ben, Rheanna, Megan and Aaron, are supporting the organization as volunteers and moving on to new things as well. All of this adds up to a lot of change for CarbonWA and we’ll be busy getting the core of our organization established for the next few weeks.

To help guide us through this transition, the executive committee has hired Kyle Murphy to serve as its interim Executive Director. Kyle will lead the operations of the organization and the re-engagement of our grassroots base to push for climate action. Our executive committee is also restructuring to add new members and become an efficient, effective working group in 2017.

In the News

Yoram was the guest speaker on Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s most recent international conference call, where he discussed the achievements and lessons learned from the I-732 campaign. An op-ed in Fox News by an economics professor at Georgetown argues that a carbon tax would do more for the poor and the environment than our current system of regulatory mandates. In a parting article in Science magazine, now former President Barack Obama outlined four reasons why he believes the progress of clean energy is irreversible. Meanwhile, Inside Climate News reported that more than 600 U.S. companies and investors have signed an open letter calling on President Donald Trump and other political leaders to support policies and investments in a low-carbon future and to keep America in the Paris climate agreement. At the urging of a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators from the Northwest, the Energy Department just announced a $40 million grant to build the first U.S. wave energy test facility off the Oregon Coast, in which the University of Washington will be a partner. Washington State solar installers are trying once again this legislative session to extend & reform expiring incentives for renewable power generation with House Bill 1048. In the Midwest, Ohio Governor John Kasich (R) vetoed an attempt by the legislature to weaken the state’s renewable energy standards by making them voluntary for electric utilities, while the Michigan State government moved to strengthen its commitment to efficiency & clean energy. Meanwhile, in a less productive move President Trump has deleted the ‘climate change‘ page from the White House webpage.

Game on!

From the whole Carbon Washington team.