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Philip Jones and Howard Behar

Philip Jones and Howard Behar

“Climate change is real and happening before our eyes,” write Philip Jones and Howard Behar in the Seattle Times. “We are already being forced to adapt to the tangible conse­quences of a warming climate. These actions are caused by more extreme variability in weather resulting in flooding, coastal erosion, dramatically reduced glaciation in the Olympic and Glacier National Parks, as well as observed acidification in our shorelines and the Puget Sound estuary.

“As a moderate Republican and an independent, we don’t always see eye to eye on how to solve some of society’s biggest challenges. But on climate change we agree: Taxing the sources of carbon pollution is a pragmatic, bipartisan, common-sense solution.”

Philip Jones was a Utilities and Transportation commissioner from 2005-2017, and served as past president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. Howard Behar is former president of Starbucks Coffee Company and author of “It’s Not About The Coffee” and “The Magic Cup.”

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State CapitolHello, CarbonWA friends: A new carbon tax bill has dropped in the legislature! Read on for our analysis, a report out from lobby day, and to meet our new board members. And read what the Seattle Weekly has to say about the prospects for a carbon tax (“Some say it’s just a matter of time”).

New carbon tax bill SB 5930 

We’ve been saying for awhile now that the carbon tax discussions were still happening in Olympia, and the freshly dropped SB 5930 shows that the carbon tax is still on the table. We’ve been following the development of this bill closely for the last couple of weeks. The authors of the bill, led by Senator Guy Palumbo, have done an admirable job crafting a bill that is effective at reducing carbon while having a shot at getting some traction in the legislature. So, while you’ll see in our analysis that we think the bill could and should be strengthened, it’s a credible start at a centrist framework that could become a bipartisan compromise.

Check out our blog post on SB 5930 to get our take.

If you want to see us continuing to advocate for an effective carbon price this session, please consider making a donation towards our April 22nd $2200 goal to help us continue our work.

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Simple Explanation: SB 5930, introduced by Senator Guy Palumbo, would implement a carbon tax of $15 per ton, rising $2.50 per year to an eventual rate of $30 per ton. Imported electricity, agricultural fuel, and EITE’s (energy-intensive, trade-exposed manufacturers) are exempt. There is a phase-in for residential natural gas and the electric sector. Electric utilities can redirect up to 75% of the carbon tax they owe to fund carbon reduction projects. The measure will devote $400 million to fund existing programs that are currently paid for out of the general fund, which would free up budget room for K-12 education. The remaining revenue is divided up between forest, water, low income, and carbon reduction programs. The measure also rescinds regulations on greenhouse gas emissions, such as the Clean Air Rule, in exchange for enacting the carbon tax. (more…)

I-732 encourages renewable energyACT NOW (Advocates for a Carbon Tax NOW) is a growing coalition of volunteers and more than 15 organizations, including Carbon Washington, Audubon Washington, Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL), League of Women Voters, and the American Sustainable Business Council. The coalition’s immediate goal: Pass a carbon tax in the 2017 legislative session.


Demonstrating Support for Legislative Action – Lobby Day April 20, 2017

ACT NOW will host a carbon tax lobby day in Olympia on April 20th to urge lawmakers to recognize urgency of climate change and the growing bipartisan desire for climate action. “There are three carbon pricing bills in front of the legislature that have the potential to resolve key funding challenges — while putting the state on a path toward cleaner energy and a better future for our children and grandchildren,” says Carbon Washington’s Kyle Murphy. “To let another legislative session go by without addressing the threat of climate change would be a lost opportunity.”

Please join us in Olympia to lend your voice to this important effort. Click here to learn more and register for the event.

Seattle Business logoKyle Murphy, Carbon Washington’s executive director, and Dave Kozin, CFO of A&R Solar, have teamed up on an op-ed piece for Seattle Business.

In their essay, Kyle and Dave say “There’s a growing bipartisan consensus that a carbon tax just makes sense. A group of national Republican leaders with the Climate Leadership Council, including James Baker and Hank Paulson, recently released a climate plan advocating for a carbon tax. Initiative 732, a carbon tax plan that went to Washington voters on last years ballot, was endorsed many leaders from both political parties. Recently, the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy, a broad coalition of Washington State social justice, environmental, and labor organizations, put forward a climate plan that includes a carbon tax. The legislature should borrow the best ideas from all of these policies.”

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Washington Capitol BldgPlease join us on Thursday, April 20, for a carbon tax lobby day in Olympia (in honor of the upcoming Earth Day). This is organized in conjunction with ACT NOW (Advocates for a Carbon Tax NOW). ACT NOW is a growing coalition of volunteers and organizations that want to see a carbon tax pass this legislative session. If you are a part of an organization that would like to join the ACT NOW coalition, email Kyle@carbonwa.org and let’s chat! More than 12 organizations have signed on already (read the statement and signers here).

RSVP FOR THE CARBON TAX LOBBY DAY RIGHT HERE (more…)

Fox by Linnea SandbakkThe latest research from Yale’s Climate Change Communication Center tells us that most Americans believe that climate change is happening, but fewer think that it will harm them personally. Remember the old saying “a picture is worth a thousand words”? We think some well-chosen images will help hammer the message home, so we’re holding a photo contest.  (more…)

Top of Olympia DomeThe House Democrats and Senate Republicans have both released their draft budget plan for the state. Neither chamber appears particularly impressed with the budget put forward by their counterparts but they seem agree that the other chamber isn’t doing a good job raising revenue for the state. The House seems to think the Senate budget is too lean and threatens to cut vital programs, while the Senate seems to think the House isn’t standing behind the tax increases that will be needed to fund the spending in their budget.

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Marvin Gaye

Hello, CarbonWA friends: The adventure continues…

Update from Olympia

Our last email was an urgent update about a pending vote in the Washington State Senate on SB 5127, a proposal to create a carbon tax that would partially fund education and partially fund clean energy projects. It’s not a perfect plan but it has some good elements (a high and steadily rising price!) that can serve as the starting point for serious negotiations. (more…)

Hello, CarbonWA friends: Yikes!

The WA Senate is preparing to vote on a carbon tax! 

For the first time in Washington (and maybe the whole country!), a carbon tax is going before a state legislative body for a full vote. This is a big deal and we need your help! (more…)