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MEDIA STATEMENT (Contact: Samara Villasenor, samara@greatworkcommunications.com, 425.255.0890)

Climate change
Washington’s children have a constitutional right to both an adequate education and a livable climate. While lawmakers took steps to fully fund K-12 education, they failed — for the third year in a row — to seriously consider bills that would substantially reduce carbon emissions and mitigate the unavoidable impacts of climate change.

As in 2015, House and Senate leaders missed a golden opportunity to solve two problems at once, by putting a price on carbon pollution to both reduce emissions and help meet the state’s funding needs. Democrats neglected to walk their climate talk, failing to bring any of the four carbon tax bills put forward this session to a vote in the House. Meanwhile, some key Republicans continue to espouse the false notion that a carbon tax would hurt the state economy, despite clear evidence to the contrary from multiple studies and the experience implementing a carbon tax in British Columbia.

Our grassroots members worked tirelessly during the session to educate their representatives on the urgent need to protect our climate. We are grateful for their efforts and support. We also commend Sen. Hobbs, Sen. Palumbo, Rep. Fitzgibbon, and Gov. Inslee for proposing meaningful carbon pricing policies this year.

Given the Legislature’s unwillingness to act, it’s clear that taking meaningful steps to reduce carbon pollution will be up to the citizens of Washington. Carbon Washington’s next step will be to explore potential ballot initiatives that will reduce emissions and accelerate the transition to clean energy — in an effective, equitable, economically sound, and politically viable manner. We look forward to working with civic, environmental, business, and social justice leaders to get a winning measure on the 2018 ballot.

We can no longer ignore the threat that climate change poses to our state’s people, environment, and economy. All of us have a moral obligation to protect the children of today, and future generations, from the dangerous impacts of climate change. There is no more time for delay. We need to ACT NOW.

Pitcher - Keith Johnston

Hello, CarbonWA friends: The legislative session is winding down (hopefully). This message is to thank you for contributing to our effort, to reflect on what we’ve achieved, and to provide our candid take on Olympia.

Our legislative campaign made a difference

The legislative session is down to the wire, with an agreement needed by June 30th to avoid a shutdown. We did a heckuva job putting a carbon tax in play this legislative session without much in the way of well financed lobbyists or a huge team of staff. We’ve held two lobby days engaging hundreds of people around the state (around 400 but who’s counting!). We created and led the ACT NOW coalition of nearly 40 groups joining us in calling for a price on carbon now. We’ve placed or influence numerous media stories (for highlights check us out in the Seattle TimesSeattle Business MagazineSeattle WeeklyWashington State Wire, and the Everett Herald). We’ve held meetings ourselves with many legislators and we’ve influenced the 4 carbon tax bills in play. Together, we’ve made it abundantly clear that climate advocates AREN’T GOING AWAY.

We are deep into extra innings now. It is hard to know exactly what the key negotiators are talking about behind closed doors. Our intel suggests that a carbon tax has been presented to the negotiators and officially put on the table as an option.  (more…)

NEWS RELEASE (Contact: Samara Villasenor, samara@greatworkcommunications.com, 425.255.0890)

olu-eletu-134760ACT NOW Virtual Lobby Day on June 15 will demonstrate voter support for a carbon tax to reduce carbon pollution that causes climate change and fund the state’s biennial budget.

Advocates for a Carbon Tax NOW (ACT NOW) will hold a statewide virtual lobby day on Thursday, June 15, to demonstrate to Washington state legislators that their constituents enthusiastically support a price on carbon. Audubon Washington, Carbon Washington, and the League of Women Voters of Washington are among a growing coalition of organizations and individuals that have joined ACT NOW because they want to see a carbon tax pass during this legislative session. There are currently four carbon tax bills in front of the state legislature which, if passed, would demonstrate leadership on climate change policy while offering a path forward for creating the revenue required to rewrite the state’s biennial budget.

“We have a moral responsibility to protect our birds, our children, and future generations from the adverse effects of climate change,” said Gail Gatton, Executive Director of Audubon Washington. “We can’t afford to wait any longer before we take action. Our state legislators have a golden opportunity in front of them to show bipartisan leadership by passing a carbon tax. Doing so would set much-needed precedent for other states to follow. This is how change starts.” (Full statement here.)

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This legislative session represents an important opportunity for Washington to lead on climate change.  Below is a simple breakdown of current bills before the legislature. If anything is passed, it may resemble a combination of one or more of these bills. Further, the legal language is not finalized, and Carbon Washington is not yet endorsing any of the bills.  To read the full language, go to http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/, and search by bill number.

Carbon Tax Bills

Solar panels

MEDIA STATEMENT (Contact: Samara Villasenor, 425.255.0890)

Statement from Carbon Washington Board Co-Chair Mike Massa:

“Carbon Washington is shocked and saddened by President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord. His abdication of federal responsibility leaves a void of conservation leadership which states and cities must fill. We call on the Washington State Legislature to enact a price on carbon pollution, along with other measures to accelerate the transition to a vibrant clean energy economy, during the current legislative session.

“This is a pivotal moment for our elected leaders to show the nation that bipartisan action to tackle urgent problems is still possible in America. And it is an opportunity to demonstrate to the children of Washington State, and the greater world, that their futures matter. Together, we owe them a livable climate and the opportunity for a healthy, prosperous life. Let’s get to work.”

Here are some other statements concerning the responsibility of states and cities to lead the way on clean energy and carbon reduction: (more…)

Louis-Pellissier-Paris

Hello, CarbonWA friends: The Trump Administration is leaving the international Paris Climate Change agreement. CarbonWA board co-chair Mike Massa speaks for all of us with this message in response:

“Carbon Washington is shocked and saddened by President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord. His abdication of federal responsibility leaves a void of leadership which states and cities must fill. We call on the Washington State Legislature to enact a price on carbon pollution, along with other measures to accelerate the transition to a vibrant clean energy economy, during the current legislative session. 

“This is a pivotal moment for our elected leaders to show the nation that bipartisan action to tackle urgent problems is still possible in America. And it is an opportunity to demonstrate to the children of Washington State, and the greater world, that their futures matter. Together, we owe them a livable climate and the opportunity for a healthy, prosperous life. Let’s get to work.”

Let’s also remember that the Paris agreement was never going to be enough on its own. A stable climate was neither won or lost in Paris, and it is neither won nor lost now. (more…)

Goal of the week: Will you help us tell legislators to take action on climate change? We are holding a phone banking day on Thursday, June 15.  You can join via facebook or RSVP form.   Share this event with your family and friends to maximize our impact!

There are multiple bills introduced that could finally put a price on carbon in Washington State. It’s still a long shot to getting anything passed. Legislators tell us they do not hear enough from their own districts!  Join now and make your voice heard. No one else will do this for us!  

Current carbon tax bills: HB 1646, SB 5127, SB 5385, SB 5930. To read any of these bills, go to http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/, and search by bill number (for example “1646”).  We will share more information about each of these bills through our email blast. Sign up to learn more.

If you’re looking for events: On Wed., May 31, attend Climate Science on Tap’s presentation of “Hell and High Water: Global Warming” at Peddler Brewing from 7:00 – 8:30 pm.  Hear about sea level rises — their causes and impacts — throughout the Puget Sound. Hear from a fascinating panel that includes the director of the UW’s Program on Climate Change, specialists from Seattle Public Utilities, and environmental scientists from the Tulalip Tribes.

The goal this week: ask friends to write their legislators. Share your email to legislators with them as a guide, or share these tips.

1. Even if legislators do not take action, we need to remind them that we demand policies to decrease emissions and increase resiliency. Special interests are already talking to legislators, prioritizing their profits over our future. If we do not make our voices heard, you can bet that other interests will be represented.

2. You can find your legislators using Facebook’s Town Hall tool, or at Find Your District. You can find your legislators’ contact information here.

3.  Tell them why you care about climate action, and how they can help. You can advocate for a particular policy, or show your support for carbon pricing in general. Legislators care about what their district wants, and as a constituent you need to show why this is important to you.  

Join us for a “Carbon Taxes Happy Hour” this Tuesday, May 23, from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. at Big Time Brewery in the University District. Invite your friends, too! We are welcoming new members and reuniting with old friends.

Over the next few months of the legislature’s special session, we have an opportunity to pass an effective carbon tax. Even if nothing passes this session, we need to show that people in our state still want a carbon tax.  

Find your legislators.  Use Facebook’s Town Hall tool, or Find Your District. Click here for all the emails.

If you are a fan of texting, consider the Resistbot. Just text “RESIST” to 50409. It helps you send a message to your members of congress.  Keep this handy when important federal bills come to light. This is important, because federal action does affect the Puget Sound directly.

For this week’s action item, read briefly over the homepage to learn about your legislators’ advocacy. Your letter should be a short email to thanking them for their service, and asking whether they could support a carbon tax. For reference, you can also check if they supported I-732, and be sure to thank them, if they did.

In mid-June, we are hosting a statewide phonebank to our legislators. You can RSVP here.  

ACT NOW on Climate

Phil Jones and Howard Behar call for a carbon tax in the Seattle Times

If you didn’t catch our op-ed in the Seattle Times “A Carbon Tax is Right for Our Environment and Economy”, go back and read it now. Phil Jones, a Republican and former UTC commissioner (and new CarbonWA board member) joined former Starbucks President (and CarbonWA supporter) Howard Behar to call on the legislature to take action this year.

“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.”

Once you’ve read the Seattle Times piece, read Charlotte Omoto’s op-ed for CarbonWA in the Moscow-Pullman Daily News, “Carbon Tax Helps Environment, Boosts Economy.”

Then, check out this Washington State Wire discussion between conservative leaning journalist Keith Phillips and CarbonWA ED Kyle Murphy about passing a carbon tax this year. The Wire’s takeaway from the discussion is that a carbon tax can easily pass as long as it’s revenue neutral. If you still haven’t had enough, check out supporter Merv Montacute’s LTE about the ACT NOW lobby day, and his message to his representative(more…)