Author: billboyd

The momentum for the Sustainable Farms and Fields Grants bill (SB 5947) continues to grow!

SB 5947 sailed through the state Senate on March 6th with bipartisan support and CarbonWA’s strong grassroots mobilization.

SB 5947, which provides “…financial assistance to farmers and ranchers that adopt changes in management practices that reduce fossil fuel inputs and increase the quantity of carbon stored on their land,” passed by a two-to-one margin (32-15), indicating the widespread support it generated and the effectiveness of the Carbon Washington supporters who urged their senators to vote yes.

“We were surprised at how fast the vote came up, but the outpouring of grassroots support for the bill was probably one of the reasons it moved so quickly,” said Greg Rock, Carbon Washington’s policy chair. Particularly encouraging was the bipartisan vote, with four Republicans joining every Democrat in voting yes.

With the success in the senate, Carbon Washington will focus its efforts on passing the bill in the House. First up is pushing for a hearing from the Rural Development, Agriculture, & Natural Resources Committee. To secure a hearing and an eventual vote, pressure from constituents will be as vital as it was in the Senate. To learn more about the status of other CarbonWA-backed bills, check out our latest Carboncast podcast. (more…)

Preview - The Alaska Suite: http://alaskasuite.neldaswiggett.com/

Carbon Washington cordially invites you to an evening of climate action like you’ve never experienced. This St. Patrick’s Day, Sunday, March 17, at 6 p.m., please join us for CarbonWA in Concert: “The Alaska Suite — a story of beauty, loss and hope,” offering music and inspiration for action against carbon pollution. It takes place at Madrona Commons, 832 – 32nd Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122.

The Alaska Suite is composed by Nelda Swiggett and features a five-piece chamber jazz ensemble, with the mission of using “the power of artistic expression — live music, spoken words, images, and poetry — to connect audiences deeply and emotionally to the scientific realities of climate change, and to inform and inspire them to act now to address it.”

Audience response speaks to Swiggett’s success at achieving her goal:

“… spliced with a dialogue about climate science and solutions. It touches the emotional edges of our understanding and invites action from a deeper place.”
—Louise Stonington

“… wonderfully inspiring…. The content was informative without being preachy; the music was magical….” — Gail M.

Buy Tickets: https://secure.lglforms.com/form_engine/s/XGzGnjVc4Uj6izBuVdlkSA?t=1551654233

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Hello, CarbonWA friends: Let a thousand, or at least a few, bipartisan climate bills bloom! Read on for how you can help us address carbon emissions on our farms, plus meet Katsi, our new advocacy coordinator!

CarbonWA Welcomes Katsi Peña to Staff

Please welcome Katsi Peña, who will serve as the new Advocacy Coordinator for Carbon Washington. She is a graduate student at the University of Washington, studying Environmental Policy. She has recently come from Colorado but is originally from Puerto Rico. Katsi is passionate about bridging science, policy, and environmental justice and is excited to work with you to help achieve our mission of increasing demand for climate action and fighting for smart carbon policies! If you’d like to learn more about Katsi or to get involved in our advocacy efforts, contact Katsi at Katsi@carbonwa.org.

Bipartisan Sustainable Farm Bill Needs YOUR HELP!

One of our top priorities this legislative session has been the creation and introduction of a bipartisan bill that would incentivize carbon reduction on farmland. Our policy team has been hard at work with legislative sponsors on research and drafting of SB 5947. You can read about it more in the newsletter we sent out last week and in the op-ed we authored in the Washington Wire.

The Sustainable Farm and Field bill we’ve been pushing in the legislature just passed out of its first committee with a bipartisan, near unanimous vote!  (more…)

Just days after its introduction, a Carbon Washington-backed bill promoting sustainable farming has accumulated a powerful and bipartisan list of sponsors in the Legislature. Senate Bill 5947, the Sustainable Farms and Fields Grants bill provides financial assistance to farmers and ranchers that adopt changes in management practices that reduce fossil fuel inputs and increase the quantity of carbon stored on their land.

Introduced in both chambers with Democratic and Republican backing on Feb. 15, the bill now has 16 sponsors representing an equal number of legislators in each party.

With agriculture accounting for about 10% of nationwide carbon emissions, and with farmers on the front lines of climate related events like heat waves and droughts, it is critical to invest in sustainable farming practices. Carbon Washington, along with the American Farmland Trust and the Washington Association of Conservation districts, has made passage of this bill a top priority, conducting outreach and research to support the legislative process. Other organizations that support the bill include the American Farmland Trust, Tulalip Tribe, PCC Community Markets, WA Dairy Federation, Washington Forest Protection Association, Audubon Washington, and The Nature Conservancy. (more…)

Inside Olympia: Biochar Roaring Back

Following a year of work by Carbon Washington, an important and innovative policy to promote the use of biochar is moving forward in the Washington state Legislature, clearing the first committee last week unanimously, opening possibilities for sequestering carbon and fortifying farmland.

Biochar, a form of charcoal produced from biomass sources like forest deadfall, offers several environmental and agricultural benefits. For instance, it sequesters carbon in soils for hundreds and possibly thousands of years while also decreasing the amount of fuel for wildfires. Agriculture benefits from the nutrients biochar infuses in the soil, which increases crop yields.

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Want to keep track of all the climate legislation being considered in Olympia? Thanks to longtime Carbon Washington supporter Thad Curtz, that’s now easy.

Curtz has created a blog called “Climate at the Legislature.” It includes a detailed page about each bill (easily found via search), calendars for hearings and other events, and a host of “push” features, including emails and calendar updates.

Curtz retired after 35 years on the faculty of Evergreen State College, where he taught literature and developmental psychology. In addition to Carbon Washington, he supports Audubon, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Greenpeace, the Sierra Club and other organizations.

Carbon Washington’s Bill Boyd talked with Curtz about how and why he set up the blog:

CarbonWA: Thad, how’d you get the idea for this?

Thad Curtz: One of my state representatives — Beth Doglio — invited constituents to come to a meeting about what was coming up in the session. She wanted to do more to keep people up to date about what’s going on in the legislature. CarbonWA’s Greg Rock was also saying we need something to help grassroots people track and summarize bills. I had done a lot of work on websites for political candidates and nonprofits, so I set up shop to make it happen. This seemed like a good way to be useful. (more…)

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Hello, CarbonWA friends: The legislative session has begun! See below for the first round of bills we are supporting and ways you can help! Plus, we are hiring an advocacy coordinator.

2019 Endorsed Legislation

 

Here’s our first round of endorsements of climate legislation!

HB1110Low carbon fuel standard

What it would do: Require petroleum refiners to reduce the carbon intensity of gasoline (through biofuels, electrification, or other credits) by 10%, and later 20%.

Our take: Stay tuned for a more thorough discussion about this bill.

HB 1113Increases State targets for emissions reductions to match Paris Accords

Our take: We endorsed this bill last year as well.

SB5116 – 100% clean energy

What it would do: Require utilities to eliminate coal by 2025, achieve 80% carbon-free energy by 2030, and 100% carbon-free by 2045.

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Like to organize events and programs? Do you have political experience? Are you passionate about curbing climate change — and looking to make a difference?

This job may be for you.

We are hiring a temporary advocacy coordinator to assist Carbon Washington with our legislative session work.

Thanks in part to our campaigning this fall, we have elected more climate advocates to the legislature than ever before.

Now, we need to take advantage of a friendlier legislature to move climate bills forward. We are hiring a part time coordinator to maximize the political will for climate action. With the help of the coordinator, we will execute advocacy programs designed to increase the chances of passing important climate measures toward 100% clean energy, a price on carbon, low-carbon fuels, electric vehicles, and more.

Read the job description (and how to apply).

Hello, CarbonWA friends: We hope the holiday season has brought joy to you and your families. For us, it also brought introspection about how we can best advance our shared goals of a low-carbon, healthy, prosperous future.

To that end, read on for our reflections, a policy update, and what YOU CAN DO to advance climate action.

Together Is the Way Forward

We still face the challenge of constructing a climate policy that appeals to people who want action but who have different ideas about how to implement it. Those differences in perspectives have contributed to several setbacks in recent years. The defeat of Initiative 1631 in November followed a loss for Initiative 732 in 2016 and the absence of legislation from lawmakers the last two legislative sessions. Tellingly, some who liked one of the initiatives did not support the other. In fact, I-1631 received more support than I-732 in certain counties, while losing support compared to I-732 in other counties (more on 1631 v 732 here), underscoring the divergence in views. Pragmatism, bipartisanship, and compromise are desperately needed to get further next time.

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Hello, CarbonWA friends: Read on for a few reasons why we hope you’ll donate to CarbonWA this Giving Tuesday. Your gift won’t disappear in a large multi-faceted nonprofit budget; it goes straight to lean education, policy development and political advocacy efforts to bring smart climate action to Washington State.

Click Here to Support CarbonWA This Giving Tuesday

Why CarbonWA?

We Elected Climate Champions

We embarked on a new effort this year to elect a climate majority to the state legislature. Our work culminated in the first ever Climate Voters Guide and a program of active campaigning in key legislative races. 5 out of the 7 key candidates we campaigned for WON their election. Thanks in part to your support of our efforts, there will be more climate advocates in the legislature than ever before. 

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