Author: billboyd

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.

/var/folders/wd/gsl8x9wd0wqb8gnlzgdjgp_40000gn/T/com.microsoft.Word/WebArchiveCopyPasteTempFiles/-bo5zdrUvLUPHv-XDy90UFsHPcblkc-5PlV-2We30yO8KxUE_ddA3yVqqhk5j8v0V9F1L_iGFPwUl7bSgSNUHK4faTynMUvpF_7wIRqaMYPlAzpgOHGtL8RnB2rF3QnARdZGmW48

 (more…)

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…)

/var/folders/wd/gsl8x9wd0wqb8gnlzgdjgp_40000gn/T/com.microsoft.Word/WebArchiveCopyPasteTempFiles/greg%20lcfs%204.png

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.

 (more…)

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.

 (more…)

/var/folders/wd/gsl8x9wd0wqb8gnlzgdjgp_40000gn/T/com.microsoft.Word/WebArchiveCopyPasteTempFiles/01_22_2018_Audubon%20WA%20lobby%20day%20100%20percent%20for%20Climate_group%20photo.jpg

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. 

/var/folders/wd/gsl8x9wd0wqb8gnlzgdjgp_40000gn/T/com.microsoft.Word/WebArchiveCopyPasteTempFiles/collage%20no%20words.jpgWe Led Grassroots Efforts For a Legislative Carbon Tax

 (more…)

Hello, CarbonWA friends: There is no way around it — the results for climate action this election were mixed. Read on for our take on I-1631, the results from CarbonWA’s efforts to elect climate champions, and the future for climate action in Washington. Thank you to the hundreds of volunteers who worked on the initiative and volunteered for our legislative climate champions. You inspire us to continue.

/var/folders/wd/gsl8x9wd0wqb8gnlzgdjgp_40000gn/T/com.microsoft.Word/WebArchiveCopyPasteTempFiles/is6T4mPxg4rokLhCb0oKhTr2a6loF-OTY39ZHpEz3IwX_44TBFY-AAGj_8Tnmef2Z9AvDdLx8vTbRsMh3NRKrcQfMy_WP3BF5CdhXlY564jaVHVTw7HhtK4RXzB8gCI9eRtW02rx

Jared Mead

Climate Champions Win Legislative Seats!

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. We are thrilled that 5 out of the 7 key climate races we campaigned in are trending our way! 

Dr. Sharon Shewmake

Climate champions Sharon Shewmake, Jared Mead and Debra Entenman are poised to unseat climate do-nothings in the House. In the Senate, Emily Randall is narrowly ahead. Moderate Republican Mark Miloscia lost his Senate seat, but his challenger Claire Wilson is also a climate champion who earned our endorsement. (more…)

There is mounting evidence that a growing majority of Americans are concerned about climate change and support climate action. While Initiative 1631 failed to attract majority support, that does not change the fact that Yale University’s extensive research shows 70 percent of Washington voters believe global warming is happening and would support regulations on carbon emissions. Voters are demanding a solution, even if they didn’t accept this one.

I-1631 deserves praise for attracting a broad coalition of support, including from Carbon Washington. Yet the policy failed to attract bipartisan support and contained elements that caused concern, as we highlighted in our analysis of the proposal. Opponents argued a better policy was needed.

The opponents must now stand by their word in calling for a better proposal. We invite supporters and opponents of 1631 to join us in working on proposals that reduce carbon and promise a prosperous, healthy future. Carbon Washington will continue to advocate for solutions that can bridge our deep partisan divides, not enlarge them, and that are effective, equitable, and economically sound. But we cannot do this work alone. We urge everyone, Republicans and Democrats, energy companies and community activists, opponents and proponents of 1631, to join us in the spirit of compromise to fulfill our sacred duty to protect our kids and common home. (more…)

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…)