Author: billboyd

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.



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/ Led Grassroots Efforts For a Legislative Carbon Tax


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.


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…)

From The Guardian: “The world’s leading climate scientists have warned there is only a dozen years for global warming to be kept to a maximum of 1.5 degrees C [2.7 degrees F], beyond which even half a degree will significantly worsen the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people.

“The authors of the landmark report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released on Monday say urgent and unprecedented changes are needed to reach the target, which they say is affordable and feasible although it lies at the most ambitious end of the Paris agreement pledge to keep temperatures between 1.5C and 2C.

“‘It’s a line in the sand and what it says to our species is that this is the moment and we must act now,’ said Debra Roberts, a co-chair of the working group on impacts. ‘This is the largest clarion bell from the science community and I hope it mobilises people and dents the mood of complacency.’”


Hello, CarbonWA friends: Election season is upon us and we’ve released our first-ever climate voters’ guide! Read on for our top choices for state legislature, plus a climate initiative is on the ballot!


Initiative 1631

CarbonWA supports Initiative 1631. Read more in a detailed analysis we produced earlier this year and consider checking out the campaign’s website. If you wish to get more involved, now is the time. The campaign is asking volunteers to to sign up to phonebank and to sign up for Votercircle, a secure system that allows you to email your contacts encouraging them to vote.

Top Races for State House of Representatives

A quick note about our choices for House: The candidates highlighted below are smart climate champions, but they also represent the most competitive races where the chamber’s ability to move climate legislation hangs in the balance. Some great legislative leaders, like Joe Fitzgibbon, are safe bets to win re-election so we didn’t highlight them up front. Our full endorsements list (below) includes all of our House endorsements. (more…)

Seattle, WA – September 25, 2018 – Carbon Washington, the organization behind the state’s 2016 ballot initiative to put a price on carbon (I-732), has endorsed Sen. Steve Hobbs in his re-election bid and Jared Mead in his race for state representative in Washington’s 44th District.

Sen. Steve Hobbs

“Steve Hobbs isn’t afraid to stand up for what he thinks is right, and we value his independent streak and moderate approach,” said Kyle Murphy, Executive Director of Carbon Washington. “While we hope that in the future he will show more openness to clean fuels legislation, he is the best choice for Senate in the 44th District for voters concerned about the environment.”

“As chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, I will continue to advocate for a sustainable transportation infrastructure including investments in multi-modal and commute-trip reduction programs,” said Hobbs in response to a questionnaire distributed by Carbon Washington to candidates running for legislative office in Washington. “I think there are opportunities for electrification of vehicles, ports, and ferries that are exciting and should be pursued… As one state taking action we continue to look for a formula that works well for Washington, recognizing the many diverse needs of citizens and employers in all corners of the state. We first and foremost need to be responsive to local concerns and needs as we craft effective carbon policy that is compatible with the culture and economy of our state.”

Carbon Washington also endorsed Jared Mead in his 44th District House race.

Jared Mead

“Serving as an aide to Senator Guy Palumbo last year, Jared has been in some of the most important climate policy discussions in the state,” said Murphy. “As a younger candidate, he is well positioned to speak for a generation that will be inheriting the impacts of climate change. He’s one of the candidates we are most excited about running for office this year.”

“I first decided to run for office to pursue climate policy,” said Mead in his questionnaire. “It is a passion of mine. I even went back to school to pursue my electrical engineering degree in an effort to better understand wind and solar technology… I will always fight to spread awareness about climate change and constantly pursue ways to clean our environment and reduce our human footprint.” (more…)

Seattle, WA – September 25, 2018 – Carbon Washington, the organization behind the state’s 2016 ballot initiative to put a price on carbon (I-732), has endorsed Sharon Shewmake for state representative in Washington’s 42nd District.

Dr. Sharon Shewmake

“As a mother, professor, economist, and climate policy expert, Sharon Shewmake is the ideal candidate to bring forward smart policy, pragmatism, and a commitment to climate action to Olympia,” said Kyle Murphy, Executive Director of Carbon Washington. “Carbon Washington has been actively supporting Shewmake’s race to replace incumbent Vincent Buys because he does not appear to be paying attention to climate change at all.”

“I want climate legislation that grows our economy and cuts carbon pollution,” said Shewmake in response to a questionnaire distributed by Carbon Washington to candidates running for legislative office in Washington. “If Washington State can be a leader, other states will see what is possible and copy us. This is our pathway to addressing the climate crisis as a nation.” (more…)

Seattle, WA – September 25, 2018 – Carbon Washington, the organization behind the state’s 2016 ballot initiative to put a price on carbon (I-732), has endorsed Democrats David Daggett and James Thomas in their races for Washington’s 35th District House seats.

Dave and Jeannine Daggett

“David Daggett understands that climate policy solutions can be job creators in his rural district, especially when it comes to biomass and alternative fuels – and to support the vibrant shellfish industry,” said Kyle Murphy, Executive Director of Carbon Washington. “His opponent, Republican incumbent Drew MacEwan, has taken some steps to deepen his understanding of climate issues, including participation in a bipartisan trip to Europe to learn about clean energy, but he has not yet turned his learning into concrete proposals or support for climate action.”

“Businesses should realize the positive long-term cost/benefit tradeoff of reducing CO2 pollution before devastating environmental damage occurs,” said Daggett in response to a questionnaire distributed by Carbon Washington to candidates running for legislative office in Washington. “Having worked for many years in Fortune 500 companies, I have seen that incentives can motivate companies to make better environmental progress. Putting a price on CO2 pollution will encourage its reduction and will also create new business opportunities. However, a means needs to be found to not burden the working class, and especially the economically challenged.”

James Thomas

Carbon Washington also endorsed James Thomas in his 35th District House race. “Thomas is a solid choice, with years of experience in the district working on economic issues,” said Murphy. “He knows that addressing climate change also means protecting jobs in the shellfish and timber industry.”

“I will continue to promote environmentally responsible economic development and I will fight and vote for measures that confront climate change directly and aggressively,” said Thomas in his questionnaire. (more…)