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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. 

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

Last spring, CarbonWA was at the forefront of a legislative effort to pass a carbon tax. While the bill ultimately fell short, it was groundbreaking in that it brought new stakeholders to the table, passed out of two committees for the first time in the country, won support from the Seattle Times, and helped to inform the work of our colleagues in Massachusetts and across the country. CarbonWA provided robust grassroots lobbying and policy development support in the process. Neither the bill or the process were perfect, but for the first time in recent years climate action was one of the top things on the agenda in Olympia.

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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.

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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…)

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.’”

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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!

2018 CLIMATE VOTERS’ GUIDE


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…)

Hello, CarbonWA friends: Thanks to everyone who chipped in from our last e-newsletter to raise over $1,000 for Dr. Sharon Shewmake, the environmental economist running for state House in the 42nd! And, the movement for a price on carbon continues to spread beyond humble beginnings in Washington State. Read on for exciting progress. Plus, CarbonWA is preparing to endorse bipartisan climate advocates for state legislature.

Electing a Climate Majority + Blog on Kids Lawsuit

We discuss the recent dismissal of the Youth climate lawsuit in Washington State on our blog, and what it means for climate advocates. The summary is that it’s essential to elect a climate majority in the state legislature as the state court system closes off executive and legal avenues to climate action, and that we’ve got to do more than just elect candidates who talk a good game but can’t back it up. So, we’ve created a candidate questionnaire (check out the questionnaire our website) to evaluate candidates state legislature for endorsement and our support. (more…)

The Youth Climate Trial that has meandered through Washington’s court system has stalled for the moment.

The case, pursued by eight young petitioners and supported by attorneys from the Western Environmental Law Center and Our Children’s Trust, asserts that the state is failing to protect young people from climate change impacts, and that young people have a right to a stable climate under the Washington State Constitution and the Public Trust Doctrine. King County Superior Court Judge Michael Scott has dismissed the case as of August 14. However, the plaintiff’s plan to appeal, so we don’t expect this to be the last word on the case. Read more about the legal background and the trajectory of the case: https://www.ourchildrenstrust.org/washington  

Despite the failure to compel state action, the case holds a number of lessons for climate advocates as we advance policies to reduce carbon emissions.  (more…)

Hello, CarbonWA friends: The I-1631 effort is about to turn in their signatures (so turn ’em in if you got ’em!), a CarbonWA supporter is running for the state legislature, and debate is heating up over whether a national bipartisan revenue-neutral carbon fee effort is going to work or not. Read on for more!

Climate Action is Heading Back to the Ballot! 

The Yes on 1631 initiative effort is closing in on the signature deadline and they are asking folks to turn in their signatures to the Seattle office by June 30 or on July 2 at the Olympia turn-in event (more details on Facebook). Rumor has it the initiative is going to qualify, thanks in part to a strong volunteer effort, and we are assuming it’s going to move forward to the ballot in the fall. CarbonWA is supporting 1631. You can explore our full take on the strengths and weaknesses of the approach in our analysis of 1631.

A Race for State Legislature to Watch!

One of the primary reasons our effort to put a price on carbon fell short last legislative session was the lack of climate-focused lawmakers in both parties. That’s why we are so excited that Sharon Shewmake, a CarbonWA supporter from Bellingham, was so inspired by our grassroots efforts to act on climate that she’s running for state legislature to help make it happen.  (more…)

Hello, CarbonWA friends: The movement for a price on carbon in Washington State has put a few points on the board! Read on to learn more, and, don’t forget that I-1631 is gathering signatures right now — so if you want to get involved, go directly to the campaign website and review our analysis to learn more about the policy.

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New UTC Rules Require Utilities to Include Price on Carbon 

In Washington State, our private utilities (Puget Sound Energy, Avista, and PacificCorp) are regulated by a body called the Utilities and Transportation Commission or UTC. Two former UTC commissioners actually sit on the CarbonWA board. The UTC’s job is to ensure private utilities follow the law and don’t take advantage of consumers, among other things. Utilities must have their rate increases and many other financial decisions impacting consumers approved by the UTC. And utilities are required to undertake a long term planning process that is overseen by the UTC (known as the Integrated Resource Plans or IRPs). The UTC has just determined that future IRP’s MUST include a price on carbon (of $40 per ton) as part of their economic analysis. This decision isn’t legally prohibiting the utilities from building fossil fuel plants in the future. But, the UTC is clearly telling utilities: if you build a fossil fuel plant that isn’t profitable with a price on carbon, we won’t consider that a prudent investment for which consumers should be on the hook.

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Hello, CarbonWA friends: May the 4th be with you! We hope you channel the energy from Star Wars (or your favorite movie) to help make climate action happen!

Making change beyond Earth Day 

Another Earth Day has come and gone with many familiar pledges and suggestions circulating to hike more, get a reusable shopping bag, or start recycling. That’s all well and good, but, with climate change growing ever more urgent, we wanted to share some ideas for how you might seriously step up your climate-action game. We often think about climate and environmental actions as fitting into two categories: “me” actions and “we” actions. A “me” action is personal action you can take (like giving up beef or changing how you commute), without the help of others, that can help to reduce your personal impact. “Me” actions are important because they help you to live your values, and because they can encourage others in your personal network to follow suit. But no amount of bicycling and light bulb changing will stop global warming if we don’t also take “we” actions. “We” actions are political actions you can take, with the help of others, to get our entire economy shifted to be more sustainable and earth-friendly. A strong climate pledge would be to take one bold “me” action and one bold “we” action this year. (more…)