Category: News

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…)

Seattle, WA – September 25, 2018 – In recognition of both candidates’ strong position on climate issues, Carbon Washington, the organization behind the state’s 2016 ballot initiative to put a price on carbon (I-732), has endorsed incumbent Senator Mark Miloscia (R) and his challenger, Claire Wilson (D), in Washington’s 30th legislative district.

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Sen. Mark Miloscia

Sen. Miloscia has been very engaged in finding and supporting bipartisan, smart, accountable carbon reduction policies,” said Kyle Murphy, Executive Director of Carbon Washington. “We need more leaders like Sen. Miloscia who are willing to work across the aisle to address the increasingly urgent climate challenges facing us today.”

“I will support all efforts that try for compromise, quality, accountability,” said Sen. Miloscia in response to a questionnaire distributed by Carbon Washington to candidates running for legislative office in Washington. “Only by working together, in a spirit of compromise, quality, and accountability, will we develop a carbon reduction plan that truly works.”

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“If elected, I will be a vocal and public champion in the legislature for carbon reduction policies and insist that we include an environmental lens when making budget and other policy decisions,” said Wilson in her questionnaire. “I will advance environmental bills to reduce our state’s emissions, support clean industries, and mitigate the damage caused by effects of climate change we are already seeing — like wildfires and decreased air quality throughout the state. I will work with affected communities, especially tribal nations and communities of color, to ensure their voices are leading the way to a more sustainable economy and environmental future.” (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 two legislative candidates in Washington’s 47th District (Kent-Auburn-Covington): Republican State Sen. Joe Fain, who is running for re-election, and Democrat Debra Entenman, a Democrat running for state representative.

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Sen. Joe Fain

“Sen. Fain has been one of the most consistent Republican voices on climate change,” said Kyle Murphy, Executive Director of Carbon Washington. “He supported Initiative 732 and continues to bring a true bipartisan spirit to solving the challenges associated with climate change. We applaud his courage tackling a complex and urgent issue.”

“Combating climate change requires sober thinking and reasoned action based on the best available science,” said Fain in response to a questionnaire distributed by Carbon Washington to candidates running for legislative office in Washington.

Debra Entenman

Carbon Washington also endorsed Debra Entenman, who is running for state representative. “Entenman is committed to addressing climate change through smart policy and strongly supports the transition to renewable energy sources,” said Murphy. “Meanwhile, her opponent, Incumbent Mark Hargrove, does not have a sensible position on climate issues. For voters who care about addressing climate change and protecting future generations, the choice is clear.”

“I believe that climate change is real, caused by the use of fossil fuels and can be slowed and reversed by legislative policies,” said Entenman in her questionnaire. “[These] may include cap and trade, fees and pricing, and EPA policies that include reductions in auto emissions.”

Update (10/25): We remain concerned about the sexual misconduct allegations against Sen. Fain made on Sept. 27, after he received our endorsement. Sen. Fain has requested an investigation, which we believe is the appropriate course. We will continue to monitor the situation.
 (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…)

 

2018 State Legislative Endorsement Questionnaire

Smart Climate Action Leader Endorsements: Carbon Washington is a nonpartisan grassroots organization dedicated to reducing carbon emissions and addressing climate change. We support legislative candidates that are committed to bipartisanship and who push for carbon reduction policies that are effective and economically efficient. Endorsed candidates will be highlighted through Carbon Washington’s 5,000+ email list, targeted social media posts, and may be eligible for additional financial and campaign support. Carbon Washington supporters recently raised over $1,000 for a legislative candidate and we intend highlight additional legislative leaders in the coming months.

 

Instructions: Please complete the following questions and email them to Carbon Washington at info@carbonwa.org and/or kyle@carbonwa.org BY 9/7/2018. Candidates can download the endorsement as a word document here: Candidate endorsement questionnaire

 

Candidate Name
Position Sought
Campaign Contact Information Email:

Phone:
Main point of contact:

 

Question Y/N
Do you agree that climate change is primarily caused by burning fossil fuels?
Do you believe legislators should develop policies to responsibly reduce carbon emissions?
The vast majority of economists agree a price on carbon is the most efficient way to reduce carbon emissions. Do you support putting a price on carbon?

 

  • If you support a price on carbon, what is your preferred design or your most important considerations (ie revenue neutrality, cap & trade, worker retraining, etc.) ? If you do not support carbon pricing, what do you think is the best approach to reducing emissions?

 

  • Are there other carbon reduction/clean energy policies you support?

 

  • Do you see addressing climate change as fitting within your party’s core values, and if so, how?

 

  • If elected, what is one thing you would do to try to advance carbon reduction policies at the state, local, or national level?

 

  • Are there specific issues facing your district that are connected to climate change? Can Carbon Washington provide technical or political help in solving these challenges?

 

  • Please provide a short public quote regarding your position on passing policies that reduce carbon emissions and advance clean energy that we can share with our supporters.

 

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.

 (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.

 

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. The new rule won’t make a big impact on existing coal plants, but it will make it more likely that when existing coal plants eventually shut down, those plants will be replaced by a greater mixture of renewables and a lesser mixture of fossil fuels. This is an important regulatory shift that will reduce carbon.

We supported a bill last session that would have created a carbon price requirement in utility plans, and while the bill had bipartisan support, it wasn’t able to get the attention it needed in the short session to pass. We are pleased the UTC decided it didn’t need to wait any longer to take responsible, sensible action on climate change. Furthermore, we take this as evidence that our shared work to advance climate action and a sensible price on carbon is gaining traction.

   

More Carbon Pricing Media & Next Steps

The carbon tax push from the last legislative session was nicely pulled together by S&P Global News Defeated in Legislature Carbon Tax Advocates Eye Washington Ballot Initiative”. The piece features quotes from CarbonWA and our partners including, “Despite failing to pass, 6203 set in motion a process that will lead to a price on carbon in the next two years” from Senator Reuven Carlyle, and “elements of the business community decided they’d rather spend millions fighting ballot initiatives rather than locking in a compromise now” from CarbonWA. From I-732, to SB 6203, to I-1631 to the recent UTC decision, carbon pricing is becoming closer and closer to a reality in Washington.

After the lengthy initiative campaign from 2014-2016, and two legislative blitzes last year and this year to advance a price on carbon, many key members of CarbonWA are slowing down for a moment to catch our breath. Don’t worry if we are a little bit quieter over the coming months as we evaluate the political landscape ahead and chart our path. If you want to get more involved as a volunteer running our non-profit, assisting with blog posts, or community organizing please email kyle@carbonwa.org with some more information about your background and interests.

Other Climate News!
Want to get caught up on recent climate news? We suggest checking out the following stories:

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…)