The legislature has passed a budget deal, and despite our efforts, it does not include a price on carbon. We did a heckuva job putting a carbon tax in play this legislative session, holding two lobby days engaging hundreds of people around the state, creating and leading the ACT NOW coalition, and placing numerous media pieces.
However, the legislature opted to raise property taxes, sales tax, and close a number of tax breaks to raise revenue. While the budget deal allocates some funding for the Clean Air Rule, and closes an oil refinery tax break. We are concerned that the legislature failed to address climate change in a major way and that the negotiations were held in secret, without time for public scrutiny.
Write to your senator and both your representatives letting them know how you feel about this. Feel free to include some or all of the points in our recent media statement. You can write your own letter or use this one to get you started. (The link automatically addresses your emails to the proper legislators.)
You might also express your strong support for a carbon tax in the 2018 legislative session. Our legislators do listen. And when they get enough input, they’ve been known to change their positions. (They like getting re-elected!)
Thanks for supporting a carbon tax — and for all you’re doing to help make it a reality.
MEDIA STATEMENT (Contact: Samara Villasenor, firstname.lastname@example.org, 425.255.0890)
Washington’s children have a constitutional right to both an adequate education and a livable climate. While lawmakers took steps to fully fund K-12 education, they failed — for the third year in a row — to seriously consider bills that would substantially reduce carbon emissions and mitigate the unavoidable impacts of climate change.
As in 2015, House and Senate leaders missed a golden opportunity to solve two problems at once, by putting a price on carbon pollution to both reduce emissions and help meet the state’s funding needs. Democrats neglected to walk their climate talk, failing to bring any of the four carbon tax bills put forward this session to a vote in the House. Meanwhile, some key Republicans continue to espouse the false notion that a carbon tax would hurt the state economy, despite clear evidence to the contrary from multiple studies and the experience implementing a carbon tax in British Columbia.
Our grassroots members worked tirelessly during the session to educate their representatives on the urgent need to protect our climate. We are grateful for their efforts and support. We also commend Sen. Hobbs, Sen. Palumbo, Rep. Fitzgibbon, and Gov. Inslee for proposing meaningful carbon pricing policies this year.
Given the Legislature’s unwillingness to act, it’s clear that taking meaningful steps to reduce carbon pollution will be up to the citizens of Washington. Carbon Washington’s next step will be to explore potential ballot initiatives that will reduce emissions and accelerate the transition to clean energy — in an effective, equitable, economically sound, and politically viable manner. We look forward to working with civic, environmental, business, and social justice leaders to get a winning measure on the 2018 ballot.
We can no longer ignore the threat that climate change poses to our state’s people, environment, and economy. All of us have a moral obligation to protect the children of today, and future generations, from the dangerous impacts of climate change. There is no more time for delay. We need to ACT NOW.
NEWS RELEASE (Contact: Samara Villasenor, email@example.com, 425.255.0890)
ACT NOW Virtual Lobby Day on June 15 will demonstrate voter support for a carbon tax to reduce carbon pollution that causes climate change and fund the state’s biennial budget.
Advocates for a Carbon Tax NOW (ACT NOW) will hold a statewide virtual lobby day on Thursday, June 15, to demonstrate to Washington state legislators that their constituents enthusiastically support a price on carbon. Audubon Washington, Carbon Washington, and the League of Women Voters of Washington are among a growing coalition of organizations and individuals that have joined ACT NOW because they want to see a carbon tax pass during this legislative session. There are currently four carbon tax bills in front of the state legislature which, if passed, would demonstrate leadership on climate change policy while offering a path forward for creating the revenue required to rewrite the state’s biennial budget.
“We have a moral responsibility to protect our birds, our children, and future generations from the adverse effects of climate change,” said Gail Gatton, Executive Director of Audubon Washington. “We can’t afford to wait any longer before we take action. Our state legislators have a golden opportunity in front of them to show bipartisan leadership by passing a carbon tax. Doing so would set much-needed precedent for other states to follow. This is how change starts.” (Full statement here.)
This legislative session represents an important opportunity for Washington to lead on climate change. Below is a simple breakdown of current bills before the legislature. If anything is passed, it may resemble a combination of one or more of these bills. Further, the legal language is not finalized, and Carbon Washington is not yet endorsing any of the bills. To read the full language, go to http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/, and search by bill number.
Goal of the week: Will you help us tell legislators to take action on climate change? We are holding a phone banking day on Thursday, June 15. You can join via facebook or RSVP form. Share this event with your family and friends to maximize our impact!
There are multiple bills introduced that could finally put a price on carbon in Washington State. It’s still a long shot to getting anything passed. Legislators tell us they do not hear enough from their own districts! Join now and make your voice heard. No one else will do this for us!
Current carbon tax bills: HB 1646, SB 5127, SB 5385, SB 5930. To read any of these bills, go to http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/, and search by bill number (for example “1646”). We will share more information about each of these bills through our email blast. Sign up to learn more.
If you’re looking for events: On Wed., May 31, attend Climate Science on Tap’s presentation of “Hell and High Water: Global Warming” at Peddler Brewing from 7:00 – 8:30 pm. Hear about sea level rises — their causes and impacts — throughout the Puget Sound. Hear from a fascinating panel that includes the director of the UW’s Program on Climate Change, specialists from Seattle Public Utilities, and environmental scientists from the Tulalip Tribes.
The goal this week: ask friends to write their legislators. Share your email to legislators with them as a guide, or share these tips.
1. Even if legislators do not take action, we need to remind them that we demand policies to decrease emissions and increase resiliency. Special interests are already talking to legislators, prioritizing their profits over our future. If we do not make our voices heard, you can bet that other interests will be represented.
2. You can find your legislators using Facebook’s Town Hall tool, or at Find Your District. You can find your legislators’ contact information here.
3. Tell them why you care about climate action, and how they can help. You can advocate for a particular policy, or show your support for carbon pricing in general. Legislators care about what their district wants, and as a constituent you need to show why this is important to you.
Join us for a “Carbon Taxes Happy Hour” this Tuesday, May 23, from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. at Big Time Brewery in the University District. Invite your friends, too! We are welcoming new members and reuniting with old friends.
Over the next few months of the legislature’s special session, we have an opportunity to pass an effective carbon tax. Even if nothing passes this session, we need to show that people in our state still want a carbon tax.
Find your legislators. Use Facebook’s Town Hall tool, or Find Your District. Click here for all the emails.
If you are a fan of texting, consider the Resistbot. Just text “RESIST” to 50409. It helps you send a message to your members of congress. Keep this handy when important federal bills come to light. This is important, because federal action does affect the Puget Sound directly.
For this week’s action item, read briefly over the homepage to learn about your legislators’ advocacy. Your letter should be a short email to thanking them for their service, and asking whether they could support a carbon tax. For reference, you can also check if they supported I-732, and be sure to thank them, if they did.
In mid-June, we are hosting a statewide phonebank to our legislators. You can RSVP here.