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.
Here’s our first round of endorsements of climate legislation!
HB1110 – Low 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 1113 – Increases 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.
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.
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.
We 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.
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!
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…)
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!
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…)
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.
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.
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…)
Hello, CarbonWA friends:
We Support I-1631!
After another round of legislative inaction, a ballot initiative is moving forward to put a price on carbon. We’ve taken a close look at the policy, collected feedback from our supporters, and held a robust internal discussion about the initiative. As a result, we are moving forward in support of I-1631. You can see our full statement below. But, before you make up your own mind, we’d encourage you to review our recent in-depth analysis of the initiative (including a comparison matrix, exploration of wonky details, and a carbon reduction ranking).
While the 1631 policy differs in some ways from the approaches we’ve seen in recent years, we also see it as an outgrowth of the grassroots energy that put the first carbon tax in the nation on the ballot and has since led to a surge of serious legislative proposals. I-1631 also has the extra boost of a very favorable ballot title ruling from the Attorney General’s office (something the I-732 effort struggled with), and a recent upholding of the title against legal challenges from the Association of Washington Business and a conservative activist (who we don’t know much about except that his website logo is of sasquatch toppling the Olympia capitol). Read on for the reasoning behind our support of I-1631. (more…)
Let them know you want action on clean energy and climate change.