If you were following along last winter and spring, you might have seen the we were busy supporting and influencing a myriad of climate bills including SB 5947, a sustainable farming bill. CarbonWA helped construct SB 5947 and spearheaded the campaign for its passage. With bipartisan support, led by Senators McCoy (D) and Schoesler (R), testimony from many in the farming community, and a well designed bill, it sailed through the Senate in just 17 days. However, after passing the Senate the bill stalled in the House when Democrats and committee Chair Brian Blake declined to advance the bill (in part due to concerns raised by the Farm Bureau and the Potato Commission). Much hay has been made over potential ties between the Farm Bureau and the fossil fuel industry in recent research, which may have been a factor.
To get the bill over the finish line, we are launching an interim campaign designed to cultivate and grow interest among farmers and rural communities, while collecting input to strengthen and improve the bill for 2020’s legislative session. We are also hiring a campaign manager to spearhead our work to build support and awareness in the farming community. (Thanks to all whose donations have made this possible.) You can help by:
1) Sharing the job description with potential candidates who have political experience and farming ties.
2) Making a donation (click here) to our sustainable farms effort.
3) Connecting us with farmers who may want to provide input, learn more, or support this campaign (send inquiries to email@example.com).
2019 has far and away been the most productive year for legislative climate action in Washington State. Numerous important bills became law. However, ample work remains. While the legislature took meaningful steps on HFC’s, electricity, and buildings, lawmakers failed to sufficiently address transportation emissions, agriculture, and industry this year. Take a look at a partial breakdown of climate bills that passed and didn’t below. Be sure to also check out the latest Carboncast, a podcast discussing the legislative session with CarbonWA’s Greg Rock. CarbonWA was also quoted in E&E News, calling the session a “turning point” but only if “we do more every year after this.”
|SB 5116||Mandating 100% carbon free electricity by 2045, with carbon neutral electricity by 2030.||Passed|
|HB 1112||Phasing out Hydrofluorocarbons (HFC’s)||Passed|
|HB 1257||Increasing building efficiency standards||Passed|
|HB 1444||Adds or increases appliance efficiency standards||Passed|
|SMJ 8005||Biochar memorial||Passed|
|HB 2042||Extends electric vehicle incentives.||Passed|
|HB 1512||Allows utilities to invest in electric vehicle infrastructure||Passed|
Take 1 Action to make an impact on Earth Day.
This Earth Day we have our eye on lesser-known but vitally important HB 1112. This bill would phase out the use of Hydroflurocarbons (HFCs) — a super greenhouse gas used in refrigerants. HFC emissions are thousands of times more potent than CO2 when it comes to trapping heat. When you consider all the energy lost in commercial uses — between air-conditioning on increasingly hot summer days, or at every local grocery store to keep our food cold 24/7 — it’s a chilling thought. This bill will have a big impact! HFC’s account for 4% of Washington’s warming emissions right now.
The Senate is considering amendments that weaken the bill, but we need the Senate to uphold the stronger version passed by the House. Your senator needs to know that you support passing the original House version of the bill.
Here’s some more commentary on the need + impact of HB 1112 from waclimateleg.info:
Establishes deadlines for banning hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and some other refrigerants as well as products using them or manufactured with them from entering into state commerce, since the EPA’s regulations for eliminating these under provisions of the Clean Air Act have been suspended by a 2017 Appeals Court decision…. estimates that phasing out the creation and use of new HFCs, following the provisions of the Kigali Accord, would avoid something between 25GT and 78GT of additional global greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Or if you prefer to email/call your WA Senator directly, here’s some sample language: (more…)
Hello, CarbonWA friends: A biochar memorial spearheaded by CarbonWA just passed + we’ve been busy! Read on.
Bipartisan Engagement Pays Off – Biochar Bill Passes!
A major project of Carbon Washington the last two years, HMJ 4005, the Biochar Memorial, has now passed both chambers of the state legislature! The Biochar Memorial was introduced in 2018, and came roaring back this year, passing both chambers with unanimous support. You can learn more about the biochar memorial here. CarbonWA’s Greg Rock (pictured above) spearheaded the biochar bill, and said, “It was tremendous to see so much bipartisan support for a climate solution. This memorial led to 5 public hearings and 100 legislator meetings, which also helped lay the groundwork for the Sustainable Farm Bill.” Carbon Washington particularly wants to thank the memorial’s sponsors Senators Van De Wege (D) and Short (R), and Representatives Shea (R) and Fitzgibbon (D).
Youth Inspire State Legislature To Act!
CarbonWA Advocacy Coordinator Katsi Peña joined organizations like Our Climate and Audubon Washington in organizing a youth climate rally on Friday, April 12th. Well over 100 young people attended along with dozens of all-ages supporters. CarbonWA was featured on KAOS radio promoting youth action and important bills during the rally. In a testament to the event’s success, legislators moved a bill for 100% clean electricity to the floor and passed it out of the House of Representatives amidst a backdrop of chants from young people to ‘act on climate now.’ You can learn more about the electricity bill here. It must now go back to the Senate for concurrence before heading to the Governor’s desk for signature. (more…)
We have been helping plan a Lobby and Rally Day of Action in Olympia happening Thursday, April 11th. This event is part of a coalition of young people demanding for climate action. We will spend the day advocating for climate action while getting to know passionate young people over great food, conversation, and speakers.
Although this event is centered around empowering youth, all ages are needed in Olympia to support young people and inspire our lawmakers! So far Carbon WA members from retirees to infants are planning to come!
If you can attend, please RSVP by Tuesday, April 9th.
10 a.m. – 12 noon: BREAKFAST AND WORKSHOPS at United Churches of Olympia, in the Social Hall at 110 11TH AVE SE, 98501
12 – 12:30 p.m.: LUNCH (free lunch provided)
12:45 – 1:30 p.m.: RALLY — A 10-minute walk to the steps of the Legislative Building at 416 SID SNYDER AVE SW, 98504
1:30 – 3 p.m.: FLOOR VOTE — Where we’ll gather in the rotunda
Send 1 quick email to help!
Transportation fuels are responsible for nearly half of our global warming pollution in Washington. Diesel and gasoline are the largest sources of air pollution, which health professionals link directly to asthma, lung cancer, and other respiratory diseases. We also know that lower income communities and communities of color disproportionately suffer from pollution, since they are often closer to major transportation corridors.
We can clean up our act right now. HB 1110, which could create a clean fuel standard, has passed the House and is making its way through the Senate. We support it mainly because it’s an economically efficient, effective, well-written policy. And because it is technology agnostic — we’re not saying you need to go buy this or that. Instead, we want an outcome. We want less pollution from our fuels. A marketplace is created because there’s a trading mechanism built into the policy — so it mimics the efficiency of a carbon tax.
As you know CarbonWA Policy, Advocacy and Communications teams have been busy this legislative session mobilizing support for key legislation that support our vision: Net zero carbon emissions and a prosperous, healthy future. Join us (and our kids!) in Olympia on April 11, when young people from around Washington state will be gathering to demand climate action from our elected officials. We need you to join us there to show our lawmakers that climate change is an urgent issue that must be acted on now. Although this is a youth-led event, it is not just for youth — we want everyone to join us!
The day will start with trainings and workshops, followed by a rally, and ending at the legislative building where we will demand that our legislators vote for climate action. Come and enjoy great food, conversation, and advocacy as we come together to fight for climate action. When you RSVP, please make sure to list that you are part of the Carbon Washington Group and email our Advocacy Coordinator, Katsi@carbonwa.org to confirm.
Can’t make it to the event but still want to take action? Support us by sharing the Facebook event and submitting a letter to your elected official telling them who you are and why you support bold, equitable action on climate.
Thank you for your help so far! The legislative session is coming to a close soon but there’s much we can do this week!! House Committees are voting on 2 separate bills this Tuesday – these are both bills Carbon WA has supported this session, and have already passed the Senate. Tuesday’s votes could bring them to the House floor, and finally the Governor’s desk. Combined, they address both rural and urban issues in our state.
We have made these 2 ACTION ITEMS as easy as possible for you — to reach key committee inboxes in time.
SB 5947 – Sustainable Farms and Fields helps WA farmers. If you support the bill and want to see it get a floor vote in the House, send an email to the Rural Development, Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. The link will auto-populate the following:
Subject: Do Pass SB 5947 – Sustainable Farms and Fields Bill
To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Representative, (more…)
The momentum for the Sustainable Farms and Fields Grants bill (SB 5947) continues to grow!
SB 5947 sailed through the state Senate on March 6th with bipartisan support and CarbonWA’s strong grassroots mobilization.
SB 5947, which provides “…financial assistance to farmers and ranchers that adopt changes in management practices that reduce fossil fuel inputs and increase the quantity of carbon stored on their land,” passed by a two-to-one margin (32-15), indicating the widespread support it generated and the effectiveness of the Carbon Washington supporters who urged their senators to vote yes.
“We were surprised at how fast the vote came up, but the outpouring of grassroots support for the bill was probably one of the reasons it moved so quickly,” said Greg Rock, Carbon Washington’s policy chair. Particularly encouraging was the bipartisan vote, with four Republicans joining every Democrat in voting yes.
With the success in the senate, Carbon Washington will focus its efforts on passing the bill in the House. First up is pushing for a hearing from the Rural Development, Agriculture, & Natural Resources Committee. To secure a hearing and an eventual vote, pressure from constituents will be as vital as it was in the Senate. To learn more about the status of other CarbonWA-backed bills, check out our latest Carboncast podcast. (more…)
Carbon Washington cordially invites you to an evening of climate action like you’ve never experienced. This St. Patrick’s Day, Sunday, March 17, at 6 p.m., please join us for CarbonWA in Concert: “The Alaska Suite — a story of beauty, loss and hope,” offering music and inspiration for action against carbon pollution. It takes place at Madrona Commons, 832 – 32nd Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122.
The Alaska Suite is composed by Nelda Swiggett and features a five-piece chamber jazz ensemble, with the mission of using “the power of artistic expression — live music, spoken words, images, and poetry — to connect audiences deeply and emotionally to the scientific realities of climate change, and to inform and inspire them to act now to address it.”
Audience response speaks to Swiggett’s success at achieving her goal:
“… spliced with a dialogue about climate science and solutions. It touches the emotional edges of our understanding and invites action from a deeper place.”
“… wonderfully inspiring…. The content was informative without being preachy; the music was magical….” — Gail M.
Let them know you want action on clean energy and climate change.