Just days after its introduction, a Carbon Washington-backed bill promoting sustainable farming has accumulated a powerful and bipartisan list of sponsors in the Legislature. Senate Bill 5947, the Sustainable Farms and Fields Grants bill 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.
Introduced in both chambers with Democratic and Republican backing on Feb. 15, the bill now has 16 sponsors representing an equal number of legislators in each party.
With agriculture accounting for about 10% of nationwide carbon emissions, and with farmers on the front lines of climate related events like heat waves and droughts, it is critical to invest in sustainable farming practices. Carbon Washington, along with the American Farmland Trust and the Washington Association of Conservation districts, has made passage of this bill a top priority, conducting outreach and research to support the legislative process. Other organizations that support the bill include the American Farmland Trust, Tulalip Tribe, PCC Community Markets, WA Dairy Federation, Washington Forest Protection Association, Audubon Washington, and The Nature Conservancy. (more…)
Statement from Kyle Murphy, Executive Director, Carbon Washington
After a decade of inaction on climate change, our elected leaders have a duty and obligation to enact public policy to reduce carbon. It is clear that people in Washington want action. The legislature’s continued failure to do so is disturbing.
SB 6203 made history as the first carbon tax in the country to be voted out of two legislative committees, and by coming within a single vote or two in the Senate. The support from environmental, tribal, and business interests was groundbreaking and builds on considerable progress in Washington to elevate a conversation about climate change and a price on carbon. While I-732, the nation’s first carbon tax initiative put to Washington voters in 2016 didn’t pass at the polls, it was the basis for four carbon pricing bills introduced in the 2017 legislature, and created an opportunity for the legislature to seriously consider SB 6203 in the 2018 session.
Climate action in Washington is coming. Opponents of this bill achieved little beyond a temporary delay in our inevitable trajectory toward a clean energy future. Carbon Washington will now focus its efforts on putting a price on carbon this year at the ballot or next year in the legislature.
Future generations are counting on us, and we will continue to mobilize citizens, provide leadership, and advocate for effective, equitable, economically sound, evidence-based, and politically feasible policies to address climate change.
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.)
“Grassroots activism accomplished what many environmental leaders and media pundits said was impossible: we put a revenue-neutral carbon tax on the ballot,” said Yoram Bauman, founder and co-chair of Carbon Washington. “While we did not pass the nation’s first carbon tax, many states around the country are looking at I-732 as a model and we expect a nationwide movement to take root in the years ahead. We will look back at this as a lost opportunity to create history in Washington State, but also as a catalyst for much needed U.S. leadership on climate action.”
Grassroots supporters in Washington State and around the world led the biggest voter education effort on climate change the state has ever seen, reaching nearly one million voters through direct phone calls and more than 100,000 voters door-to-door, primarily by volunteers.
“We deeply appreciate the efforts of our staff and hundreds of volunteers who collected over 360,000 signatures to get I-732 on the ballot last December, and who continued the momentum until polls closed tonight,” said Kyle Murphy, co-director of the Yes on 732 campaign. “We are immensely grateful to Audubon Washington for its partnership and support, the thousands of people who donated to the Yes on 732 campaign with a median donation of $50, and everyone who endorsed the policy and campaigned on our behalf.” (more…)
UW scientists “deeply concerned about the consequences of man-made climate change” call I-732 “a major step in the right direction.”
SEATTLE, October 10, 2016 – More than fifty climate scientists from the University of Washington signed an open letter advocating their support for Initiative 732 (www.carbonwa.org), a revenue neutral carbon tax swap that will be on the ballot in Washington State this November. These scientists are world-leaders in the study of climate change and the profound impacts of rising levels of greenhouse gases, such as CO2, in the atmosphere.