Pitcher - Keith Johnston

Hello, CarbonWA friends: The legislative session is winding down (hopefully). This message is to thank you for contributing to our effort, to reflect on what we’ve achieved, and to provide our candid take on Olympia.

Our legislative campaign made a difference

The legislative session is down to the wire, with an agreement needed by June 30th to avoid a shutdown. We did a heckuva job putting a carbon tax in play this legislative session without much in the way of well financed lobbyists or a huge team of staff. We’ve held two lobby days engaging hundreds of people around the state (around 400 but who’s counting!). We created and led the ACT NOW coalition of nearly 40 groups joining us in calling for a price on carbon now. We’ve placed or influence numerous media stories (for highlights check us out in the Seattle TimesSeattle Business MagazineSeattle WeeklyWashington State Wire, and the Everett Herald). We’ve held meetings ourselves with many legislators and we’ve influenced the 4 carbon tax bills in play. Together, we’ve made it abundantly clear that climate advocates AREN’T GOING AWAY.

We are deep into extra innings now. It is hard to know exactly what the key negotiators are talking about behind closed doors. Our intel suggests that a carbon tax has been presented to the negotiators and officially put on the table as an option. But, our sense is that the carbon tax is *NOT* among the leading revenue options. The internet sales tax and some kind of property tax reform appear to be the leading contenders. If this deal sticks, it will look more like what the Republicans want than what the Democrats want. We are confident that if a carbon tax can make it to the floor, we would have the votes. The engagement we did all the way back to the I-732 effort has paid dividends in convincing open-minded leaders in both parties that pricing carbon makes a ton of sense. However, leaders in both chambers have so far not shown a willingness to put a carbon tax to a vote. There’s no way around it, this is frustrating – especially in the house where Democratic leadership has been talking a good game when it comes to climate but have yet to back it up. But, as one legislator recently told us, “there is a chance we will pass a carbon tax, and that’s never been the case before, and it’s because of your work.

One of things that makes CarbonWA different is our willingness to take a swing at the ball. Whether we get a bill passed this session, or whether we need to come back next year with an initiative, you can count on us to be at the plate, swinging, even if we don’t always hit a home run. For the last 3 years we’ve been the tip of the spear when it comes to statewide climate action. We stepped up to the plate.

There is one theory of change that you shouldn’t fight unless you know you will win. We subscribe to a different theory. We believe you should fight until you win. We intend to compete in every political arena, putting climate action on the table, picking up new allies and getting closer to comprehensive climate policy each time.

Thank you for supporting us along the way. We couldn’t make an impact without you.

We’ll be watching the negotiations and making ourselves available to both parties to assist with drafting and making connections for anyone who wants to be constructive on carbon, and we’ll update you as soon as we learn more.

Additional $1,000 matching donation!

Thanks to the generous gifts from over 50 donors we have completed our $6,500 match. But, another donor has stepped up and put an additional $1,000 on the table as a match. If you want to help us close out this session strong and be ready to come back next fall for another round of advocacy, please consider making a gift towards the $1,000 match. This will be our last fundraising drive for the summer – so now is the time to give if you’ve been thinking about it. If you’ve already given to CarbonWA recently, thank you for making our work possible.

More Climate News

Todd Myers writes in the National Review that local leaders signing onto the Paris Agreement need to back that up with action. We agree — and we agree climate groups shouldn’t get so close to politicians that they can’t hold them accountable when they don’t follow through. Nationally, revenue neutral climate action is still alive and kicking as the Republican Elders plan picks up corporate support, see Carbon dividends plan gains Exxon’s backing as public climate concern hits new high (Carbon Tax Center, June 20, 2017. Exxon, GM and Pepsi plan to back carbon tax floated by  x-GOP officials (Washington Post, June 20, 2017). Larry Summers and George Schultz, in the Washington Post also tout a national revenue neutral approach. Locally, check out CarbonWA supporters in the Everett Herald: Commentary: Putting a price on carbon buys a healthier state (Everett Herald, June 18, 2017) And we loved seeing the Olympian give a plug for a carbon tax in Shutting down state government is a really dumb idea (The Olympian, June 17, 2017).

Onward and Upward! 

From the whole Carbon Washington team