Hello, CarbonWA friends:
Read on for the latest news of carbon tax news as the legislative session begins! But first, we are concerned about what appears to be a coordinated effort to lower expectations going into the session. After 10 years of inaction on climate, key legislators are now saying 60 days isn’t enough time to get climate done (see here, here, and here). This reminds us of the kind of thing you might tell your teacher in elementary school: “I haven’t made much progress on my homework assignment (for over 10 years!), and because the due date is coming up so soon, I should be given extra time.” But we remember when the legislature passed the 2014 Boeing tax cuts in 4 days, so we aren’t buying the not-enough-time story. We know this session will be a big lift, but the legislature’s assignment to protect the climate and future generations is already overdue.
Please join us in raising expectations that the legislature will pass a climate policy, because they have the time, skill, and mandate to do so. You can write a letter to the editor of your local paper, contact your legislators on social media, or write them directly to tell them you expect action.
Inslee Introduces Carbon Pricing Plan
Governor Inslee kicked off the session yesterday by introducing a carbon pricing program that would start at $20 per ton and invest in carbon reduction and natural resources. The Governor delivered a passionate speech (summarized here) and referenced support from Puget Sound Energy, Avista, and Microsoft for the plan. This shows the serious momentum for carbon pricing that we’ve helped to build. The policy is a meaningful opening bid that gets a lot of the big pieces right. Take a look at our latest work on the proposal including: a blog digging into Inslee’s proposal, and comments on the proposal from Washington State Wire and ClimateWire.
Inslee isn’t the only one in the discussion. Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz has come out in support of carbon pricing with a series of principles (check out our blog highlighting her points here) and Senator Kevin Ranker also dropped a carbon pricing bill that starts at $15 per ton. Game on!
We Support a Low Carbon Fuel Standard
As a complementary policy to carbon pricing, we are supporting HB 2338, which would implement a low carbon fuel standard (LCFS). A LCFS is a regulation designed to reduce carbon emissions from our transportation sector by requiring additional electrification and biofuel usage. It pairs nicely with a carbon price to help us kickstart emission reductions in the transportation sector. Read our low carbon fuels blog post to learn more about the policy and why we support it.
2018 Legislative Session Sign Up
January 18th: CarbonWA and ACT NOW are hosting our next legislative strategy call. Want to get involved in the session or get the latest scoop on the prospects for climate action? Get the call in information by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
January 22nd: CarbonWA is sponsoring a lobby day with Audubon Washington, Climate Solutions and many others called 100% For The Climate, focused on advocating for a price on carbon,100% clean energy, and low carbon transportation solutions. You can sign up to join us here (and let us know if you can’t afford a ticket price that covers the room, coordination, and lunch).
February 19th: As we outlined in our legislative analysis, climate action will probably have to be bipartisan to pass this legislative session. We are in talks with partner groups around hosting a lobby day near the end of session (tentatively 2/19) highlighting the demand for bipartisan climate action in Olympia. Stay tuned!
March: Session ends. It’s a short one, so be sure to keep up with our newsletters for the latest to stay in the loop!
Let’s put the pedal to the metal!
The CarbonWA Team