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MEDIA STATEMENT (Contact: Samara Villasenor, 425.255.0890)

Statement from Carbon Washington Board Co-Chair Mike Massa:

“Carbon Washington is shocked and saddened by President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord. His abdication of federal responsibility leaves a void of conservation leadership which states and cities must fill. We call on the Washington State Legislature to enact a price on carbon pollution, along with other measures to accelerate the transition to a vibrant clean energy economy, during the current legislative session.

“This is a pivotal moment for our elected leaders to show the nation that bipartisan action to tackle urgent problems is still possible in America. And it is an opportunity to demonstrate to the children of Washington State, and the greater world, that their futures matter. Together, we owe them a livable climate and the opportunity for a healthy, prosperous life. Let’s get to work.”

Here are some other statements concerning the responsibility of states and cities to lead the way on clean energy and carbon reduction:

Dow Constantine, King County Executive: “In metropolitan regions across America, innovation and smart policies are reducing carbon pollution and creating the way forward. Here, we are protecting farms and forests, converting to zero-emission battery buses, and using King County government energy purchasing power to create more clean energy capacity. We are not willing to give up on this nation or this planet, and we will continue to summon the courage and commitment to meet the most pressing challenge of our time.”

Gail Gatton, Audubon Washington: “Protecting birds and people from the effects of climate change requires more action, not less. Now, more than ever, our state legislature, local business leaders, and non-profits such as Audubon Washington must aggressively combat this urgent threat head on. One of the most immediate steps we can take in Washington state is to pass a carbon tax during this legislative session. A price on carbon emissions will reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Washington State and spur the development of new, renewable energy alternatives, and represents an important first step toward making meaningful progress toward carbon reduction in Washington State and protecting both birds and people in a warming world.”

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray (and 74 other American “Climate Mayors” in red states and blue states): “As 75 Mayors representing 38 million Americans, we will adopt, honor, and uphold the commitments to the goals enshrined in the Paris Agreement. We will intensify efforts to meet each of our cities’ current climate goals, push for new action to meet the 1.5 degrees Celsius target, and work together to create a 21st century clean energy economy.

“We will continue to lead. We are increasing investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency. We will buy and create more demand for electric cars and trucks. We will increase our efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions, create a clean energy economy, and stand for environmental justice. And if the President wants to break the promises made to our allies enshrined in the historic Paris Agreement, we’ll build and strengthen relationships around the world to protect the planet from devastating climate risks.”

Washington Governor Jay Inslee: “I am proud to stand with other governors as we make sure that the inaction in D.C. is met by an equal force of action from the states. Today’s announcement by the president leaves the full responsibility of climate action on states and cities throughout our nation. While the president’s actions are a shameful rebuke to the work needed to protect our planet for our children and grandchildren, states have been and will continue to step up.”

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo: “The White House’s reckless decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement has devastating repercussions not only for the United States, but for our planet. This administration is abdicating its leadership and taking a backseat to other countries in the global fight against climate change, New York State is committed to meeting the standards set forth in the Paris Accord regardless of Washington’s irresponsible actions. We will not ignore the science and reality of climate change which is why I am also signing an Executive Order confirming New York’s leadership role in protecting our citizens, our environment, and our planet.

California Governor Jerry Brown: “The President has already said climate change is a hoax, which is the exact opposite of virtually all scientific and worldwide opinion. I don’t believe fighting reality is a good strategy — not for America, not for anybody. If the President is going to be AWOL in this profoundly important human endeavor, then California and other states will step up.”

Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski: “Because we see it [climate change] here in this state, and it is real . . . we’ve got an obligation to help address it. So whether you’re in the confines of Paris or not, we need to continue to make the commitment as a country to address the impacts that we’re seeing.”