Hello, CarbonWA friends:  In case you missed it, we released the essential climate change voters’ guide for Washington State! It identifies a number of key races that we need to win for climate action at the state level. Vote, donate, and volunteer because the climate is on the line this election. Don’t believe us? Take a look at the just released IPCC report which projects greater impact and cost of climate change than earlier reports and urges nations to seriously reduce emissions over the next decade.

The Pragmatic Case for 1631

If you’ve been following the Initiative 1631 debate, you’ve probably seen that we endorsed the initiative, but also that some of CarbonWA’s friends and allies are landing on both sides of this one. We’ll level with you: I-1631 isn’t perfect. We liked some of the previous carbon pricing iterations better. But if you are on the fence please read our pragmatic case for why we want you to vote yes:

1. It puts a price on carbon, and we know this element of the initiative will reduce carbon emissions. It’s been an epic struggle to get just this part of a policy in place; we shouldn’t pass up a chance to get it done. As longtime supporter Alex Lenferna says, comparing 732 to 1631, “both proposals would be the most ambitious carbon prices in the United States.

2. The world is watching. CarbonWA’s Greg Rock gets it right, “Voters willing to stand up and pay more […] to address climate change is a sea change that will put pressure on […] all levels of government.” While a bipartisan approach would be easier to spread, passing any climate action plan will embolden other states. The anti-climate team, like the Koch Brothers, know this too. That’s why this is shaping up to be one of the most expensive initiative fights in Washington history (see Yoram Bauman’s blog on this).

3. Opponents exaggerate in stating that the oversight board will waste the money and succumb to self-dealing. Proponents exaggerate in saying that this is an apolitical board with ample oversight (see the Seattle Times’ Ed board interview which includes the topic here). We agree with the Tacoma News Tribune that, “Legislators must take a strong hand with the oversight board.” The board will need scrutiny, but the public and the legislature can provide it. 

4. Some of the investments are much-needed. 1631 would create a natural resources account to shore up our forest and water management systems. This can potentially aid agencies like DNR in expanding their fire-prevention work. Perhaps more money is needed for fire prevention, but this would be a start.

Still on the fence? Take a look at CarbonWA board member Greg Rock’s, “Why I’m Voting for I-1631“, longtime supporter Alex Lenferna’s “From Initiative 732 to Initiative 1631“, The Tacoma News Tribune endorsement, and the Olympian’s endorsement. You don’t have to fall in love with the initiative, we are just asking you to vote for it.

I-1631 Door-knocking!

Canvass with CarbonWA supporters: We are running a 1631 canvass day for CarbonWA supporters on Sunday, October 21, from 2:30-5 (with a happy hour meetup afterward!) We’ll be meeting in Seattle (in the Madrona Neighborhood). Exact details upon RSVP. Please sign up via google form or on Facebook. Remember you can find many other statewide events on the official campaign webpage as well.

New Policy Blog: Issues Plague NERA Study on 1631

We also took an in-depth look at the No campaign’s study on the initiative from the NERA Economic Consulting Group. Check out our latest blog, Issues Plague Industry Study on 1631, exploring a number of issues that lead to our conclusion: no one should trust this study to determine the value of Initiative 1631 or carbon pricing broadly.

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— The CarbonWA Team