Author: duncan-pro

Hello, CarbonWA friends: Happy holidays and read on for some climate action updates!

Carbon tax in Governor’s proposed 2017 budget

Governor Jay Inslee has released a proposed 2017-2019 Washington State budget that includes a capital gains tax, new funding for education and other priorities, and a $25 per ton carbon tax with a 3.5% annual increase. This budget would have to be passed by both the Democrat controlled State House and the Republican controlled State Senate to go into law, and a major education deficit still looms over the state, so there is good reason to believe this budget proposal will face significant challenges. Even so, we are excited to see climate action at the heart of the legislative discussion.

Carbon tax friends, be proud of what we’ve accomplished 

Together, we accomplished something historic by putting the nation’s first statewide carbon tax before the voters. We showed that there is a strong desire for common-sense climate action in Washington State, and we influenced the national conversation on climate policy. We ran an honest, transparent, and positive campaign focused on addressing the climate and equity problems facing our society. We did all of that thanks to you.

The votes are still being counted, but we’re on track to get well over 1 million votes in support of a policy that would have created one of the strongest carbon prices in the world and been the biggest improvement in the fairness of our state’s tax system in 40 years. We led the biggest voter education effort on climate change ever in the state. We knocked on over 100,000 doors, made over 1 million phone calls, and published more than 140 letters to the editor in every type of media outlet. Our campaign raised more than $1.5 million from thousands of donors with a median donation of $50.

We formed a terrific partnership with Audubon Washington and with grassroots organizations across the state, especially chapters of Citizens’ Climate Lobby (both in Washington State and as far away as Hawaii!); regional climate action groups like Climate Action Bainbridge, Cascadia Climate Action, Olympic Climate Action, Oregon Climate (now Our Climate), and Divest UW; faith organizations including the Climate Action Ministry at Eastshore Unitarian, Interfaith Works, and Washington UU Voices; clean energy groups like Seattle Electric Vehicles, Seattle Transit Blog, and Solar Installers of Washington; and many others, including Carbon Tax CenterConservation Hawks, the American Sustainable Business Council, AIA Seattle, and the American Planning Association’s Washington Chapter (more…)

5 days left

Carbon tax friends, we’ve got 5 days left and we’re closing strong! 

When we launched this campaign we compared ourselves to a relief pitcher, and now—two years later— we are on the mound, it’s down to the wire, and it’s time to finish strong!

You can get inspiration from today’s New York Times article about I-732 (and the fight over coal export terminals). And also the article in today’s Seattle Times.

Carbon tax friends, we have a good shot at winning… 

Last week the Elway Poll showed a “significant gain in support” for I-732. This week we’ve got a KCTS poll showing 51% Yes, 44% No, 4% Undecided. (Note that they pushed pretty hard on Undecided voters, many of whom still don’t know what I-732 is all about or or that it will be the most potent carbon tax in North America!

leonardo-dicaprio-tweets-in-support-of-i-732And in just the last few days we’ve gotten a boost from the Washington Post editorial page, from Leonardo DiCaprio (for comic relief see also this classic headline in the Tacoma News Tribune), and from the folks at Years of Living Dangerously.  (more…)


Closing in on the $20k match for “Nod Yes on 732” TV ad

Since Tuesday we’ve had 80 donations totaling $14,827 towards our final $20k matching challenge to fund the awesome “Nod Yes on 732” TV ad. (Our partners at Audubon Washington are also doing ad buys, so we’re all trying to do our part!) Thank you for your contributions, and if you haven’t yet donated you can do so — DONATE.  (more…)


Ballots are out and voting has begun! This is it, everyone. As the philosopher Seneca said – “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”

We are prepared and we have a tremendous opportunity. Say it out loud with us, “we can win”. We can win!

Donations matched up to 20K to put I-732 on TV so WE CAN WIN! 

Like we said last week, the doors and the phones are our best play – but not our only play. We are finally getting a little bit of air support, in part thanks to our bird loving friends over at Audubon WA, for our ground game. They’ve created a simple but fun ad for I-732 but we need your help to get it before voters! Check out the ad on Youtube and tell us what you think in the comment section then read on to help us get it on TV.

A donor has put up $20,000 as a match if we can raise it by 10/30 specifically for CarbonWA to push this ad out to undecided voters on TV. I-732 supporters have already managed to get the ad on TV in a few spots but they can’t run it for longer than a handful of days as it stands now. If we complete this match we can get this ad on the air for an additional day – maybe even two.


Hello carbon tax friends! With our noses to the grindstone it can be easy to forget the big picture, so go read the New York Times editorial board commentary on I-732: “Washington State’s Ambitious Carbon Tax Proposal”. And while you’re at it read the Bloomberg View editorial about our left-wing opposition: “When Climate Campaigners Miss the Point”. And also Noah Kaufman of World Resources Institute, writing at the Huffington Post: “A Climate Change Policy that Benefits the Poor”. Also Ramez Naam, writing in The Stranger: “To Fight Climate Change and Poverty, Vote YES on Initiative 732”. And here’s our national press release on BusinessWire: “Nation’s First Carbon Tax, Initiative 732, Goes before Voters in Washington State”.

Then send these articles to all your friends, with a special note about this part from the NYT ed board: “The Washington proposal would be the first in the country and could well set an example for other states.” (!) And then encourage them all to donate to the campaign.


It’s a trifecta! First go read the Seattle Weekly, including not just their endorsement (“Few who care about climate change deny how urgent the crisis is… [and] reducing the sales tax and funding an unfunded state tax credit is nothing to sneeze at”) but also their cover and their amazing full-page cartoon explaining I-732.

Then go read Seattleish, which is written by millennials who after starting off with: “Ok. So. This one is…tough. Though taxing carbon emissions is an effective and immediate way to take action on climate change, and waiting any longer is simply not an option.” But the conclusion is what counts: “[W]e’re going to go ahead and say vote yes.”

Then, provided you’ve got the stomach for foul language, finish with the fabulous endorsement from The Stranger. Here’s a PG-rated excerpt: “If you could do something right now to fight climate change, and that something was endorsed by more than 50 climate scientists at the University of Washington, you’d do it, right? Of course you would. You’d also do it because we told you to. But mainly, you’d do it because filling in the “yes” oval for Initiative 732 is one thing—not everything, but one important thing—that we all can do right now to keep this planet livable.”


The R Street Institute — a non-profit, non-partisan, public policy research organization that promotes free markets and limited, effective government — calls a carbon tax a “bargain for conservatives.”

In a policy study written by Catrina Rorke, R Street’s director of energy policy, the institute says even a modest carbon tax will bring big results: “The price doesn’t have to be large. If the necessary steps are taken to remove government-imposed obstacles to innovation and wealth generation, a relatively modest price will reshape economic decision-making. A modest carbon price of about $20 per ton would reduce emissions 8 percent below business as usual . . .” (I-732 imposes a price of $15 a ton in the first year and $25 in the second, with annual adjustments.)


We can win! 

Let’s recap where we are right now – it’s late in the fourth quarter (ballots will be mailed out tomorrow!!) and the most recent October 7 KOMO-4/Strategies 360 poll showed 42% Yes, 37% No, 21% Undecided  So, the best guess is that we are down by 8 – (that’s just a touchdown and a 2 point conversation the Seahawks fans out there). We can win. Say it out loud with us “we can win”, “we can win”, “we can win”. OK, 8 points, that’s do-able but no cake-walk because the defense is good (check out the latest No on I-732 ad). But, we can win, especially because of a generous  and surprising $100,000 donation from a local economist (!) that is going straight toward our field effort for the rest of the campaign! We can win because we have a secret weapon that most campaign consultants overlook as they focus on TV ads and fancy mailers – we have a huge network of dedicated, earnest, wonderful supporters. You are our secret weapon. We need you on the field, making plays, winning votes, and helping us get to the endzone.