Hello carbon tax friends: This week’s news includes our new campaign office (complete with a wish list!), a wording contest (the winner gets a homemade strawberry-rhubarb pie!), and an update on the ballot measure we filed last week (!).
Campaign office: After weeks of hard work by Duncan Clauson, we’ve signed a lease and are moving into a campaign office at 1914 N 34th St Suite 407 (near Gasworks Park). Please take a look at this office wish list (microwave, filing cabinet, computers, office desks and chairs, folding tables and chairs, fans, power strips, office supplies, and a bicycle trailer for Duncan’s dog Bjorn!) and email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have anything you can donate!
Wording contest: Got an idea for how to best describe our measure in 3 to 5 words? We’re going to be printing posters for use by signature gatherers and want your ideas this week! (For one example, see the picture here from the I-937 campaign in 2006: “Sign here for / clean and / renewable / energy”. For another example, see the poster at the 2:20 mark of this great signature-gathering video from the I-502 campaign in 2012: “Sign here to / legalize, tax, / & regulate / marijuana”. Both examples come from signature-gathering guru Katherine Bragdon.) So: If you’ve got an idea of what our “Sign here to…” or “Sign here for…” language should be, post it in the comments section on the blog and or email me at email@example.com. Winner gets a homemade strawberry-rhubarb pie… and of course a poster 🙂
Legal update: One of our winter deliverables was to finalize our legal language, and I’m delighted to announce that our legal team succeeded: on W March 11 (the first day for filing Initiatives to the Legislature) we filed two copies of our ballot measure! (One is a back-up copy, just in case :). Legal language is here, and note that it will take a few weeks to get a ballot title and to print petitions, so it will be early April before we can start collecting signatures. (But you can pledge to collect signatures now!) Many many thanks to our legal team and a handful of other experts who helped craft our ballot language and provided feedback on all the drafts, including Jeff Goltz, a former chair of the state Utilities and Transportation Commission and a former Washington State deputy Attorney General; Sharon L. Nelson, another former UTC chair who is also a former president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners and a former board chair of Consumers Union (the publisher of Consumer Reports); David Petteys, a tax law expert with Malone Law Group; Jim Lazar, an expert on Washington state electricity markets and much much more; and the amazing Bill Appel, who over the past years has put in over 100 hours of pro bono work as our technical advisor on legislation. (At $200 a hour that works out to an in-kind donation of over $20,000… how much of that can you match with your time and/or money? 🙂
Events: I’ll be at Town Hall tonight for a panel on “Putting a price on Washington’s climate pollution” with KC Golden, Todd Myers, and Nicole Keenan, and then on W March 18 Bill Appel and I will be at a luncheon presentation/discussion at the Seattle law firm of Miller Nash Graham & Dunn. (There might be a space or two for you at the W lunch, so email firstname.lastname@example.org ASAP if you want to come.) FYI last week I botched the date for the Earth Bistro with Sameer Ranade of WEC and Ellicott Dandy of OneAmerica: it’s in Seattle on Sunday March 15. (There’s also a “New Energy for a New Day” event in Anacortes on W March 25). Further afield it looks like I’ll be on Whidbey Island around April 22, Bremerton on April 25, and Bainbridge Island around April 29, so email me if you want to organize events or a house party while I’m in town! Details on most upcoming events are here.
Readings: Former Secretary of State George Shultz argues in the Washington Post that a revenue-neutral carbon tax is “A Reagan approach to climate change”. And more and more folks must be listening because Carbon Washington is only one part of a push for carbon taxes around the country, including Vermont (see this op-ed or follow the carbon tax bills, H.395 and H.412), Massachusetts (where a carbon tax bill, SD 285, has co-sponsorship from one-fifth of the state legislature), and of course Oregon (see especially the new video from Oregon Climate). On the cautionary side, here’s an expose about the national ethanol mandate, plus a wonky word to the wise about cap-and-trade systems from a new NBER paper from a team of economists lead by UC Berkeley’s Severin Borenstein: “The analysis suggests that cap-and-trade markets, as they have been established in California, the EU and elsewhere may be more likely to experience price volatility and extreme low or high prices than is generally recognized.” Finally, here in Washington State Governor Inslee’s cap-and-trade bill was debated in the House Appropriations Committee; note that since it’s a revenue bill it’s not subject to the same cut-off dates as non-revenue bills. Cap-and-trade (and CarbonWA) also featured in an article by Knute Berger at Crosscut. And CarbonWA’s Alex Lenferna (also active with Divest UW) was one of the activists quoted in the Seattle Times‘s “Student group seeks end to UW coal investments” and on KUOW.
Talk to your friends and neighbors about I-732