Hello carbon tax friends: The legislative session has started and we’re delighted to share an update on that front, plus the latest on revenue-neutrality and more terrific media hits. And if you haven’t already done so please write your legislators… and if you have already written them then don’t hesitate to contact them again to make sure they’re in the loop on recent developments!
Last week we mentioned on-going activity on the revenue-neutrality front, especially regarding a preliminary assessment done by House Finance Committee staff. This week we are pleased to offer up CarbonWA’s comments on the House analysis: our comments can be found in the PDF linked here (CarbonWA.Jan13.pdf), with additional files and spreadsheets in this Dropbox folder. The PDF file begins with a one-page summary, including this overview: A preliminary analysis of Initiative 732 by House committee staff last year indicated that the measure could be “revenue negative” by $675 million over the four years starting in fiscal year 2018. Carbon Washington has identified several issues with the House fiscal analysis. Correcting these problems moves the numbers about $1 billion in the positive direction over the same time frame. As a result, we believe that I-732 will more likely be revenue neutral or slightly revenue positive.
Next steps: The state Office of Financial Management (OFM) will produce an official fiscal note in the weeks ahead. We have provided the information above to OFM and will share with you any and all developments on this front. Until then, please continue to write your legislators and please continue to keep the faith!
We are delighted to report on some positive conversations with legislators, including with Senator Mark Miloscia (R-30th District), who told us that “I-732 is a serious proposal which I hope will act as the starting point for productive discussions within the Senate for forging a bipartisan agreement on climate action.” So: please continue to write your legislators! Also FYI the following districts have new legislators this year who may not be on the lists linked previously: 9th District [Ritzville, Pullman, etc.] please add Rep. Mary Dye, email@example.com, replacing Susan Fagan; 19th District [Longbeach, Longview, etc.] please add Rep. JD Rossetti, firstname.lastname@example.org, replacing Brian Hatfield, with Rep. Dean Takko now in the Senate; 30th District [Milton, Algona, etc.] please add Rep. Teri Hickel, email@example.com, replacing Rep. Carol Gregory; 36th District [Ballard, West Seattle, etc.] please add Rep. Noel Frame, firstname.lastname@example.org, replacing Jeanne Kohl-Welles, with Rep. Reuven Carlyle now in the Senate; 48th District [Redmond, Clyde Hill, etc.] please add Rep. Patty Kuderer, email@example.com, replacing Ross Hunter.
Next steps: We continue to wait for news about hearings on I-732, and we are also exploring the idea of holding a lobby day in the coming weeks in Olympia to show—in person—our commitment to fighting climate change and to urge the legislature to give I-732 a fair shake. So stay tuned for more details about a trip to Olympia… and apologies in advance if it’s on short notice!
We had stories on KPLU (not just one, but two) and on KUOW, plus published Letters to the Editor from James Little in the Seattle Times, from Thad Curtz in The Olympian (responding to the editorial “Carbon tax may well be in our future”), and from Barbara Rossing in the Wenatchee World (responding to editorial page editor Tracy Warner’s column “So, how will we cut emissions?”, which calls I-732 “intriguing” and notes that “the carbon tax proposal has the genuine advantage of tapping the power of markets”). Regarding our neighbor to the north, the Carbon Tax Center has a new report on the BC carbon tax. (See also Don Cayo in the Vancouver Sun: “The case in favour of B.C.’s carbon tax continues to build” and Lorrie Goldstein in the Toronto Sun: “Why carbon cash grabs fail”.) Elsewhere, Barbara Grady writes in GreenBiz on “Why business no longer fears carbon pricing” and Bloomberg Business has “ExxonMobil and Sierra Club Agreed on Climate Policy—and Kept It Secret“. (The secret plan? A 90% revenue-neutral carbon tax.) Finally, US News and World Report has “The Bipartisan Case for a Carbon Tax.” And we are expecting significant national media stories in the weeks ahead, so stay tuned!
Talk to your friends and neighbors about I-732