Campaign News

Hello carbon tax friends:

Campaign co-directors: Just a reminder that Kyle Murphy and Duncan Clauson will be starting on Monday as campaign co-directors! You can reach Kyle (who will focus on Organizing) at and Duncan (who will focus on Operations) at, but please note that they don’t start full-time until Monday.

Media and readings: One of our eight winter deliverables is to become part of the conversation, and this week’s evidence includes an article in Grist by Sam Bliss about CarbonWA (and about my economics comedy). Since the article is about trying to build bipartisan support for a revenue-neutral carbon tax, another good read is the latest from the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council (yes, that ALEC) in the form of their new ALEC Environmental Management Principles, including this: “Where transaction costs hinder the creation, enforcement or transfer of property rights, cooperative solutions cannot emerge. In such cases, the imposition of simple, clear charges can instead be applied to pollution, thereby encouraging users to reduce their impact. Such prices are not designed to force politically chosen behavior change, but give businesses and individuals incentives and wide latitude to reduce impact on the environment and others.” Not bad! Also for those following the debate in Canada about the BC carbon tax see the sadly predictable “Get ready for the great carbon tax grab” and the great response from Stewart Elgie and Richard Lipsey: “BC’s carbon tax shift works.” And if you weren’t able to make the UW panel discussion I was on last week with KC Golden and others, here’s video of my 8-minute presentation and video of the entire 1-hour event.

Inslee’s climate bill: Carbon Washington’s position as the relief pitcher means that we’re not going to focus too much on the starting pitcher, but it’s worth noting that there was a packed hearing on House Bill HB 1314 (video here, Seattle Times article here) that was continued this morning (video here). No news from the state Senate, where the companion bill (SB 5283) is tied up in committee. For more updates please see EPC or WEC or Climate Solutions.

Signature-gathering training: I’ve gotten lots of queries about signature-gathering trainings from folks who have pledged to collect signatures (one of our eight winter deliverables is to get pledges for 200,000 signatures), so rest assured that training is in the works prior to the start of signature-gathering in April. But if you can’t wait, check out this 8-minute training video from a recent Florida campaign; ignore the Florida-specific issues and focus on the goals and strategies, which were developed by the terrific Katherine Bragdon of Active Roots Consulting here in Seattle. The bad news is that Katherine is unfortunately unable to work on our campaign; the good news is that she’s willing to share some of her knowledge and experience with us, so start with that video and stay tuned for more! (And by the way I’ve collected about 2,000 volunteer signatures for three of Katherine’s campaigns over the years—including I-937, the Renewable Energy Standard measure that passed in 2006—so I can confirm from first-hand experience that Katherine’s methods are the best way to get the 25 signatures an hour we’re looking for in order to get the 315,000 signatures we need to get on the ballot.)

Events: In Olympia, CarbonWA’s Akua Asare-Konadu and Thad Curtz will be presenting on Saturday Jan 31 as part of a Carbon Fee Forum co-sponsored by Olympia FOR’s Climate Group (which supports both our CarbonWA effort and the governor’s proposal) and by Climate Solutions. On Bainbridge Island, join Kyle and Duncan (and yours truly) on M Feb 2 for a meeting of Climate Action Bainbridge. And for folks in Seattle, CarbonWA’s Ben Silesky and others will be at the Climate Action Fair on Sat Jan 31 as part of Climate Week at the UU Church (and thanks to everyone there for the packed house at my talk last night!) and I’ll be speaking at Seward Park Audubon and Pinchot University on Feb 10 and 11. Details on all our events here!

As always comments welcome on the blog or via Facebook and Twitter.

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