April 2016

Screen Shot 2016-04-24 at 2.31.10 PMThe campaign for Initiative 732 kicked off in Seattle on Saturday, April 9. Among those in the audience — PBS economics correspondent Paul Solman and his producer, Lee Koromvokis. Here’s how PBS.org summarizes Solman’s report for Earth Day on PBS NewsHour:

Is making pollution expensive the best way to combat climate change? Economist Yoram Bauman thinks so — he’s spearheading a campaign for a carbon tax in Seattle. But the proposal is raising opposition, and has brought together some unlikely bedfellows on both sides of the debate. Economics correspondent Paul Solman reports.

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Why Voters Should Support I-732

Initiative 732 is an important first step to reducing pollution, making our tax code more fair, protecting low- and middle-income families, and enabling our state to prosper in a low-carbon future.

I-732 is based on a proven approach to reducing carbon emissions. Similar policies have been implemented successfully in British Columbia and elsewhere around the world. With I-732, we have an opportunity to pass the most effective climate policy anywhere in the country. At the same time, we’ll be implementing what may be the biggest anti-poverty measure in the state since the sales tax exemption for grocery store food was approved in 1977. If we don’t pass I-732 now, we may wait years before our state takes any action on climate change.

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Ramez NaamBy Ramez Naam

“This Earth Day, let’s get really big stuff done for our planet. What are we waiting for? The time is now.” That’s the Earth Day Network’s call to action, from an organization that’s been successfully expanding awareness of environmental issues for 46 years. Yet, even with the growing awareness of the problem of climate change, we need far more concrete action to tackle the planet’s biggest environmental threat. Even here in Washington State, where we have a reputation for environmental leadership, we’re still far short of sound climate policy.

With Initiative 732, we have an opportunity to pass the most effective climate policy anywhere in the country.  (more…)

SEATTLE, April 21, 2016 – Dr. James Hansen, the former NASA scientist who sounded the alarm on climate change nearly 30 years ago, and Dr. Richard Gammon, a former NOAA scientist who oversaw the worldwide measurement of carbon dioxide, have endorsed Initiative 732. They join a growing list of leading climate scientists, business leaders, economists, public officials, and social and environmental leaders supporting I-732.

“We must act now in the fight against climate change,” said Dr. Hansen. “I-732 is an effective starting point. Its reasonably transparent revenue neutrality makes it better than anything currently in place in the United States. Achievement of the proposed plan for reducing carbon emissions in Washington would push the discussion toward a national approach a long way in the right direction.”

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Hello carbon tax friends: This week we’ve got our first big national media splash (a terrific story by on CNN’s John Sutter), plus engagement opportunities for Earth Day and beyond, summer fellowship news, a $40,000 matching challenge, and a personal note from yours truly (Yoram). And if this is your first email newsletter, be sure to check out yeson732.org, visit our FAQ page, and join a chapter near you to be a part of our movement! (more…)

Cliff Mass and John SutterCNN’s John Sutter came to Seattle and British Columbia to report on Initiative 732 (and carbon taxes in general). It’s part of his series on how to keep the planet from warming more than 2 degrees Celsius. Here’s part of his story on CNN.com:

“Washington’s Initiative-732 would make a bad thing — pollution — more expensive by putting a tax on each ton of carbon dioxide created by cars, power plants and the like.

“More importantly, doing so would throw economic muscle behind clean energy, shorter commutes, cleaner air and smarter cities. It would use the market, not regulations, to choose winners and losers in the clean tech race. It would help Washington state, in the apt words of the initiative’s promoters, fulfill its moral responsibility to leave a livable planet for future generations. And it plans do so without wrecking the economy or growing government.”

Photo: Sutter (right) talks with UW climate scientist Cliff Mass at I-732’s campaign kickoff.

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This Thursday evening (April 21), Carbon Washington’s University of Washington Chapter will host a program entitled, “Pricing Pollution: Washington State’s Carbon Tax.” The program runs from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in Johnson Hall Room 175, on the UW campus in Seattle. The discussion will cover the environmental, economic and social benefits of carbon pricing, and the success of a similar carbon tax implemented in British Columbia in 2008. Attendees will get a chance to ask questions and learn how to get involved in climate action. The program is free and open to the public. For more information: http://www.cte.uw.edu/Events/JHN

From the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Stateline website:

OLYMPIA, Wash. — In November, voters here may make their state the first in the U.S. to impose a tax on carbon-based fuels such as coal, gasoline and natural gas to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change. . . .

The ballot measure here could pave the way for efforts in other states, mostly in New England, that are also considering fees on carbon pollution. The efforts in those states are legislative, rather than voter initiatives.

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From the Islands’ Weekly:

All of us have experienced the effects of climate change firsthand. Here in the Northwest it has been relatively mild compared to the superstorms, extreme drought, more frequent wildfires, and sea level rise that have battered other locations all over the globe. Climate action can’t wait. I-732 tackles this critical issue by lowering taxes on things we want more of (like jobs and purchasing power) and raising them on things we want less of (carbon emissions).

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New to 732? We’ve been gearing up for our ballot push and have already been meeting hundreds of new carbon tax friends. So, if this is your first email newsletter, be sure to check out our website (yeson732.org), visit our FAQ page, and join a chapter near you to be a part of our movement.

Hello carbon tax friends: The theme of this week’s email blast is “it’s time to move on, it’s time to get going”, inspired by the Tom Petty song “Time to Move On” currently resonating against the walls of our office. Before we dig in, take this final reminder about our Seattle kickoff and RSVP NOW FOR OUR APRIL 9 KICKOFF BREAKFAST!

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