The 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.
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.
By 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.
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.”
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.
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).