Campaign News

Obama at paris agreementI-732 is the most important climate vote in the nation

There’s good news internationally on the climate front (last month’s news about the Paris accord, plus yesterday’s deal to phase out HFCs) and we can keep the good news rolling by passing I-732


…because everyone from President Obama to economists everywhere agree that putting a price on carbon is the single most important thing we can do to take action on climate change;

…because I-732 would (in the words of an MIT expert) “certainly be one of the most aggressive — if not the most aggressive — carbon taxes that we have on the books globally”;

…and because I-732 shows the path forward for bipartisan climate action: “the most important thing”according to Democratic strategist Mark Mellman.

That’s why I-732 is the most important climate vote in the nation… and people are starting to get the message:

 I-732 in the national (and international!) media spotlight   

In just the past few days I-732 has gotten coverage in the Economist, the LA Times, Politico (“The chatter about the carbon tax is only growing louder — just take a look at Washington state…”), and the Huffington Post, … and that’s just in the past few days! (Include the past two weeks and you can add Greg Ip’s Wall Street Journal column and blog, Bill Loveless’s column in USA Today, Natasha Geiling in ThinkProgress, and the Phuong Le Associated Press story that I mentioned in a previous email blast but with the wrong hyperlink. For even more see our Media Highlights page, and PS an extra shout-out to media stories in two campus newspapers: the Gonzaga Bulletin and a Nick Turner story in the Seattle University Spectator.)

Finally! Some fact-checking in the local press

This week we saw the top two newspapers in the state do some important fact-checking about the poor grasp of economic fundamentals by the No campaign run by the Association of Washington Business (AWB). First, Melissa Santos at the Tacoma News Tribune said the No campaign doesn’t pass the “smell test” when it comes to their claim that I-732 would result in a big increase in electricity rates; Santos agreed with us (see our press release) that the AWB data was based on “faulty calculations.” (For the comedic explanation of what’s going on, just note that the AWB’s idea of releasing a “full economic study” of I-732 is to take a document labeled “Executive Summary” and then re-release a similar document a month later without the words “Executive Summary” at the top. !!)

Second, Hal Bernton of the Seattle Times takes the state to task for its faulty modeling that the No campaign based their “improbable” numbers on. Now if only the media would help us push the state Office of Financial Management (OFM) to fix its faulty fiscal note on I-732. (Remember that Sightline Institute says that 732 is revenue-neutral “to the best of anyone’s ability to forecast it” and that the opposition arguments here are a “red herring”.) We haven’t had any luck to date in getting OFM to update their analysis, but we’re going to keep trying, so see our new press release here calling on the state to correct the errors in the fiscal note in order to “fulfill its obligation to provide accurate and transparent information in regard to issues going before a vote of the people.”

Open letter of support from over 50 UW climate scientists  
Speaking of accurate and transparent information in regard to issues going before a vote of the people, here’s an open letter signed by over 50 UW climate scientists this week supporting I-732. Share it widely!

You can help too! (Even if you’re not a scientist!)

You can help by writing LTEs, like Scott Rhodes in the Skagit Valley Herald, Blake Wedekind in the Issaquah Press, and Mickey Beary in the Tri-City Herald. (Please read these guidelines and/or contact [email protected] if you need help or when you’ve submitted one!)

You can help by posting online comments on newspaper articles or blog posts. Correct mistakes if you see any. Send people to Emphasize the importance of climate action now and how 732 is a budget-friendly approach to climate action now that is also the biggest step forward in progressivity for the Washington State tax system in 40 years.

You can help by sending pictures, links, and/or screen grabs of any mailers or Facebook ads you see from the No campaign to [email protected] (or to any of us on the campaign).

You can help by talking to your friends and speaking out on social media to share the facts about 732, especially about the Working Families Rebate, a fabulous policy that boosts health outcomes and should get progressives “marching in the streets”.

And you can march in the streets for I-732 by helping us knock some doors or make some phone calls because the ‘politics as usual’ approach to climate change hasn’t worked and it’s not about to – onlywe can mobilize, organize, and make the change we need – we are the ones we’ve been waiting for – so let’s get out there!

PS. Bonus thanks to folks helping out from as far away as Hawaii and Europe! In Hawaii, Jeff Kim and Adrienne and others in their local Citizens Climate Lobby chapter have been helping call voters here in Washington State, something that anybody in the USA or Canada can help with! And in Europe, Jon in Amsterdam sent in a letter to The Stranger (“As a Seattleite living in Amsterdam, I follow debates on climate change and have followed the EU’s climate policies… a carbon tax like in I-732 is a reliable, simple means of reducing carbon emissions [and making] our tax system less regressive…”) and Sean in Ireland followed up on a question to us—about how he could show his support even if he can’t donate directly to the campaign—by making a donation to Audubon Washington with a message that said “This donation is to support your work on climate change. Thank you for being a partner in the I-732 campaign!”

Upcoming Events

Cliff Mass (whose weather blog is a must-read about this weekend’s storm) will be talking about I-732 on Sunday, October 16 at 11am at the Unitarian Church in Edmonds. Also on Sunday, also in Snohomish County, staffer Megan is leading canvassing events in Bothell and/or Mill Creek, so if you live in the area and have been waiting to meet others NOW is the time to email [email protected] to get the details. On Th Oct 20 in Pullman and Spokane Yoram will be part of debates sponsored by WSU. And finally remember that every Wednesday along with many other days we are hosting phonebanks with pizza in our office in Seattle so please join us remotely or in person!

We’ve got three and a half weeks to go. The blizzard of additional news stories about 732 will continue because we are taking a swing at the ball and making history with the most important climate vote in the nation. And PS. it’s not too late to donate. Let’s win!