Author: ali


I-732 tackles the root causes of climate change while making the state tax system fairer.

Seattle, November 3, 2016—This November, Washington will vote on Initiative 732, a measure that addresses the root causes of climate change while making the state tax system fairer. If passed, I-732 would put in place the nation’s first carbon tax. The world is warming at an alarming rate, and scientists and economists agree that putting an effective price on carbon emissions is the single most important thing we can do to reverse this trend. We have a moral responsibility to protect our children and future generations by tackling climate change now, and leaving them a cleaner, healthier, safer world. (more…)


Contributions from Puget Sound Energy and American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers obstruct important climate policy

Seattle, October 28, 2016 – According to Public Disclosure Reports filed on October 27, 2016, the Association of Washington Business (AWB), sponsor of the No on 732 campaign, has accepted over $400,000 in big fossil fuel money. The primary donors are Puget Sound Energy (PSE) and American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers. According to the most recent Fuel Mix Disclosure (FMD) report, PSE emits more carbon pollution than any other utility in Washington State; 35 percent of PSE’s electricity comes from dirty coal, which causes both CO2 emissions and related local air, water, and soil pollution that cause asthma, respiratory disease, cancer, and other illnesses. PSE’s funding of the I-732 opposition campaign obstructs the passage of important climate policy that will addresses the root causes of climate change and make Washington State’s tax system fairer. (more…)

The Climate Action Team of University Unitarian Church (UUC) has endorsed Initiative 732.

According to the church’s news release, “26 members of the team indicated support for the initiative with one opposed.  We urge our fellow UUC members to vote yes on the initiative November 8.”

UUC Climate Team supports I-732The news release also says that “urgent action to rapidly reduce emissions is essential.

“As 51 University of Washington climate scientists pointed out in an open letter supporting I-732, ‘today’s emissions will still be affecting the climate in a thousand years.’ For future generations the cost of delay is enormous.

“The UUC Climate Action Team’s endorsement of I-732 is in keeping with the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Statement of Conscience on the Threat of Global Warming/Climate Change. It emphasizes our moral obligation to protect future generations from climate change with personal, congregational, and denominational efforts, including to ‘Monitor, propose, and support legislation at the local and state level related to global warming/climate change and opportunities to reduce emissions…’

“I-732’s provisions closely match the climate-action approach called for by The Movement for Black Lives, a group of 50 organizations representing thousands of Black people from across the country. The coalition calls for measures ‘Taxing “bads” not “goods”: shift from sales taxes to taxing externalities such as environmental damage, and make this approach income-sensitized to hold low-income people harmless.’

“The Climate Action Team considers I-732 an important first step in reducing CO2 emissions in Washington state. We recognize that many additional steps will be needed to fight climate change. These include programs to assist people most affected by climate change and those least able to afford measures to mitigate and adapt to it — disproportionately low-income families and people of color.”

You can read the entire news release here.

WPC analysis of I 732

The Washington Policy Center — an independent, non-profit, think tank that promotes sound public policy based on free-market solutions — has released a “Citizens’ Guide to Initiative 732.”

Written by Todd Myers, director of WPC’s Center for the Environment, the report calls I-732 “an approach that moves decision making and responsibility about environmental policy away from politicians and puts it in the hands of individuals most able to make effective change.”

“For those concerned about climate change,” says WPC’s analysis, “Initiative 732 yields more carbon reduction, at lower cost, than any of the alternative policies offered at the state or local level.”  (more…)

The cost increase for fossil emissions from I 732 will increase carbon saving innovations like new structural designs, product and production process changes and more efficient use of resources.

  • Without I-732 there is no economic need to design buildings that are carbon efficient.
  • The cost disadvantage for fossil emitting processes will motivate using newly Engineered Wood Products, and prefabricated wood assemblies.
  • The increased cost of emissions resulting from I732 will motivate greater collection of wood wastes such as demolition wood for reuse, reprocessing into like new products or for heat, displacing the use of fossil fuels.
  • The increased value in waste wood will motivate the collection of underutilized forest residual for heat displacing natural gas.
  • Every stage of processing will be considered for upgrading efficiency
  • Building tall structures from 6 to 15+floors will reduce the emissions from current building designs.
  • Developing prefabrication of assemblies will more effectively use wood in structural assemblies.

There are many different uses of wood that displace fossil emissions products and their uses. Each has a different level of impact with some reducing fossil emission much more than others.

I-732 motivates using wood products, a carbon negative technology that removes carbon from the atmosphere by displacing fossil intensive product emissions, a carbon emitting technology,

  • Absent I-732’s fossil carbon tax, there is no motive to use wood to displace fossil emissions.
  • Burning wood for its fuel value to displace coal can displace about 1 ton of coal emissions per ton of carbon in the wood used.
  • Using wood to produce I-joists for floors displaces steel joists producing 5 tons of carbon emissions per ton of carbon in the wood used.
  • A $30 per ton advantage for wood when used as a fuel becomes $150 per ton advantage for better uses of wood where it can displace 5 times as many emissions sufficient to motivate much better uses of wood.

Image above: There are many different uses of wood that displace fossil emissions products and their uses.  Each has a different level of impact with some reducing fossil emission much more than others.


Passing I 732 is the best chance we have right now to address climate change. Other investments in our future, such as ST3, can be part of a strategy, but larger, more immediate, economy-wide moves like I732 are required to stop the environmental and health damages occurring from greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The climate can’t wait.

  • A 2013 study by Regional Economic Models, Inc found that a policy similar to I732 would get our State halfway to its 2050 greenhouse gas emission reduction target.
  • Studies show that British Columbia’s similar carbon tax has already reduced GHG emissions by 5-15% since 2008.
  • Sound Transit estimates the ST3 projects will reduce carbon emissions by 130,000 tons a year in 2040. That’s only about 1/3 of one percent of the reduction needed to meet the State’s 2050 target.
  • Sound Transit estimates that a fully-built out system (phases 1 + 2 + 3) will reduce GHG emissions by 793,000 tons a year in 2040. That’s less than 2% of reduction we need to meet the State’s 2050 target.
  • Statewide greenhouse gas emissions were 92.0 million metric tons (MMT) in 2012
  • The State’s official GHG reduction targets are
    • Return to 1990 levels by 2020 = 88.4 million metric tons (MMT)
    • 25% below 1990 levels by 2035 = 3 MMT
    • 50% below 1990 levels by 2050 = 44.2 MMT

Inspired by Humans of New York: a photography project that began in 2010 in an attempt to capture 10,000 New Yorkers on the street and create an exhaustive catalog of the lives and spirits of its inhabitants. Today, HONY reaches over 20 million people and provides a worldwide audience with a daily glimpse into the lives of strangers on the streets of New York City.

Grassroots campaigns like I-732’s are comprised of many people who get involved because they see something beautiful in the world worth fighting for. These are some of their stories…


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