Campaign News

Hello carbon tax friends: In addition to a save-the-date and a carbon tax calculator update, read on for news from the Governor’s CERT task force and the usual grab bag of recommended readings.

* Campaign social event in Seattle on the evening of W Aug 27: Save the date, more news coming soon!

* Carbon tax calculator for households and businsses: Here is an updated draft Excel version of the Carbon Tax Calculator (with a tab for households and a tab for business!) and here is an updated methodology document. [Update Sept 1: Here’s an even more updated Excel version of the calculator: CarbonTaxCalculator11.] Feedback welcome on the blog or via email to info@carbonWA.org, and stay tuned for an online version of the household calculator in about a month. Thanks to the calculator team (led by UW computer science grad student Justin Bare, with help from Alan Borning, Summer Hanson, Marcia Baker, and yours truly, plus Akua Konadu and Savannah Kinzer) and thanks to volunteers Aven, Dennis, Eileen, Gwen, Jane, and Sharad for helping us test the calculator!

* Business impacts: To go along with the new business tab of the calculator, here’s a piece I wrote for Sightline about impacts of carbon pricing on businesses in the Pacific Northwest. If your business is interested in doing a case study (anonymously if desired) please let me know!

* Governor’s CERT task force: At the July 29 CERT meeting, the governor’s office presented a starting point proposal (PDF) for the task force members to chew on. Not surprisingly, his proposal was for a California-style cap-and-trade program—for background, see Sightline’s 17-point “summary” of California’s program—with an initial auction of only 15% of the permits (as in California, that percentage will increase over time) and with the remaining permits and the auction proceeds to go to “advance goals of the program”, “offset impacts to business”, “underwrite incentives for green technology”, and “offset impacts to disadvantages communities”.

CarbonWA’s Alex Lenferna was at the meeting and noted that “CA expects to get 80% of its emissions reductions from its other complementary policies [like a Low Carbon Fuel Standard], and not from the cap and trade itself. Thus the complementary policies play an incredibly important role.” Despite this, complementary policies are not part of the CERT discussion, which focuses on carbon pricing. Complementary policies are also not part of advocacy pieces like “California, Here We Come” from two colleagues at Sightline who wanted to provide a cap-and-trade rejoinder to my argument for a BC-style carbon tax.

The next CERT meeting is T Sept 9, and after just one more additional meeting the task force is supposed to present its final report in mid-November to tee up governor-request legislation in January. (See the article about Governor Inslee and California enviro-billionaire Tom Steyer in the Sunday NY Times: “As Oysters Die, Climate Policy Goes on the Stump”.)

* Readings: Here’s “Australia’s Lessons On a Carbon Tax: Get It Right” from the Washington Business Alliance. (See also the Environment section of their Plan Washington effort.) Also “IMF’s Blunt Message to Nations: Raise Fossil-Fuel Taxes to Fight Climate Change”. And there’s an incredibly impressive collection of articles (all from the month of July, and all in newspapers east of the Cascades!) from folks connected to Citizens Climate Lobby, including “Change in Climate sparking ever-growing wildfire dangers” by Sara Cate in the Yakima Herald, “Carlton Complex Fire should be wake up call” by Sara Cate in the Ellensburg Daily Record,  “Denier debunked” by Steve Ghan in the Tri-City Herald, “Reduce Greenhouse Gas” by Alex Amonette and Bart Preecs, also in the Tri-City Herald, and “Climate matters / Asuntos del clima” by Steve Ghan and Jim Amonette on the bilingual Tu Decides website.

As always, feedback welcome in the blog comments section, and/or on Facebook and Twitter!

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