Campaign News

Here are relevant excerpts (anonymized) from comments I’ve received via email. If your  comments are here and are not sufficiently anonymized then please email [email protected] with details etc.


Date: December 21, 2015 at 2:53:54 PM PST
To: Yoram Bauman <[email protected]>
Subject: Use your judgment

I’ve read the text of Initiative 801.  I would not sign it because of the many exemptions it allows, and the vague treatment of electricity (leaving it to rulemaking to “limit the carbon load of imported electricity.”   The carbon-bearing electricity will be imported by BPA, with a federal pre-emption.  That’s how the Colstrip transmission line was built — local bee keepers in Montana has stalled the IOU-owned transmission line, so they got BPA to do an end-around.

732 has a 20-year phase in for certain fuels, including ag and ferries. I don’t like that phase-in.   This has a 20 year blanket exemption.  Non-starter for me.

I would vote for it if it were the only option on the ballot.  I would vote against it if they were both on the ballot, out of fear that the one with the higher vote tally would prevail, and the other be abandoned by the Court.

But, I’m not in a position to write checks with more than one figure to the left of one comma.  It will take checks with two commas to pass an initiative.

Date: December 21, 2015 at 3:29:02 PM PST
To: Yoram Bauman <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence (please response ASAP)

Funny isn’t it…..fees vs taxes……makes me want to throw up….are we that stupid as a citizenry. If the alliance got behind this it would win. I think the polls can be changed if they did.  But they want their idea not this one so they won’t.

I don’t know what to say on this except this.  Only the truth the truth and your email speaks the truth.  So make the edits you want but don’t hide the truth.  No law will be perfect anyway even the other proposal.

I will support you in your decision on this.  I just ask a couple of  things don’t be afraid of losing and don’t be afraid of what others will say. Turn your fear into faith and then make the decision.

Date: December 21, 2015 at 3:52:42 PM PST
To: Yoram Bauman <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence (please response ASAP)

Dear Yoram,
What a dilemma. I seems to be a left brain/right brain conundrum. I-732 seems so reasonable and logical to me, but I am a scientist type. I have learned (slowly) after engaging in local politics that data and logic are not always the most relevant for policy (ie. politics). I am content to support your best instincts. You have been awesome, and I could not be more grateful for your super-human efforts.

Date: December 21, 2015 at 3:58:43 PM PST
To: Yoram Bauman <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence (please response ASAP)

Sorry for this situation, I bet it is tearing you up. What is terrible is that I-732 is in the pursuit of good and the way there is producing strife. Politics are treacherous!!!!

I’m here if you need me.

Date: December 21, 2015 at 5:29:47 PM PST
To: Yoram Bauman <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence (please response ASAP)


A psychiatrist would say:  Yoram, do what would make you feel comfortable.

Without the luxury of having a few days to try to study and make heads or tails of your email, I can’t comment.  If I understand, you are planning to dump I-732 right now and the Alliance will take over and get something (but they don’t yet know what) on the ballot in November 2016.

In your shoes I would continue with the revenue neutral.  If it fails, so what.  I don’t think it would be the catastrophe you think, because the Alliance could then follow with their efforts in the next election.  I know about the huge donation the Alliance already has, but you have done a hell of a lot of work and you’re there at the gate.

If you feel defeated already, yes, it’s best to give it up.

But as you know, not being in on all aspects of the matter, I personally really don’t understand the more subtle ramifications.

Again:  Do what would make you feel right and comfortable.
Politics is hell.
Good luck.

Date: December 21, 2015 at 5:51:01 PM PST
To: Yoram Bauman <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence (please response ASAP)

It sounds like the Board is on the fence. I would like to further understand that including pros and cons.

Some questions:
Do you trust the survey?
Do you trust that the Alliance will do what they say?
Would we have a role in crafting new initiative to limit egregious requests that will turn of centrists and conservatives

I believe we should place the initiative on the ballot. I think it is too soon to know if we can raise the money and line up the support which would make us successful. Given our thousand of random encounters with ordinary citizens, I thing people ARE ready to have serious conversations about climate action.

We ran a hell of a grassroots campaign with a bunch of rookies. I believe we might be able to meet some of above objections with a professional campaign staff who is better connected with various political machines and fundraisers.

In short, I think it is too soon to give up on this vision.

I would love to talk further with you.

Date: December 21, 2015 at 3:02:43 PM PST
To: Yoram Bauman <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: CarbonWA on the fence (please response ASAP)

I don’t know what to say. It seems pretty clear where you are headed. The choice seems to be:
·         A good idea that has opponents on both sides but probably appeals to the middle
·         A bad idea that has money and partisan support

I guess I also think the polling is simply wrong. Think about the last green initiative on the ballot – the green school initiative. It lost. It was all happy: kids, environment, schools. The cost killed it. A revenue-neutral approach has more hope. But, you simply have to take my word on that against the actual polling you are seeing. I would also point to the advisory ballot on the last ballot showing people opposed taxes even for monitoring oil tankers. Finally, the greens seem pretty worried about an initiative they claim has no chance of winning. If that were true, they’d run their own and ignore you.

I still think the best approach is to turn the signatures in. For a few reasons:
·         Once you pull the plug on the initiative, you lose all your power. The left doesn’t have to listen to you at all and probably won’t.
·         The left will still put their own alternative on the ballot. Like in Tacoma with the competing minimum wage policies, the business community may end up supporting you as a compromise.
·         It is the best policy.

Those are my thoughts. Ultimately, if you pull the plug, you will be watching from the sideline next November as a bad policy faces the voters.

Date: December 21, 2015 at 8:11:40 PM PST
Subject: Follow-up to staff meeting

Kyle, Duncan and Yoram:  I didn’t say much on the call because I was still processing the latest developments.  Here are my initial thoughts:

I completely agree with [ ] that we owe our supporters a victory.  I’m open as to whether that victory involves I-732 or another approach to carbon pricing.

Since it seems that the executive committee is leaning toward working out a compromise — and not turning in the remaining signatures — I believe we need to focus on two things:

An ironclad guarantee that the Alliance will work as hard as humanly possible for the success of a replacement initiative

A policy that increases (rather than decreases) the chances for attracting sufficient financial support and sufficient votes in November 2016.

My biggest concern is that we may trust the Alliance enough to take I-732 off the table and then they fail to collect enough signatures, or back away from I-801 because it still isn’t “progressive” enough, or betray our confidence in some other way.  As Ronald Reagan once said, we need to “trust, but verify.”  The last thing any of us want is to read in Crosscut next November is, “How the left sabotaged the chance to put a tax on carbon.”

Right now, I have more questions than answers:

Do we trust polling data that comes from folks with an agenda?  To me, it’s counterintuitive that a revenue-positive measure would perform better than a revenue-neutral one.  We do have very recent voter data:  Tim Eyman’s initiative — which was widely seen as unethical and likely unconstitutional — passed in all but five counties.

If we don’t turn in the signatures we’ve collected, are we exposed to any legal action — by people who’ve signed the petition, our volunteers, our donors, or others?  I highly doubt it — but we need to ask the question.

I’m also concerned that we’d be acting in a way that doesn’t align with things we’ve said we believe:
That a revenue-neutral measure is more likely to pass.
That the right is less likely to oppose (and might even support, at least nationally) a revenue-neutral measure.
That eliminating the B&O tax will keep good manufacturing jobs in Washington.
That lowering the sales tax is the best way to cushion those who can least afford a carbon tax from having the pay significantly more in taxes. (In other words, would low-income folks who are going to pay more at the pump really prefer that the money go to the government to finance good works than back into their pockets?)
Are we convinced that those either won’t be factors or can be adequately addressed?

Clean energy seems to be doing very well all by itself.  Does it need help from this initiative?  (Or if it does, would continuing the tax breaks on solar rather than ‘funding projects’ be the best bet?  I can’t help thinking about Solyndra here.)

Can we hammer out something workable — policy-wise and politically — in the time we have?

Is the Alliance really on board?  Do they even know how the multitude of their member groups really feel?

It seems like most of the compromising is being asked of us.  Are they willing to back something where only half the money is retained?  A third?

Will “community-directed investments” be a drag on the measure?  I could see that being a lightning rod.  If it isn’t included, will a significant portion of the left abandon us once again?

All that said, I joined Carbon Washington to work towards getting a tax on carbon implemented.  I personally don’t care if it’s slightly or entirely revenue-positive, as long as it passes.

I feel strongly that if we back away from I-732, the new organization should have something like this included in its Articles of Incorporation:  Our top priority is fighting climate change.  Our second priority is avoiding harm to those of limited means.

Redressing historical grievances also is important, and I believe it should be accomplished separately.  The biggest injustice possible will come from climate change itself.

Bottom line:  I’m for a compromise strategy if it increases the chances of implementing a carbon tax.  Hopefully, these thoughts and questions will be helpful in shaping one.

I will continue to volunteer — to the extent my contributions are helpful — no matter which path the executive committee takes.  You have some very difficult decisions to make.  I’m sure you will make them carefully and wisely.

Thanks for your caring leadership.

Date: December 21, 2015 at 8:22:09 PM PST
To: <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: CarbonWA on the fence

I say submit.

Date: December 21, 2015 at 8:32:07 PM PST
Subject: comments….

I wrote the email below before seeing Yoram’s just now….I’m tweaking this in response….
Some more thoughts about the new CarbonTax proposal….
1) it is still a carbon tax, right? Whatever we propose it seems important that it be possible to do it “on the cheap”, with little to no support from the legislature, since there may not be any.  A carbon tax can be implemented on the cheap, according to my BC colleagues.  Whereas a Cap&Trade system is more complicated and probably cannot succeed when the legislature opposes it.  It is not clear to me how the carbon fee differs.
2) How revenue-positive would it be?  It seems to me it would go against a lot of what we said in our pitch for I-732 if all of the revenue was used to fund new things, with no sales tax rebate.  Also this might have a harder time passing if it is strictly a pitch for new revenue from a carbon tax.  Maybe a reasonable compromise would be to have 33-50% of the revenue go towards supporting good climate-related causes, and the other 50-66% used to reduce the sales tax? (I just made up these numbers)
3) One thought…it is well established that many steps to improve energy efficiency are cheaper than new sources of energy (by 2-3x).  So one good place to put such new revenue (not the only one) is into energy efficiency programs.  Tom Pedersen at UVictoria told me BC has a policy (or has proposed one) whereby people can sign up for improved insolation, windows, doors, etc, at no up-front cost and pay it off by just paying their normal utility bill.  This simply requires a financing program by the state to cover the up-front costs.  If this was targeted at  low-income or middle class home owners and renters, it could be perceived as a “win” for many people, not just for the energy industry.  New support for new clean energy also could make sense.
4) One virtue of the revenue-neutral approach that is potentially being lost here is that the revenue-neutral carbon tax has potential to succeed nationwide, and in many places across the globe.  What we are talking about now is something that might work in some key blue states, but it won’t work in many states or countries.  Certainly the best hope for the U.S., and arguably the planet, is to adopt an approach here that can be adopted in many, many places.

It’s pretty crazy to be debating key points 9 days before our deadline, but as Yoram said, that is all too often how politics get done.

I’d be happy to listen in on a conf call tomorrow.  Good luck and I hope you all get a bit of a break at some point!

Date: December 21, 2015 at 8:33:26 PM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

I trust your thinking on this Yorum.

Date: December 21, 2015 at 8:33:36 PM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: I-732

In response to your “on the fence” email, I’ll be brief: stay the course. keep pushing for the revenue neutral approach. The simple approach is best and I think it can garner the support needed. Perhaps most important, there will be a clear debate on the issue. The “tax carbon to fix other ills” is inherently a more muddled, confusing approach. Straight on till morning!

Date: December 21, 2015 at 8:33:41 PM PST
To: <[email protected]>
Subject: pls send the call code.

Do I read your email to say you are considering walking away from all the work we have done because you think the other guys path (as revenue positive) holds a better chance?

Date: December 21, 2015 at 8:34:48 PM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence


I love you and carbonwa. I, and I am sure every single person who had anything to do with it thus far, will feel it’s a complete betrayal if you don’t turn in the signatures.

A non-revenue neutral cap n trade initiative is going to fail no matter how many millions they put behind it. Carbonwa might not pass either but so what?

This is the first real chance we have had to put a price on carbon in this state. Carbonwa is real. It’s going to legislative desks in 2016 as long as you don’t betray those 350k people who signed and everybody else who worked on it.

Don’t fuck it up.

Date: December 21, 2015 at 8:35:02 PM PST
To: “[email protected]” <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

by god, Yoram.  You have guts.

Your efforts to get this thing where it is were heroically smart and the effort was sustained and strong.

I cannot believe you have the guts to back off and let the more likely proposal go ahead.  The mental courage to see the position that way astounds me.  I am pretty sure I wouldn’t have had it, myself.  Too much anger in my soul.

I can only say, I defer to your judgment in these matters.  I am convinced it is better than my own would be.

with real meaning: best regards,

PS: are you sure that the Alliance is honest, and its poll is honest?   It still lurks in the back of my mind they are a shill to stop the whole thing.  Is there anyway to check about that?

Date: December 21, 2015 at 8:38:58 PM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: My 2 cents on filing 732

I gathered signatures and gave some money for 732, but I understand it is a difficult strategic decision. I am concerned that the alternative is still “unformed” and it is not clear to me that it will materialize. I say file 732 and then if a better, more winnable proposal is really filed, and we have broad agreement on that, we publicly support that effort. Having 2 good choices might be a good strategy so long as resources are not diluted for too long.

Date: December 21, 2015 at 8:39:29 PM PST
To: Yoram Bauman <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: CarbonWA on the fence

Gutsy email Yoram.

I wish I could find a flaw in your logic, but I can’t. I don’t prefer the approach the Alliance is taking, but I realized somewhere along the way that our efforts at bipartisanship were not likely to be reciprocated by the Republicans.

[ ] and I had a conversation with a Republican Senator last week that was intriguing, but still a very long way from yielding a path to a deal in the legislature. And, frankly, if the Senate decided it really wanted to engage here, it could always take I-732 and use it as the basis of a deal, even if you don’t turn in the signatures.

And it looks like the TNC polling is in and, if you all are comfortable with the numbers, then that is persuasive too.

So, regrettably, I have to agree with the decision. And I do admire you and the Executive Committee being able to step back and remember why we’re all involved in this to begin with, despite all the effort everyone has put in.

I’ll watch with interest to see how things unfold and am ready to dig in in 2016 no matter what happens.

Date: December 21, 2015 at 8:39:06 PM PST
To: [email protected], Kyle Murphy
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

My take…hand in the ballots.   If it is not revenue neutral you will lose the Republicans…all of them.  If you wait to the election, you will face huge opposition (with lots of money) by the oil companies.     The most important thing we can do is to make our action bipartisan…THAT will be an example for the nation.  A carbon tax for WA by itself will only have marginal value-we are already one of the most low-carbon states in the union.  It is the example of creating a moderate coalition that is of great meaning. Folks donated money and worked hard to collect the signatures…are you ready to throw that away?  I have talked to a lot of state legislators…most will support it.  Even some Republicans.  Have you done the headcount yet in the legislature?…

Date: December 21, 2015 at 8:42:16 PM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

Hello Yoram,
Nice job on a challenging communication.

I have just one question that I think is worth elaborating on during the phone conference tomorrow:
Your statement below regarding important people agree that price on carbon…..etc, etc.
Does the “new” alternative initiative actually put enough of a pricing mechanism on carbon to take WA state a significant step in the right direction? Will it have the carbon-reduction impact we expect?  Will it generation a reduction in carbon on par with I-732?

Date: December 21, 2015 at 8:44:08 PM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

Thank you for continuing to take this seriously, and to take the possibility of alternative paths seriously.

I don’t have a strong feeling or a great analysis for you, and I think moving in a direction that is more likely to create carbon fee’s is imperative.

Date: December 21, 2015 at 8:45:42 PM PST
To: “[email protected]” <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: CarbonWA on the fence

Dear Yoram,

With sadness, I recommend not submitting the signatures. My wife and I have donated to Carbon WA and gathered some signatures. But the political reality is that it’s better to get a second-rate proposal approved than to gamble on a better proposal that is unlikely to be approved.

Date: December 21, 2015 at 8:46:22 PM PST
To: <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

As longtime liberal Democratic Party activists, and ones who are dedicated environmentalists with a passion for protecting our environment, we are unequivical in our view that 732 should go forward.  Not only is it the simplest and best alternative, but it explains very clearly and easily to those unfamiliar with it.  It is both the best alternative, and the most likely to pass.

The presently undefined alternatives will be very complex by comparison, and much more easily challenged by the opponents , both in campaign phase and in implimentaiton phase should it pass.

We have worked much too hard, putting in our energy, time, and treasure in getting this far, to simply walk away.

Go forward now.

Date: December 21, 2015 at 8:47:22 PM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence


Excellent job on the email.

Whatever happens, it’s been a great trip.  I’ve enjoyed working with you and with the team.  I have no regrets except for you.

Let me know if there is anything further I can do.

Date: December 21, 2015 at 8:50:21 PM PST
Subject: RE: CarbonWA on the fence

My vote is to turn in the signatures.
Not to do this dishonors the work done by your volunteers

I-732 is a concrete proposal
What the Alliance has is basically hot air and speculation.

Perfectionism is the enemy of incremental progress.

Date: December 21, 2015 at 8:51:47 PM PST
To: Yoram Bauman <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

I recommend getting a statistician expert on polling to analyze the sampling methods of statistical power of the polls before you decide.

Date: December 21, 2015 at 8:53:03 PM PST
To: “[email protected]” <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence


ARE YOU KIDDING?   You have a carbon pricing act with momentum in the works that any and every other climate conscious state in the union would kill for.  350,OOO people have signed for a public debate and the right to vote up or down on climate action and so as far as I am concerned THAT is what we must give them.   Don’t make obstructionism in the Legislature our problem!   ONWARD EVEN IF IT IS NOT PERFECT!.   I-732 CAN BE SOLD TO THE PUBLIC QUITE EASILY AS MANY VOLUNTEERS DID THROUGHOUT THE SUMMER.

Date: December 21, 2015 at 8:58:05 PM PST
To: Yoram Bauman <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

You lay it out pretty clearly. I too lean towards throwing in with the Alliance. I wish the polling numbers were different. I don’t see how it really benefits anyone to hold out. I do very strongly agree that there is absolutely no way in heck the Alliance would be on the cusp of running anything if it weren’t for CarbonWA — they’d have chickened out long ago if we weren’t there keeping them honest.

And, I don’t think you should do anything over the sustained objections of your volunteers + donors, so props for consulting them. Maybe even consider doing a MoveOn-style advisory vote?

Date: December 21, 2015 at 9:00:58 PM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

Hi Yoram,

This sounds great. Whatever works best to get some form of carbon tax/cap on in 2016. ?

Alberta’s recent carbon tax was interesting, in that they chose to invest the money into various things including “clean technology research, public transportation, and energy efficiency programs.” I was surprised something like that could pass in Alberta of all places, but it seemed to match the mood of that election.

Given that 2012 had Obama winning in Washington by 56-42 (and Cantwell 60-40), seems like 2016 could be a pretty favorable year for the “unite the left” approach to win.

Date: December 21, 2015 at 9:06:18 PM PST
To: “[email protected]” <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

Tough decision.  Proposed carbon tax modeled after an existing, successful law in BC.  It is revenue neutral and it is sorely needed.  It is market based and it allows players (agents) in the market decide outcomes (alternatives, conservation, etc.).

Negatives: the unrepresented communities (whether African American, Hispanic or Tribal) not really represented or part of the group.  Environmental organizations are/were not on board (and they were really stubborn about even signing!  I know I pissed some of them off with not so subtle comments about how they were certainly giving their friends, children a wonderful gift for the future).  I know that of the people who signed for me, very few found the 1% reduction in the sales tax to be the reason.

I know some of your workers worked really hard so how does one drop 350,000 signatures?

One needs to do it with the other group present so that there is a press conference and significant news event.  Common goal, slightly different approach, but the overarching effort is to have a successful outcome and to begin to meet the moral obligations of the future and of the participants in the Paris talks.

Good luck.

Date: December 21, 2015 at 9:08:04 PM PST
To: “[email protected]” <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

You are a true leader, Yoram.
I thank you deeply for bringing us through the door that led to still another door.

What a thoughtful, beautiful, well-reasoned email.

The chance to collectively “embrace” the most workable alternative is a true gift, and we would not be at this place without what you all have set in motion.
On this solstice, we welcome light.

I look forward to the call tomorrow!

Date: December 21, 2015 at 9:08:33 PM PST
To: “[email protected]” <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

quite a choice- there are so many variables, so many things that will change between now and November.  and so many people who signed the initiative in the absence of anything else- or at times, in the face of another approach that would not be as effective in the long run.

too many uncertainties in the new scenarios- for the 350,000 who signed, I say turn the petitions in.

whatever the team decides, 2016 will be a big year

Date: December 21, 2015 at 9:09:58 PM PST
To: <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: CarbonWA on the fence

Hi, Yoram,

I talked with [ ] earlier this evening, so he already knows my substantive thoughts, which generally are in alignment with yours: bipartisan action would be better, but the Republicans never stepped up and too many Democrats are skeptical; and, if we get a price on carbon (not just cap and trade), then everything else is just detail.

I am writing this message simply to say that I have really admired the honesty, integrity and respect for intelligent political discussion with which you have conducted this campaign from the beginning, and which has shown through in your regular communications throughout.  Your message below is a perfect example.  I hope all of this leads to a carbon tax (they can call it a fee, but I sure hope it operates pretty much like our tax), but I also hope it leads to your earning a place of real respect in the climate/environmental/political community.  You absolutely deserve it.

Date: December 21, 2015 at 9:12:21 PM PST
To: <[email protected]>
Subject: moving forward

Hi, I can’t be on the call tomorrow

I think the most important thing is that the environmental community talk and figure out a united pitch for what they think the best, most climate-stabilizing and ACHIEVABLE action is right now. It makes all of us look petty and nitpicky when there are two separate initiative –type things going forward to achieve similar goals. Doesn’t matter if it IS petty and nitpicky or not – it makes it LOOK that way and that undercuts our effectiveness in stabilizing the climate and that’s all that matters. We really haven’t got time to mess around with more than one alternative. People want to vote for something that will help us move toward a more hopeful future and it’s our job to make it clear what that is and push for it.

The only other thing I would say is that I talked to a lot of people and got them to sign the 732 petition so if we DON’T submit the signatures (which may well be the best thing to do) I want to make sure that we explain to the signers why we are doing what we are doing and why their signatures are helping us move toward the future that we and they want. Don’t know if that’s a full page ad or an op ed or what, but I feel like we owe them that.

That’s it. Thanks for all your work. I’m sure this is a royal pain but I think it’s better to have our ducks in a row/united front to the public before we go any farther down the road.

Date: December 21, 2015 at 9:15:12 PM PST
To: “Yoram Bauman” <[email protected]>
Subject: I say, run both!

I say run I-732, plus anything the Alliance wants to do. It will probably be complementary.

This was suggested at our last [ ] meeting.

Date: December 21, 2015 at 9:18:10 PM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: Conference call

Yorum, you of all people having the most valuable perspective on the question, l’m persuaded by your “real politik” argument, but would still like the code for the call. Thanks.

Date: December 21, 2015 at 9:19:49 PM PST
To: “[email protected]” <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

You are so very gracious Yoram.  What I don’t like about all this is how the Alliance did what they did.  From my distant perspective it seemed underhanded, disrespectful and certainly lacking in transparency.

I hate to see the grass roots good guys back down.  And I hate to see the climate potentially take a back seat to the same Big Business mentality (and the allure of all that money sloshing around) that got us off track in the first place.

…and you’re probably right given the circumstances.  Damn.

Date: December 21, 2015 at 9:20:36 PM PST
Subject: Re: Cinerama Star Wars report

I sincerely hope that the campaign staff who want to continue can continue in whatever the effort is going forward.

I can see the points in Yoram’s email.  I would be very interested in learning what Finkbeiner, Sims, and McGinn’s ideas are on this.  It seems to me that 11 months is an eternity in politics (and professional sports, most dating relationships, …), so it isn’t clear to me that the drumbeat of media about global warming wouldn’t have continued to increase our support.

Happy solstice —- we’re on our way to Spring!

Date: December 21, 2015 at 9:22:02 PM PST
To: “[email protected]” <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: CarbonWA on the fence


I am not on the fence on this one.  We should definitely turn in the signatures.  Here are my thoughts:

1.  We have already done the work and collected the signatures.  Who knows if the Alliance will get their act together in time, and/or succeed in collecting the signatures.
2.  Uniting the left may not be sufficient since aside from King, and possibly Snohomish Counties the “left” may not have sufficient votes to carry the issue in the state.  I think we need the support of more center and right-of-center voters.
3.  What’s wrong with having both the Alliance and Carbon initiatives on the ballot.  It will not split or dilute the vote, and if anything we can model the campaign as a united effort asking voters to vote for both initiatives.
4.  Neither we nor the Alliance are going to get more than a tepid response from business for a climate change initiative.  Most business leaders will not take action on climate change seriously until they actually feel the effects of CC seriously affecting their bottom line.  I would discount the value of their input on the Carbon initiative.
5.  The Alliance does not even have a platform together.  Why should let the “poll” numbers drive us out of the effort when the Alliance Alternative approach has not gelled yet?  Their poll numbers are based on a squishy, undefined “concept”.
6.  I am not at all convinced that the Alliance has a convincing package put together, especially one that does not either create cap-and-trade loopholes for business, or act to merely raise revenues for progressive projects.

Lastly, as I have stated above in #3 above, having two initiatives on the ballot will have a cumulative, powerful effect in bringing the issue of Climate Change to the forefront in the 2016 elections.  Voters should be urged to vote for both.  The legislators should be “frightened” into action as they see a set of two Climate Change initiatives bearing down on them in the rear view mirror.

Date: December 21, 2015 at 9:22:46 PM PST
To: <[email protected]>,
Subject: RE: CarbonWA on the fence

Yoram, I’m incredibly impressed by your willingness to address the complexities of the situation head on.   I was already incredibly incredibly impressed by the leadership you showed to get I-732 this far, to leverage the progressive thinking in Washington to set us up for the first popular choice in the US on a major action to address climate change.   I agree with you that I-732 is the best solution from a rational economics point of view (not too surprising given all the economics courses I enjoyed taking in college and post-grad).   But politics isn’t economics and the most economically rational solution is rarely adopted precisely.   That you’re even willing to think through the alternatives is refreshing in this day of dogmatic politicians who lock into an ideology and refuse to ever consider alternatives.

As [ ]  knows ([ ] was the one who turned me on to your work), I’ve been a supporter of [ ] here for years and I’m aware of their views on this issues.   I favor the alternative proposal, because I think it has a better chance of passing and will still count as a major popular endorsement of actions to address climate change, but I want to be clear about my support for what you’ve achieved:  in our charitable giving this year, I reserved plenty to support the carbon initiative, whichever carbon initiative, is on the ballot next year.   I’ve never given more than a couple of thousand to a political campaign, but I will give $[ ] in 2016 to whichever direction CarbonWa choses.  It’s going to be a painful discussion over the next few weeks and I hope you are blessed with wisdom in making the call.   Either way you’ve done a huge service to our state and our country.

Date: December 21, 2015 at 9:25:47 PM PST
To: [email protected], Kyle Murphy
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

The more I think about it, the more I think you should hand it in. I would not trust the Alliance poll.  If you don’t hand it in, you risk alienating the huge group of folks that dedicated themselves to making it happen.  You will destroy your organization and network in one swoop.  I know I would pull back from it

Date: December 21, 2015 at 9:27:33 PM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: why switch away from 732 is better

Why switch to the alternative?
1. Because the poll numbers are better; and
2. We can’t afford to lose. Each year, each day is crucial for climate, and like 15/hr, we will have an effect all around us.
and 3. If anything, we could be underestimating the lack of bandwidth for voters already inundated with “news” about The Election. We could have a whole bunch of No votes from people who haven’t thought it through despite their intentions. Last minute big money could kill it whether directed at it or taking the wind out of our sails by blowing at the presidential sails.

Date: December 21, 2015 at 9:33:25 PM PST
To: <[email protected]>
Subject: I’m surprised. A few questions

Dear Yoram,

I’m trying to wrap my head around all of this and I wonder if I could get a bit more info.  Here are two questions:

Does the Alliance have their initiative written up yet?  If yes, is it available?

What makes you so sure that the Alliance can come up with the required signatures in time?

Date: December 21, 2015 at 9:33:43 PM PST
To: <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: CarbonWA on the fence

I-732 is the real deal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Shame on the Alliance for bad-mouthing it and trying to sabotage our efforts.
Screw the Alliance!
Turn in the signatures!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Date: December 21, 2015 at 9:34:02 PM PST
To: Yoram Bauman <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: CarbonWA on the fence


I find this situation incredibly sad and yet heartening. I have been a staunch and loyal supporter of your initiative, mostly because, as you said the first time I saw you at [ ], this is a back-up plan given it’s unlikely the legislature is going to do anything about his issue. I liked the fact that the I-732 plan was simple, fair, easy to grasp, and had been successful in BC.

When I heard about Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy, I thought I don’t want to wait around for everyone to get on the same page – given the urgency of the matter – even though I am a supporter of [ ] and am on the board of [ ]. I even spoke with [ ] recently and said as much. I also begged her to come to a resolution with CarbonWA so that we weren’t competing with them come November. She was respectful but I knew would not budge on her (and her allies’) position.

If you and your board really think, given the poll numbers, that the Alliance’s initiative has a better chance of passing, then I think we have to abandon our plan and support theirs. I admire you so much for leaning toward doing what’s best for the environment and not thinking solely of your own interests, including volunteer time and money expended. Clearly we have to go into this as a united front.

One question I have: do you think all those people that have signed on to I-732 will sign again? Getting them to do that sounds daunting.

Date: December 21, 2015 at 9:39:59 PM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: Yes on I-732

Hi Yoram- I read your post tonite with great sadness. Its beyond comprehension to me why we cannot get enough Washingtonians to see the importance and relevance and, indeed, crucial step forward in internalizing the costs of carbon that this approach takes. And if we cannot get this done at a state level, I feel like how in the hell do we have any chance at moving carbon pricing at a regional or federal level? The time for putting a price on carbon was yesterday. Ok, it was 20 years ago. But I dont have to tell you any of this.

What I can tell you is this: as an avid supporter and believer in the need to make the economics spell out a path to a clean energy future, I think I-732 is critically important. We will not move our country on clean energy from the top down, except by executive decision, for the forseeable future. But we can- and must- move it from the ground up, and right now, state efforts are where its at. I see this as having many parallels to my work on another issue very dear to me, gun violence prevention- state regulations on gun violence prevention is the only place its at, because inside the beltway, its too bought and broken by the NRA. And the same is true for climate action and fossil fuel companies. And I do not see how a vague half-plan from the Alliance constitutes a serious, economically sound approach to internalizing carbon costs as a viable alternative to Carbon WA. I just dont.

So I say yes. I say we need to do this. But, of course, that is me, and I cannot possibly have the level of insight and understanding of where the chips seem to be falling that you and your campaign folks have. So I also will say I will deeply respect whatever decision you make that seems right. But I, for one, hope we can move forward and make this happen.

Date: December 21, 2015 at 9:50:06 PM PST
To: Yoram Bauman <[email protected]>
Subject: CarbonWA

Y –

That was quite an email.

I have been meaning to write you to ask specifically if you thought the CarbonWA initiative might get a boost from the right (and pass via the legislature) specifically because they want to take this option rather than wait and see what happens with the alternative. Given this message I assume you do not think that is likely.

My immediate thought is what light could Bill Finkbeiner shed on this since he is a supporter and must have a good ear for Rs in the legislature and R’s who move them.

I’m sure this an very difficult position and obviously an enormously difficult decision. I can only say that I’m really proud to call you a friend with the way you have handled all of this work over the last year(s).

Date: December 21, 2015 at 10:01:18 PM PST
To: Yoram Bauman <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

Dear Yoram,

Those last couple of paragraphs are lovely, powerful.  Thanks for the inspiring thoughts.

I know that the principled, well reasoned way of wisdom will become very clear to the EC.  The strength of the EC’s leadership is obvious to me.

I’m grateful to see a combination of courage and humility in what the EC is considering, Yoram.  You know you have my 100% support.

I’ll be keeping this in my prayers tonight and during the day Tuesday.  Peace,

Date: December 21, 2015 at 10:02:47 PM PST
To: Yoram Bauman <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

If you fail to file, you’re handing over everything to your opposition and will have no power to negotiate anything.  There will be no reason to even give you a seat at the table.

Don’t kid yourself: you’re the one holding all the cards right now.

Unless someone just handed you some kind of binding agreement – and if you truly believe in the power of the grassroots – there is no question but that you must file.

Date: December 21, 2015 at 10:05:57 PM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: Embrace the Alternative

After talking thoroughly with Kyle and reading your email, my vote is to embrace the alternative being offered that has the better poll numbers.
Many people who signed my petitions were concerned about reducing revenue from the sales tax and hesitated to sign but eventually did.  I think a compromise gets the most people behind a strong carbon pricing mechanism.
Go for it!

Date: December 21, 2015 at 10:12:33 PM PST
To: “[email protected]” <[email protected]>

Dear Yoram and all the fantastic Carbon WA staff and volunteers,

For the first time ever, I see Carbon WA making mistakes.

Mistake #1:  You are ascribing good intentions and motives to the other side.  Think again:  All this group has done so far is attack Carbon WA and float hard-to-refute allegations against it.  Those of us who actually care about the environment and really want to see Carbon-pollution reduced were filled with admiration for what youall have accomplished with very little or no help from the organized environmentalists and progressives.

Mistake #2:  They are treating you very kindly now because they want something from you-they want you to help them kill I 732, their goal all along.  The minute you do, you won’t be able to get a phone call to these people answered.  The desire for money on the part of at least the staff has already tainted the Inslee administration, which is also pushing policies such as a low-Carbon Standard, which is mostly a handout to industrial agriculture that  perhaps wouldn’t do a thing to reduce Carbon pollution.

A lot will happen in the world and a lot will change between now and next November.  Sometimes really sound ideas have a way of actually attracting support over time.  (Look at the way everyone is talking about mass incarceration now).  Nobody including me in the beginning of this campaign thought you folks would succeed in reaching your signature-gathering goal.  Now those same people including me probably doubt you/we can win in November.  But why listen to those voices?  You’ve already proven them wrong.

And don’t buy the self-serving argument that a loss should not be risked as it would “set the movement back.”  How could the “movement” be any worse off than it is now?  And haven’t a million good causes won after an initial failure?  Hell I think even these Seahawks lost in their first try.

I hesitate to continue in my efforts to encourage you to file because there is one thing missing:  I don’t have the talents or ability or drive to help much, and for that reason I can understand my words not carrying a huge amount of weight.

But please, don’t believe what the Alliance is telling you.  They might be much closer to a pure enemy than any of us realize.

Date: December 21, 2015 at 10:13:35 PM PST
To: <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: CarbonWA on the fence

Hello Yoram,

I am confused – of course.
So is this initiative coming from the Alliance? It had seemed when I spoke with [ ] earlier today that it was coming from a third party, like the Nature Conservancy or something.

I am sorry that things are unraveling right now. It is a difficult position to be sure.

I am so grateful to you and your whole team for all the hard work you have put in.
If we do get a carbon tax next year, you will be in large part to thank for making it happen, one way or another.

Date: December 21, 2015 at 10:15:44 PM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: Get a win!

Thank you so much for the thoughtful email Yoram, and for your incredible work on this issue.

We’re approaching a point of no return much more quickly than the public realizes, and I fear we can’t wait for our preferred strategy or better political climate. We need a clear path to success and a strong & broad coalition. We need to hold our noses and practice the art of compromise.

A success in WA will make a difference on its own & draw other states in. While I think revenue neutral is theoretically ideal, we can’t let the best be the enemy of the good. Take the path that has the better odds of moving forward.

Thanks for creating the opportunity to weigh-in, and thanks for all you’re doing for everyone’s futures!

Date: December 21, 2015 at 10:29:45 PM PST
To: “[email protected]” <[email protected]>
Subject: Nice

Yoram, I just read your email re:on the fence and I just want to say that my (already not insubstantial) opinion of you went up a lot. I’m one of the ones who was in favor of any price on carbon that can pass and who just wants a boat to get in so we can all row together. And I’ve been worried for months that the internal divisions would hurt the cause and that ego and momentum would get in the way of good policy outcomes. Your message leaves me feeling a lot better. You’ve got a lot more data and time to think about this issue than I do, I don’t have any unique insights. I’m just glad to know that this is being approached with both wisdom and smarts.

I’d only add that whether this moves forward or not, carbon wa has had 350k successful conversations with voters around Washington. That’s going to have lasting benefits.

Date: December 21, 2015 at 10:47:24 PM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

Yoram, my two cents.

I don’t think this should be a hard decision: CarbonWA should submit the signatures and get the initiative on the ballot.

As I see it, if you don’t put the initiative on the ballot, there is no guarantee of any alternative being accomplished.  Yes, the initiative has risks, but it’s not like we’d get a bird in the hand by yielding the bird in the bush.  You can’t rely too much on the cited data because it appears to assume nothing changes in the meantime.  Much of the tepid establishment reaction can change once a real initiative is on the table.  Not sure why we wouldn’t go for that.  And please don’t overlook that many CarbonWA supporters will not share the position that alternative proposals are also good or even palatable.

Thanks for your work!

Date: December 21, 2015 at 10:52:02 PM PST
To: “[email protected]” <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence


I would like to be in on the conference call. I don’t know if I would have anything intelligent to contribute, but mostly would like to listen. I would like to know what the alternative proposal would look like roughed out and how a revenue positive proposal would work if a neutral one has been a tough sell.

You have put a lot of time and effort and heart and soul in to this and it makes sense to me.

Date: December 21, 2015 at 10:53:50 PM PST
To: <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: CarbonWA on the fence

Wow. Impressive. I’m stunned.

My contribution to the campaign has been insignificant, so perhaps that makes it easier to say, I’m in favor of whatever can can put a price on carbon, the sooner the better. I’ll trust you on the numbers and the odds.

Thank you for the idea, the effort and for proving that the desire for a solution really existed. And, I guess, thank you for considering the path forward in the context of what could actually succeed.

Date: December 21, 2015 at 10:57:18 PM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

Hi Yoram. That is an amazing email given all you have done. No one has breathed so much life into a price on carbon as you have. That you have remained open in face of this terrifically difficult pathway, is pretty friggin amazing.

Your email is incredibly thoughtful. You directly, and in detail, acknowledge where you have come from and where you are. That is so hard to do given how singularly focused you have been. I know this may sound stupid or trite but I am really touched by this email regardless of how all this turns out.

Date: December 21, 2015 at 11:00:44 PM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

Wow, friend. That’s a complicated position to be in! I’m sending you love, support, and my admiration for all you have done.  I wish you clear thinking as you make a decision. We are traveling starting Wednesday but I will try calling to give you a phone hug.

Date: December 21, 2015 at 10:27:41 PM PST
Subject: Re: Fwd: CarbonWA on the fence

I don’t think I can make it to your conference call tomorrow evening, but I’d still like to know if you can answer a few questions:

1. How do we know it’s “inevitable” that the Alliance will gather enough signatures to get their measure on the ballot?
2. I assume the polling predictions for the Alliance (57% Yes, 36% No, 7% Undecided, etc) were based on at least some rough outline of a policy plan. What was it?
3. Are you looking into ways to use a withdrawal of your signatures to make a strong statement of unity within the overall environmental movement in Washington State?

Date: December 21, 2015 at 10:40:38 PM PST
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

Carbon WA team – nicely done to include your supporters in the decision.  It will be easier for them to understand the alternative if it’s better explained, such as a summary of I-801 if that’s the current best form.

Another issue to consider is which version is likely to be more heavily opposed.  Polls do a poor job of projecting that real life situation, especially when a measure has weaknesses which are not adequately explained in the poll “simple explanation” but become heavy mortar casualties during the election.  Bottom line – far more analysis is needed beyond which measure polled better.

We’re glad to advise if helpful.  No matter how the dueling initiatives proceed, [our] work is getting carbon down fast and cost effectively.   We invite you to participate.

And no matter what, this issue will go national.  Let’s hope they spell your names right.

Date: December 21, 2015 at 11:12:07 PM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

Hi Yoram. It’s late so I’ll make this brief. Your reasoning is sound. The alternative proposal sounds like the way to go if it gives us the best chance to price carbon.

Thanks for all you hard work!

Date: December 21, 2015 at 11:12:04 PM PST
To: <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: CarbonWA on the fence

Hi Yoram, I agree with your basic analysis.  I hate the idea of having to “do it all over again,” but hopefully the re-doing will raise people’s consciousness level all the more, keeping the important issue of climate change in the public eye all through next year leading up to election time.  And as multiple pundits (most recently Paul Krugman) point out, the times in this country do not favor rationality or bi-partisanship, so the only way to win is to enthusiastically bowl over the opposition.  How this will happen at the national level, I don’t have a clue, except that I imagine we’ll elect Hilary and that she’ll at least keep in place the moves that Barack has initiated, and that perhaps worldwide pressure will push us even farther.  Maybe the coasts will lay down a track record of strong carbon control combined with strong economic growth, and at some point enough market forces will line up in our favor that it’ll be doomsday for the fossil-fuel industry, they’ll cut their losses, and they’ll dive into alternative energy for all they’re worth.

What do folks at CCL, 350, or other national organizations think?  Is it worth contacting somebody like Tom Friedman for their opinion?

What interesting times you’ve helped us to live in!

Date: December 21, 2015 at 11:19:58 PM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: Signatures

I am not a volunteer but I am a signer. What you are planning to do is a betrayal of every volunteer and every signer. It sounds to me that you don’t believe in your own initiative. If so you shouldn’t have started it.

When the replacement initiative fails – and that’s likely once the fee gets labeled as a tax in the multimillion dollar No ad campaign – where will you be? You will have killed any chance that a revenue neutral carbon tax can ever be passed by referendum in this state. We will all be back stuck doing nothing.

Date: December 21, 2015 at 11:12:16 PM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

Hi Yoram,

Wow, a lot of soul-searching going on.  It sounds like there are four main drivers for putting on the brakes and considering not turning in the signatures:
Polling results that suggest that the alternative (vague as it is) has a 5+% advantage over I-732,
The huge expense of getting an explanation in simple language out to the public, not to mention the cost of countering mis-information from the opposition,
Lack of support from business, politicians, civic groups, progressives, and conservatives,
And apparently some new evidence that the Alliance will actually produce a ballot initiative.
It is this last driver I want to focus on.  I’ve heard nothing but promises and generalities about the alternative initiative from the Alliance and it seemed very possible that they would end up not being able to agree amongst themselves and/or would run of time to create a finished initiative by next month. (  )  So my question is, what new information did you get about the alternative?  Do we know it’s for sure? Have you seen any actual language?  This is really the one and only driver.  If the alternative doesn’t materialize, there would be no question about going forward, despite the other three drivers.

So this is my RSVP. Count me in for the conference call.

Yours in frustration,

Date: December 21, 2015 at 11:22:13 PM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

Wow, that’s a tough decision. Let me just offer some thoughts and where I think they lead.

– I still prefer a revenue-neutral package in the abstract. I think it makes more sense to keep carbon pricing separate from government budgeting priorities.

– I also dislike the idea that “by putting money into our favorite causes, we’ll unite the left and be able to win in Washington.” I dislike it because it implicitly writes off Eastern Washington (and the more conservative parts of W. Washington) and says that those parts of the state just don’t matter. That may be true in the short run but in the long run I think major decisions such as this one are better decided by the entire state, not just King County, and will have more support and better futures if the entire state feels that they had a legimate participatory role.

– however, I also can’t ignore the polling results. It may well be that no revenue-neutral program could ever win in E. Washington due to the extreme negative feelings around anything labeled a tax.

– I have zero confidence in the legislature passing anything in the nature of a carbon tax next year. Even if Dems held both houses I’m not sure that it would pass. So it seems best to assume that whatever is submitted, will go to the voters, and optimize for passage at the initiative level.

– therefore I reluctantly would agree that if the Alliance will definitely propose a revenue-positive initiative that has much better polling numbers, then that’s probably the way to go.

I won’t be joining the conf. call tomorrow but look forward to seeing your decision, whatever it may be. Good luck!

Date: December 21, 2015 at 11:32:16 PM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

Hi Yoram,
Thanks for the transparent and thoughtful letter. I know that was tough to send.

As a CarbonWA supporter, if the facts are that I-732 isn’t polling well, hasn’t been building support from advocacy and business groups, and the alternative approach is polling better… then I would support you 100% in not turning in the signatures and betting on the other horse. I think the vast majority of CarbonWA supporters would feel similarly. We all want carbon pricing in WA, we want something to pass, and everything else is negotiable.

If we don’t go forward on I-732, then I would turn all my efforts to the alternative and I think many others would as well. I wouldn’t for a moment regret time and effort spent on I-732. I think you would be regarded as a leader who brought us together, made great things happened, but looked at the data and made an egoless decision for the greater good.

In other news, I wound up on a conference call earlier tonight with an advocacy group to discuss a leak of this news, and a couple of people on the call were Alliance insiders. They told the story from the Alliance point of view and for what it’s worth, their story and view of the facts were essentially identical to yours. They set the tone that the Alliance was ready to roll momentum and support from CarbonWA into their effort and arrive at a blended proposal with broad appeal.

Good luck with this part of the story arc and as always let me know if I can do anything to help.

Date: December 21, 2015 at 11:45:08 PM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: Get the Axe


Remember David Axelrod, Obama’s campaign manager from Chicago?  David has got to be one of the most experienced political consultants in the country, although he specializes in urban and national.  David heads the bipartisan Institute of Politics at University of Chicago. I wonder if he/the Institute would offer you a strategy consult over the phone.  Yes, it’s useful to crowdsource, but David might be willing to share his experience and insights.  He understands polling data for sure.  (Also, perhaps the journey of the Carbon WA referendum would be academically interesting to the Institute.)

Good luck.

Date: December 22, 2015 at 12:12:12 AM PST
To: “[email protected]” <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

this is the information that convinced me:

our Executive Committee is now convinced that there will be a swing at the ball in 2016 no matter what, i.e., we are convinced that if I-732 does not go forward then another ballot measure (an Initiative to the People) will launch in January and will have the strength to qualify for the Nov 2016 ballot.

So I suggest that you submit the signatures petition and push it for all you are worth, but also start working with the alternative lefty approach to close ranks with them for next year.

You guys have done great, great work.  It will not go to waste.

Date: December 22, 2015 at 12:15:55 AM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

I’m traveling so forgive my IPhone spelling.
I would never have lifted a finger to support [CarbonWA] if I thought it was for anything but an income neutral carbon tax. Cap and trade is a fraud because there is no accountability in  the trade for life cycle impacts or better uses such as wood products rather than leaving the carbon in the forest instead of using it to displace the worst fossil emitters.  There  is plenty of good  science to that effect. Without income neutrality it is just another tax to slow down growth  and increase income inequality. Go forward with the initiative. It is the only worthy approach out there and gaining support so lt needs the chance to lead the way out of the wilderness. It is the opportunity to gain support and not be counterproductive .

Sorry but our family is on retreat and not close  enough to shout louder.  Not going forward now would be a sell out and make the next steps more difficult. Stay on course.

Date: December 21, 2015 at 11:27:18 PM PST
To: “[email protected]” <[email protected]>
Subject: CarbonWA on to victory in 2016 – TURN IT IN!


Yoram et al –

Please send in the sigs on time!


As promised, below, here is more on the subject of turning in the sigs . . . and seeking a position on the ballot if Olympia says “no” . . . and campaigning for passage in November, 2016 once we’re on the ballot:

1. This is the first year after Paris, that voter in WA will be eager to approve not one measure, but two, to transition from fossils to clean renewables that will save them money and create more jobs.
2. There is no guarantee the other measure will get enough signatures and then get enough votes. [I would send to same memo to them if they qualified first and you folks were just gearing up for the petitioning phase. One ballot measure is usually better than two, but this is 2016, not 2014.]
3. We all know that both measures will face challenges in the courts by the fossils and their minions in 2017, in attempts to delay, mitigate, and/or completely overall any measure that is approved by the voters. At the very least we should double their legal expenses. Successful passage of both by resounding majorities will make the corporatist “justices” think twice about over-ruling the “mob”.
4. Circulating climate care petitions is good for the thousands of signature gatherers as well as the millions of signers and non-signers. Every person who “signs both” will say “Wow, we’re really on the march, now!” Everyone who signs our new petition will say, “Gee thanks, sorry I missed your first one!” Everyone who refuses to sign [again] will say [deep down inside], “Wow! Maybe these people know something I don’t know, maybe I should Google ‘climate change’ after all.”
5. OK, maybe that third set of reactions is a little over the top, but 2016 is the year to double down in more ways than one.

More reasons tomorrow,

12/22/15; 12:10 am

All –

Ok, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah had a re-run on CTV, so I came back to finish the list of reasons I started, below.

Where was I? #5?

6. I know there were some in the movement who did little or nothing to gather signatures in 2015. I also know from previous experience in previous, unrelated movements, that those who are most likely to sit back and criticize the more moderate forces and their well-meaning projects are also least likely to do much when they get their way or try to do something slightly different. We should always welcome these elements and their efforts to multiply our overall strength, but never, ever defer to their “better judgment” or stop midway in completing the “moderate” projects we have already started.

7. 350,000 voters signed our petitions. Thousands of activists gathered a signature [or a thousand]. Millions of voters are ready to vote for I-732. Why waste our breath or even one drop of “ink” trying to explain why throwing them away makes any sense when we should be spending that time, energy, and “ink” getting the other measure on the ballot starting in January and passing both measures in November?

8. The climate movement grew like topsy in 2015 thanks, in large measure, to Mother Nature punishing us for not paying enough attention for the previous decades, which in turn delivered unto us practically the entire Democratic Party and its many media outlets early in 2015 to paint the GOP into a “climate change deniers” corner. Along with rapid growth comes the challenge/luxury of being so big we now must watch out for splintering tendencies. Our tent is now big enough to have clashing tendencies that will be tempted to go their separate ways. We have to make the tent bigger, add more canvas, not drop some new ideas so we can placate some who cling to old ideas.

9. The opposition may be shrinking in numbers and major political parties in the US capable of repeating their lies, but their financial base is increasing as their profits are being threatened by our victories. This is no time to slack off.

Date: December 22, 2015 at 1:02:27 AM PST
Subject: Turn in signatures – break the political polarization of climate change

> Yoram, Duncan, and Kyle,
> After discussing the issue with Yoram and giving it further thought, I believe that we should go ahead and turn in the signatures, even if the Alliance offers to provide some legally binding financial guarantee that their initiative will make the ballot.
> Please do not give into fear when you are told by the Alliance that having two initiatives on the ballot will doom both, or that their polling data shows that their initiative is a slam dunk and ours will sink like a rock.  These people are no smarter than you are, and have no idea what will happen. I, for one, lost my faith in their political instincts when they called the leadership of CarbonWA “unsophisticated” and “not serious”, and you turned around and raised $700K and collected 350K  signatures.
> Climate change has tragically become identified as a left-wing cause.  It should be an apolitical public health issue, like cancer, or the microbeads that Congress, with bipartisan support, just banned from cosmetics today.
> The Alliance initiative, win or lose, deepens the identification of climate change with the left-wing by including other political objectives besides reducing anthropogenic CO2 release into the atmosphere.
> If we put I-732 on the ballot, we will, win or lose, disrupt the identification of climate change as a leftist issue.  Several rational (IMO) conservatives have already come out in favor of I-732.  Once it is on the ballot, these conservative voices will get more media attention, because their support disrupts the conventional wisdom, and thereby creates news – high profile, national and international news.  The Seattle Times editorial board, the business lobby, and others now on the fence will be forced to take a position on I-732 when it gets this level of attention. Who knows? They may well come out in favor of it, but we’ll never know if we give up now.
> I-732 on the ballot will break the exclusive ownership of climate change as a rallying cry and fundrasing tool for professional activists on the left.  Presenting revenue-neutral climate action as a real, viable option for conservatives and moderates who believe in science is an historic precedent, and already an extremely important victory.  Please do not give up on these people by pulling the plug on I-732.

Date: December 22, 2015 at 1:12:14 AM PST
To: Yoram Bauman
Subject: My Thoughts


Just a few thoughts . . .

I’m amazed at the amount of money you raised for I-732 and your success in getting the unbelievably high number of signatures you collected.  However, if the business world was not offering you the support that you needed, I see no way that the Alliance can put forth a winning ballot measure.

The average person is simply not going to want to vote a new tax for himself, especially when  at least half the electorate apparently believes there is no necessity.

Don’t pin your hopes on the Alliance.  It would seem that Washington State, like most of the world, is not ready.  We’re all going to continue living with carbon pollution for a long time.
Merry Christmas!

Date: December 22, 2015 at 1:16:25 AM PST
To: <[email protected]>
Subject: On the fence


If I could guarantee one of the alternatives would be enacted, I’d choose the Alliance’s in a heart-beat because it would raise the price of gas and channel funds into clean energy projects, clean water projects, and forest health. However, raising the price of gas, which is a plus for me, was the most common objection I heard while gathering signatures. With CarbonWa’s approach I could say, yes, but we’ll get it back by paying less sales tax. Now I’m picturing telling the guy that commutes 50 miles to work that, yup, we want to raise the price of your commute. That, to me, is a very tough case to make to ”voters who don’t have the time or the inclination to have a serious conversation about climate action.”  It comes down to this polling, conducted by the Alliance, that shows more support for their alternative. That’s very counter-intuitive to me so I’d like to join the phone call and ask for a lot more information about the poll and why CarbonWa is putting such faith in it.

Date: December 22, 2015 at 2:27:59 AM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: Fence

Au contraire, I think the presidential voting year is a time when more people come out to vote and therefore you’re more likely to get votes for your proposal. Personally I find that giving some of the money to poor people and other people to save on personal fuel costs is an attractive way to market this concept. I strongly recommend that you get off the fence and send in your petitions.

Date: December 22, 2015 at 4:01:11 AM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence


You guys just did so much work, it seems like a terrible shame to not turn in the signatures. All those volunteers, doing all that work, you’ve got to turn them in!

Polling is a fickle thing. You know that on the surface, a carbon tax is not popular, but you have to get past that superficial reaction. This Alliance poll is no different (if it’s even legit). Get it on the ballot, and if the greenies do their ballot measure, fine. 2 is not better than 1, but you can’t cede this to the greenies. This is just flat-out the right thing to do, and the right way to do it!

This effort is historic. You did it. Whether the ballot passes or not, this was a monumental, ground-breaking effort. Really, how many people have done something like this?

I say, turn in those signatures.

Date: December 22, 2015 at 4:16:15 AM PST
To: “[email protected]” <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: CarbonWA on the fence

Thank you for this well written message.
Great work to get us to this point.
The great attraction to me of the carbon Washington plan is that a revenue neutral model is the only model that is likely to get traction nationally and in a large number of other states and even globally.  I don’t know if it will, but it is the only one that has a chance.  It makes good economic and political sense.  I would like to aim high.
I agree, any carbon fee or tax is a good thing.  Passing anything is a good thing.  I will support either path.  But I prefer the carbon Washington path.  It has the potential for greater impact.
In full disclosure, I am an out of state supporter.

Date: December 22, 2015 at 4:17:58 AM PST
To: “[email protected]” <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: CarbonWA on the fence

Yoram, thanks for the writeup, and more importantly your hard work on this issue for years.

I’m really glad you’ve pushed this hard on your proposal.  Even if it isn’t the proposal we take across the line, your pressure is why we will have one proposal on the ballot next year, regardless of which proposal is brought forward.  You’ve discovered a lack of support among conservatives & businesses for the most business-friendly, conservative-approved approach.  And it takes a lot of maturity to recognize that a course correction may be necessary.

[ ] activists were split about 50/50 on this issue, and it was very contentious, as I’m sure you’ve heard from [ ].  I think you’ve struck the right tone of complimenting your activists for their hard work and for moving the goal posts on what everyone viewed as possible.  It’s not my place to suggest which direction to choose, but I do hope your organization can keep most of its activists regardless of which way your decision goes.  One way of thinking about the alternative proposal is while it may feel like a loss for your initiative, but it puts us all on a much better footing for the real fight – convincing voters to price carbon in the face of millions of dollars from the fossil fuel industry.

I’m looking forward to hearing your final decision.

Date: December 22, 2015 at 4:23:59 AM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

To me this just seems like cold feet. Everyone’s work is in your hands. Do your part and turn in the work.

Date: December 22, 2015 at 4:31:27 AM PST
To: Yoram Bauman <[email protected]>
Subject: I support NOT submitting I-732 signatures

Hi Yoram,

Thanks so much for your extremely clearly written explanation of the pro’s and con’s of submitting the I-732 signatures on December 30.

Based on your analysis, I support NOT submitting these signatures.  I say that as someone who has donated $[ ] to the campaign, which was a sizable amount for me (although not nearly as much as you and others contributed, not to mention your hundreds of hours of time).

I was surprised to read in the Dec 18th issue of the Seattle Times that Tom Steyer has donated $80K to the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy initiative campaign.  Now that I have read your email, I understand why he placed his bet on the Alliance.

I can’t thank you enough for the valiant effort you and the staff and board put into pushing us to the 350K signature mark.  It is a true mark of humility that you are prepared to sacrifice that work for an alternative that has a better chance of success.

Date: December 22, 2015 at 5:11:13 AM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

Yoram, I am astounded at how rational you can be after all this work.
I find it hard to believe the polls, but trust your instinct on that.
Question: could the signatures be applied to 2017 if the Alliance initiative fails?
Another question: are you certain the Alliance will go forward with the initiative if I-732 is not submitted?
I have also not had success with the business community. So disappointing.

Date: December 22, 2015 at 5:29:45 AM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: Tossing the Signatures

I read your email with great interest.
I understand the change of heart, but I have some concerns.
We have not yet seen the Alliance’s initiative. These initiatives-as you know-are tricky legally. What if it turns out to have a fatal flaw?
Initiatives are hard to get on the ballot. We know we have one initiative on the ballot. So let’s file it, and then it’s there.
If the Alliance’s initiative does get onto the ballot, can’t we just go out with lots of publicity and say, hey, vote for the better initiative? Just put that in every voter pamphlet in the state?
“A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” Remember that phrase? We cannot trust our legislature to pass the necessary bills. And the initiative process is tricky. Lots of folks donated hard-earned money and lots of folks sacrificed personal time to get this on the ballot. What if the alliance doesn’t come through?

Date: December 22, 2015 at 5:37:49 AM PST
To: Yoram Bauman <[email protected]>
Subject: great accomplishments, options, possible partnership — and a national model and lesson

Hi Yoram,

Your willingness, acuity, dedication, and vision have been a model to us all.  Now I am also impressed at your flexibility and willingness to reconsider instead of just plowing forward with your original plan.  To achieve a coalition at this point is also a great achievement, and your assessment of the lack of responsiveness from the right is very clear-eyed and open-minded.

I think Carbon WA’s decision to collaborate on a progressive, pro-renewables tax would also be instructive nationally.  After having had your/our hand out in a bipartisan way all year and collecting 350K signatures, we can still go back and partner with the left to have a large coalition and accomplish something even more.

You are a person who shows others what is possible and it sounds like you have assembled a wonderful, thoughtful, insightful team as well.  Congratulations on all this and for maintaining a balance with your other priorities too.

Date: December 22, 2015 at 12:07:44 AM PST
To: Yoram Bauman <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

All in all, sounds like a good fix to be in.  What’s the inverse of “damned if you do, damned if you don’t”?

Date: December 22, 2015 at 6:04:53 AM PST
To: Yoram Bauman <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: CarbonWA on the fence

You need to turn them in and tell the other folks to back off. You’ve done the work, while they haven’t done anything.

Consider these scenarios:

1)      You drop out and the alternative never materializes. No one will EVER be able to mount an initiative like this again. People do not contribute time, effort, and money just to see it all thrown away.
2)      You on the ballot and someone pushes an alternative. Then they’re the bad guys. We might lose at the polls, but we can blame them, and we can still get people to try again in 2018 or 2020.

Stick to your guns; it’s what you have to do.

Date: December 22, 2015 at 6:22:32 AM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: reply to 12/22 email

Hi Yoran,

I’m surprised and disappointed that you polluted your campaign with religion and then bragged about it.

Why offend non-religious folk when they must be among your most reliable supporters?

What’s the alternative measure?  I’d like to compare them and didn’t see a link in the email.

I commend you on your professionalism and intelligent approach to the issue.  The “Corporations are not People” proposals are all poorly researched and have not been thought through.  They would result in disaster if implemented.

I’m ambivalent on about which path you should take.  All you’re trying for is a statement.  Put something on the ballot and you will make a statement.  Whether it wins or loses, it won’t pass Congress.  Flip a coin.

Date: December 22, 2015 at 6:25:20 AM PST
To: Yoram Bauman <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

Hi Yoram,
What a difficult email this must have been for you to write.

i heard on the radio that Tom Steyer made a large donation to the Alliance – is that true? If all the sudden they have millions,I can see why you are asking this question.

As you outlined above, Carbon.Wa has a better program, that I think will be easier to sell in the long run, especially with BC having some experience. I’ll be disappointed.

I also agree with you that 2016 is not a year to be missed to get action done on this important issue.

Fear this is really a money and politics thing now. I hope you are able to get feedback from more than one Democrat before you make your decision; but I think that is the kind of feedback most relevant to your decision-making process. In my mind, the Inslee factor will be particularly important. I can appreciate your concern that having two ballot initiatives may make it so that neither passes, and commend you for strategic thinking with the main goal  in mind; a lesser person couldn’t do that.

Hope you are able to negotiate yourself into a leadership position where ever this goes. You’ve got good sense, and great energy, and selling the economic aspects of climate change is key to getting it done. I want to know where you end up, as the odd’s for success of that group will go up significantly.

Date: December 22, 2015 at 7:47:16 AM PST
To: Yoram Bauman <[email protected]>

Hello, Yoram — I will try and call today or tomorrow.  I saw your CarbonWA e-mail message.  We can discuss in some more detail.  Important policy decisions should never depend solely on polling.

Date: December 22, 2015 at 7:59:35 AM PST
To: Yoram Bauman <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

Dear Yoram,
I am only a $50 contributor who lives in Oregon and have not gathered a single signature, so my opinion should be weighted accordingly.  However, you asked for my opinion and I agree that it makes more sense to go with a measure that starts higher in the polls and has a larger coalition and funding base behind it.  I support keeping those 350,000+ signatures in special shrine, in testament to the CarbonWA’s magnificent tenacity, and filing the new ballot measure in January for the November ballot.

Best of luck to you and your wonderful group.

Date: December 22, 2015 at 7:33:25 AM PST
To: “[email protected]” <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

Hi Yoram,

Congratulations on ensuring that Washington State will be the first state in the country to vote on a carbon tax.  I’d love to join tonight’s call (as a listener) if you are okay with that.

Date: December 22, 2015 at 8:04:29 AM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

i’d like to join the conference call tonight. What an amazing campaign this has been and what a dramatic but incredibly sensible position to be in at this point. I look forward to hearing the sense of the group, but amm enormously grateful for your clear-eyed leadership.

Date: December 22, 2015 at 8:15:28 AM PST
To: Yoram Bauman <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

Hey Yorum.  I am out of the country and won’t be able to join today’s call.  I DO have some thoughts I want to share with you and a few others that I have copied.  I also want to know whether I can share your message that you sent openly or not at this time.  Please advise.


-First, I truly appreciate the honesty, deep thought, and obvious commitment to keeping your collective “eye on the ball” that the Ca Wa Exec Committee has shown.

-The message clearly points out where we are, how we got here, and a path forward

-In struggling with whether to proceed with presenting the signatures to the state or not, the Exec Committee is clearly choosing to pursue what is likely to be most effective and to move the ball forward in this Herculean battle rather than to sit on ego-driven rigidity.  Thank you for that

-I like an expression and shared it with doc leaders in all of the leadership training I did.  That expression is:  “Each of you needs to struggle with whether it is more important to be right or to be effective.”  The obvious conclusion is that one can remain “right” and all alone and ineffective or to give up a bit on being “right” and move towards collaborative change.

-Again, I have great respect both for you and for the Exec Comm for Ca Wa. I know it is not easy to be where you are, but in being completely transparent and honest about it you do us all a great service.

Thank you and Happy Holidays

Date: December 22, 2015 at 8:34:14 AM PST
To: Yoram Bauman <[email protected]>
Cc: Yoram Bauman <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: CarbonWA on the fence

Hi Yorum —

Happy holidays! Sorry to see you having to deal with such a momentous decision during this period…

First, as a non-Washington resident, you should of course not listen to me! But… I read your e-mail carefully and I can see the arguments both ways. That said, I hope you’ll stick to your revenue-neutral plan, and in brief here is why:

A real solution to global warming requires action in Washington DC, not just Washington State, and so if the state wants to influence the nation, it needs to do something that can serve as a national model. Regardless of the merits (and there are many) of the revenue-positive approach, and regardless of whether it can pass in a relatively liberal state like Washington, there’s just no way that this will carry the day with the current Republican congress.

In contrast, there’s at a least a hope that a revenue-neutral carbon tax might gain support in congress, especially with the push of many conservative economists and polls now showing that even a majority of Republican voters support action on global warming. After all, as you know, our current energy policies are essentially socialist  (spreading the true costs of fossil fuel use across society), so a solution that levels the market playing field should appeal to Republican politicians if we can just get them to listen (admittedly not easy!). But the moment that they can say “See, we told you all the liberals want to do is use this issue to raise your taxes,” we’ve lost all hope of bringing them aboard.

So to me, the choice for WA state comes down to a classic case of “the perfect is the enemy of the good”:

The revenue-positive approach may be the “perfect” solution, and It may be true that it can win in a relatively liberal state like WA. But it will do little if anything to build support for national action. Worse, I fear it would be counterproductive, because it will give Republicans the “I told you so” argument above — which could be especially damaging during the Presidential election year by deflecting attention from the real problem to the question of “what liberals want to do with your money.”
The Carbon WA approach has a real chance of serving as a national model if it passes, and during the 2016 presidential campaign it can be pointed to as a model with bipartisan support from economists.

I certainly hope you can convince the Alliance folks that they should support the “good” over the “perfect” in this case because it will help move the nation as a whole forward.   And if they don’t, and that causes your initiative to fail, I think that’s still arguably better than ending up with a model that won’t work nationally and that might damage the national cause during the presidential election year.

So that’s my 2¢… Any chance you can get Bill Gates, or Jeff Bezos, or etc to back the plan vocally (and financially)?

And if there’s anything I can do to help, including coming out there to speak to anyone, just let me know…

Date: December 22, 2015 at 8:37:03 AM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

Hi Yoram,

We would not be in this promising place were it not for your brilliant leadership. I thank you for that.

Based on your well written and clear explanation of the alternatives, my read and preference is to go with the alternative, the Alliance. There is something to like about keeping it simple by not going outside of the energy sector and shifting the relative economics toward cleaner. Increase the price of carbon and decrease the costs of solar/wind/etc.

I look forward to hearing your decision but will not be able to join the call tonight.

Date: December 22, 2015 at 8:38:20 AM PST
To: <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: CarbonWA on the fence

Well, this is a pill! Please send me the code for the conference call, so I can participate in appropriate ranting. ^^

Date: December 22, 2015 at 8:40:24 AM PST
To: “[email protected]” <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: CarbonWA on the fence

Hi Yoram:

My $0.02: turn the signatures in.  If they don’t release the full polling results, and they don’t have a specific ballot initiative, there is no guarantee that we’ll get a better one soon.  We should word it as best we can based on the polling, and then have a drive to support it.  There is no reason that the tax can’t be extended with fees in later years, or we can shift the policy once they are ready.  But we are out of time for the climate, and we need to move forward.

Events on the ground can make their own reality, and having this on the ballot will create new dynamics that aren’t possible to predict.  If this fails at the polls, we’ll learn a lot, and be ready for a joint CarbonWA/Alliance proposal that incorporates the learnings by the next ballot opportunity.

Date: December 22, 2015 at 8:41:21 AM PST
To: “‘Yoram Bauman’” <[email protected]>
Subject: Let’s work with the Alliance


I much prefer the revenue-neutral approach of Carbon WA and don’t like using carbon fees for needs loosely or not related to climate change, like education or “people of color” that the Alliance vaguely proposes.

THAT SAID- I-732 would appear to have a poor chance of passing in a vote next November.  Bipartisan support across the political spectrum in Washington has not materialized, despite considerable effort.  The main objective, in my  view, should be to get a price on carbon in Washington and the Alliance, with more money and support, has a better chance of its initiative passing.

I believe that I-732 should not submit the signatures gathered and encourage its supporters to work with the Alliance to have Washington be the first state in the nation to put a price on carbon.

Date: December 22, 2015 at 8:52:49 AM PST
To: “[email protected]” <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

Please don’t cave.  We worked hard, and it’s critically important to continue.

Date: December 22, 2015 at 8:56:18 AM PST
Subject: Re: More details – could carbonwa compromise?

I plan to join the call. [ ] and I got to talk with Kyle yesterday as well and it’s not an easy decision to make. Carbon WA deeply cares about the grassroots and wanted to make sure we have a say in the decision. Personally, [ ] and I are not attached to how the carbon tax scheme will appear on the ballot (I-732 or I-801) since the carbon pricing schemes are now essentially the same (gone is the cap and trade model which gives the polluters some rights to pollution). The main difference is I-732 is revenue neutral (we get money back through a 1% reduction in sales tax) while I-801 will redirect the funds to invest in clean energy projects (no reduction of sales tax).

One of the main difficulties CarbonWA is faced with is in assessing whether the unification of green movement support and resources will bring about a greater chance of success at the poll than the proposal of revenue-neutral scheme which appeals to people concerned about climate change but without any appetite for any more taxes. For left leaning greenies like me, taxing carbon pollution to fund infrastructure to transition away from fossil fuel dependency seems like a good thing. For others wary of ineffectual government spending, the lack of clarity regarding how the tax revenue will be spent and the feeling/perception of being over-burdened already by existing taxes may cause the initiative to lose some votes.

The attached polling results seem to show that the clever wording of the I-801 (avoiding any mention of the word “tax”) leads to higher yes votes, at least in the absence of counter attacks by the fossil fuel industry. But the concern about increased tax burden and govt spending can still be used later by the opponents to erode support or confuse the issue. Kyle and others at Carbon WA HQ seem to be assessing the political landscape very carefully and weighing the pros and cons of either option with thorough consideration and no ego, I feel. They just want a good carbon tax scheme to be a success. Not knowing much about the politics at the state level, I feel I am in no position to have a strong opinion about whether we should compromise. I sincerely trust though that Carbon WA leadership has success of a carbon tax scheme at the ballot as its primary objective, not any ego play.

As [ ] said, our hard work has led Carbon WA to come this far and convinced the green alliance to do away with the cap and trade scheme and instead adopt our carbon tax proposal and working family tax rebate. The decision on whether to compromise/unify, to be made within this next week or so, is crucial in determining its chance of success going forward.

I still feel awed and proud of how our little group can accomplish. Thank you [ ] for your awesome tenacity and leadership.

Date: December 22, 2015 at 9:06:22 AM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence


My advice, having run many campaigns over the years, is to stay with the plan and submit the signatures.

You and the team have done a great job. You did it by following your own playbook and it’s worked.

I believe you are overthinking the poll results, even if they are valid (what was the sample, have you seen the raw questionaire)?

A revenue neutral model makes sense. Incorporating social changes—no matter how worthy—poisons the well. Don’t let the politicos scare you off. Predictions for a year from now are meaningless. Events will help define the political climate

Date: December 22, 2015 at 9:10:06 AM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: Yes I would like the code for the phone call

My main question is, what with reassuring folks all year that ‘yes, this proposal will be revenue-neutral,’ and then there’s something on the ballot that’s not, will people think it’s the proposal they signed and feel that we lied to them?

Date: December 22, 2015 at 9:12:29 AM PST
To: Yoram Bauman <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: CarbonWA on the fence

Thanks for the email below. It’s very informative. Kudos for undertaking this discussion and decision-making. Fully agree with the last paragraph, without CarbonWA’s work this progress wouldn’t be happening. My thanks and congratulations.

Date: December 22, 2015 at 9:12:57 AM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

It’s extremely frustrating after all this work.

I was speaking with State Rep. [ ] (D) a few weeks ago, and she told me that legislative experts have determined that the WA Carbon measure, though designed to be revenue-neutral, was miscalculated, and would in fact be revenue-negative at a time when the state is already in a crisis from the Tim Eyman initiatives.

In hindsight I think the revenue-neutral approach was nice in principal, but guaranteed to be flawed in practice. No one can fine tune revenue neutrality into something as inflexible as an initiative. Just imagine if the cannabis legalization initiative had been linked to revenue neutrality. An utter disaster.

And honestly we need more revenue in this state. Desperately. And given what you are reporting – namely that Republicans are so ideological that they are unwilling to sign on to a revenue-neutral carbon tax, I say fuck them. We obviously do not need them.

My one remaining concern is that we withhold this one, and the other one does not get enough signatures, because signature collectors will be weary of starting all over, and perhaps signers a bit exasperated as well. If we hold these petitions back, can we bring them forward if the other effort fails? Or will they have legally expired by then?

Oh and one other concern. Is that other coalition going for a carbon tax, or for some stupid cap and trade scheme? Only a carbon tax will work. Just look at the European Union to see what a joke cap-and-trade is.

Date: December 22, 2015 at 9:19:26 AM PST
To: “[email protected]” <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: CarbonWA on the fence

Hey Yoram,
Please do send me the RSVP code. This email is really real and makes me a little sad – but a lot to ponder for tomorrow. I assume this is at 6pm PST, 9pm EST. Look forward to hearing from you tomorrow.

And just to clarify – sadness is more an emotional reaction to feeling like all the hard work may go “down the drain”. More broadly and practically, I have a ton of respect for you and the team for opening up this conversation and trying to be pragmatic about the best way forward instead of being attached to your own work and proposal. Of course you must feel all of this much more poignantly than an outsider looking in like me :).

I spoke with [ ] about this for a few minutes this morning, I don’t think he is going to join the call this evening but he echoed his admiration to the CarbonWA team for the thought and transparency at this important juncture, and his support of you with whatever the outcome. We’re all looking forward to hearing about where we go from here.

Date: December 22, 2015 at 9:20:19 AM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence


Please submit I-732 to the legislature. Revenue-neutral is key to gather bipartisan support. A failure wouldn’t set back the movement and this will not fail, unlike the alternative revenue-positive approach.

After following this for years, the fact you are even considering not submitting is offensive.

Date: December 22, 2015 at 9:21:38 AM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence


Here are my concerns:

1. Poling is inherently biased toward land-lines, and not cell-phones, so, it misses the main young constituency.  I am sure you are already aware of this.

2. The compromise proposal isn’t in writing anywhere that I could find (WA secretary of state’s web site).  I am sure you are well aware of this!  It is hard to consider compromising with a proposal that has no ballot title, description, or written text.  I would have to vote “NO COMPROMISE” unless I can see and read the text, ballot title, and description, well before the December 30 planned turn-in date.

3. Turning in the signatures would give the legislature 3 options: (1) pass I-732 into law; (2) put it on the November ballot; (3) put it on the November ballot with an alternative, which the legislature would draft. Right?  Option 3 is starting to look better and better, and I am wondering if it would make sense to turn in the signatures and push for the legislature to draft an alternative that would clearly provide adequate revenue for education, enforcement of environmental law, etc.  I would be happier with an alternative carefully drafted by the legislature.

Keep up the good work!

Date: December 22, 2015 at 9:33:14 AM PST
To: Yoram Bauman <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

Hi Yoram,

Wow, this is a shock to me, a relative outsider/low participating volunteer.

My sense is that its too risky to trust the Alliance to launch next month when CarbonWa has done years of active work to get carbon on the ballot. They’ve been pussyfooting around, lacking all specifics and generally just trying to throw a cog in our wheels because they are the establishment.

Another concern: If we abandon all the signature gathering and fundraising work, can it ever be replicated if a direct initiative fails? Will the hundreds of volunteers involved ever trust leadership to do something like this again? Will carbon look like a huge failure in our State?  A joke?

My gut reaction is to be angry at the Alliance, and really disappointed. Kinda like a kid not getting what they want on Christmas. I know that’s not the whole picture of a rational response!

This all being said, you and the EC are the experts. If you trust there’s a higher chance of success partnering with the Alliance, or at least deferring to them, then I would understand. I just feel like it’s such a shame, and that CarbonWa has done the right thing all along.

Date: December 22, 2015 at 9:40:26 AM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: Code

Hi Yoram,

I’m up in the mountains, but I want to understand what is going on. They must have done some serious talking to change your and the ec’s minds.

I would like the code to call in. I will just listen, or try to, but am very curious.

Thanks for your amazing work. You are a true climate hero regardless of what the decision is.

Date: December 22, 2015 at 9:40:58 AM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: Yoram,I collected signatures for 732. I have written many letters/editorials about the need to raise the price of fuel.

Wa and the U.S are missing a monumental chance to raise the price of fuel with the low prices at record lows. Are we crazy?
This editorial was printed 12/19 in the Yak Her Rep. I met you at [ ] and saw your perform at [ ].
Please take the time to read the following.


Have you heard the saying, “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”? There is no hell like the one humans are creating on our Mother Earth. We are polluting, extracting, overpopulating, consuming, heating up the planet, and the oceans are rising. Scientists are telling us that this is “crunch” time. Business as usual will only accelerate the death spiral. If you think there is a problem now with immigration wait until we have to relocate hundreds of millions of people from mega cities and low lying countries.

I hear that god almighty made the world in six days and then rested on the seventh day. Seems to me this god could just snap her fingers and fix anything but She ain’t a gonna fix it! “Fixing” is up to “us”. Where to from here? Shall we pray for the rapture?

Here are some random ideas to address the above problems:
An estimated 225,000 million more women of child bearing age could be provided birth control for about 10 billion dollars a year. It is time for a world of intentional children.
We should use our technology to produce a non toxic substance to put in our fuel supply and feed for cattle that would have a color so that people could see CO2/pollution as it comes out the tail pipes. Beef cattle are a major methane contributor. How about a lovely blue, green, red or yellow? A picture is worth a thousand words. This is a billion dollar idea for the entrepreneur who capitalizes on it.
Stop giving 40-50 billion dollars of taxpayer money in subsidies to the self-serving fossil fuel industry.
Freeze the national debt and begin to accelerate paying it down by raising the price of fuel 25 cents a gallon for the next eight years. Some of the tax increase could fund a massive living wage jobs program to fix our crumbling transportation infrastructure. Anyone for universal single payer health care? Having less debt will enable us to prepare for relocating millions of people from low-lying areas near the oceans.
The U.S military budget has been in excess of 650 billion dollars a year for the last 12 years. 44% of our income tax dollars goes for military spending. Our military is one of the biggest CO2 emitters in the world. We should take 50 billion dollars a year out of the bloated defense budget and divide it among the fifty states to build efficient, fossil fuel free, sustainable communities. The competition would be fierce and would get worldwide attention.
If we are really serious about peace let’s show the world by setting up a Cabinet Level Department of Peace across from the Secretary of Defense/Offense.
All organized religions the world over should be required to have an open dialogue about the above life threatening issues or forfeit their tax exempt status.

Enlightenment is everyone’s birthright. Bring it on! Love our Mother!

Date: December 22, 2015 at 9:45:26 AM PST
To: <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

I know this is an unbelievably difficult time for you and all of us working on climate and clean energy. I just want to let you know how much I appreciate the way you crafted your message to the grassroots. Your message is honest, fair and hopeful for the future. Thanks for all you do.

Date: December 22, 2015 at 9:47:04 AM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

Well written. Thank you for your diligence and transparency. I will not be able to attend and have only given money, not time or expertise, so feel like my voice is much less important than many others.
I trust you and your expertise. My biggest worry is that your proposal was obviously very well thought through and comprehensive. I don’t understand what the alternative really is (sounds like they don’t either), and it seems unlikely to have the care put into it in the remaining time. I worry that without a concrete alternative, it may not actually happen.
But I trust you. If you and the main people involved believe that we should support the alternative and it has a better chance of going through – I’m behind you. It’s hard to step away from something that you’ve invested time in.

What would make me feel even better is if you do drop I-732, then if you help shape the alternative.

Thanks again. On a personal note, you and your work has been inspiring to me lately and has me thinking about actual career change. To the point I’ve actually been meeting with people about new jobs around sustainability. Thanks.

Date: December 22, 2015 at 9:47:11 AM PST
To: <[email protected]>
Subject: So impressed.

Hi Yoram –
I don’t know if you remember me from [ ] eons ago.  My husband and I were starting-gate enthusiasts for CarbonWA, and I am in awe of the determination and thought with which you have carried forward what seemed like a mission impossible.

I am even more in awe of the fact that after galvanizing this effort and attaining the historic and heroic goal of getting the signatures needed for I-732, you are now inviting the whole community of impassioned volunteers and funders to pivot to an approach with higher odds of success.  In doing so you are telling the world (or me at least) that your commitment to the planet trumps all else, even the emotional investment and pride any of us has in a project birthed, even the sense of betrayal that some who have followed you may feel.  I’m not sure that I personally could rise to that.

Like you, I suspect the Alliance would still be wringing hands and waffling, were it not for the fact that the success of CarbonWa forced their hand.  And like you, I would rather that we could pass a revenue neutral bill.  But the young folks around me who are passionate about climate are particularly passionate about “climate justice”  about the idea of generating revenue that can be used to mitigate impacts on low income communities who are already experiencing the consequences of carbon pollution, like asthma and god knows what else.  I personally find it hard sometimes to focus on remediation for human communities when our whole planetary life support system is collapsing.  But I get it. And so, with no regrets, I will throw my support behind the Alliance effort, which I also think is great policy.

-All of which is to say, you get fucking huge hero points from me here.

Date: December 22, 2015 at 9:48:08 AM PST
To: “[email protected]” <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

Thank you for the very thoughtful and thorough message, Yoram.

At this point, in my view, the decision is all about the polling.  If the latest polling information that you have shared with us is accurate and highly dependable, then the decision to form a new coalition and abandon I-732 seems plausible.  The big question in my mind is the true statistical reliability of the recent poll.

Last summer, at a sneaky event held by a false-fronted organization that we offered space to at [ ], we witnessed a very poorly worded poll that was taken with a bias lead up right under our noses.  We found out later that the secretive organization [ ] was a part of the Alliance, which was at the time against I-732.  Not long after this event, WEC and Washington Conservation Voters later claimed that the Alliance had took similar polls across the State -including here [ ], all of which they said pointed to stronger interest in a revenue positive fee and clean energy/clean water plan.  I think we would have heard of any other poll taken [ ], but all that we knew of was this single poorly executed poll taken at our [ ].  We know that the [ ] group of folks polled at [ ] was already bias toward doing such work from the structure of that unique one-time meeting invitation and by the meeting conduct by people from the Alliance.  The attendees were all women (by special invitation from the group [ ] which had never before been active [ ]), and we suspect that the attendees were most likely already left leaning.

Given our witness to such shoddy polling experience [ ] by the Alliance last summer, I am therefore quite skeptical of any polling information coming from the Alliance. At least one and probably other polls that they took last summer were bogus polls in my view.  Therefore, I have specific questions about the recent polling information that is leading us to consider a major position shift:

When was the latest poll taken?
Who took the poll? What are their credentials and historical success rate at polling ? Are they independent pollers or are they largely engaged by a particular type of group with a certain bias leaning?
What were the questions asked of the people taking the pole and exactly what introductory message was provided to them?
Where was the poll taken geographically?
How was the poll taken?  Was it done on the street?  On the phone?  At organized meetings?  If organized meetings, what type of meetings organized by whom and in what setting?
Was the poll sampling random?
Did the poll sampling closely match the demographics of our State voting public?  Is there proof?

If the poll was not taken randomly across the State in a way that matches our traditional State voting demographics, without any prelude or introduction, and by a highly reputable independent polling firm, then I don’t think we should be basing our decision on such polling.

So, in my case, I need a lot of information on the conduct of the polling before I can make a decision to jump to the other side of the fence.

Date: December 22, 2015 at 9:48:22 AM PST
To: Yoram Bauman <[email protected]>
Subject: Fwd: CarbonWA on the fence

[ ], one of our more thoughtful and prolific and energy market knowledgable team members wrote the attached MSWord doc.

Good read and I tend to agree. Average person didn’t take Eco 201 or even 101.

Average person wants to see $$ directed to tangible programs.

To ally with the Alliance, or not to ally?

The Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy and Carbon Washington are similar in some ways, but different in most.

The Alliance pulls the heartstrings of mostly Democrats for not only clean energy, but also racial and social equality. CarbonWA attempts to create visions of a broken marketplace that is cleaned up by unleashing generally accepted, but very cerebral, economic principles and models that are relied upon to persuade citizens to enact a unique kind of tax.

Key questions:

Is CarbonWA’s universe of potential supporters broad enough? A: In theory, yes. It was to be bipartisan and include protections for the poor, as well as being essentially painless for everyone. We have to look closely at how this has played out, to-date. Hard data suggest that the CarbonWA constituency is falling short.

Have Republicans embraced CarbonWA’s approach in significant numbers? A: Not that we can see or effectively advertise. Not sure that the reality matches the original CarbonWa vision for bipartisanship.

Does the CarbonWa plan appeal to most citizens? A: The CarbonWA plan is beyond what most citizens think about day-to-day. Some – mostly Democrats – will knee-jerk embrace it because it has to do with protecting the environment. But for most citizens, the mechanism for slowing the burning of fossil fuel is not something that they think about. It kind of goes “boing” in their head first time around and they have to think about it – along with all the other things clamoring for attention in their busy lives.

Does either carbon tax organization have a pre-existing organization to leverage – a kind of force-multiplier for enacting a carbon tax, based on additional alignments, already in place? A: CarbonWA appears to be something new to most citizens, with the exception of CCL. Meanwhile, the Alliance leverages relationships with many pre-existing health, employment, social, and racial-advocacy organizations and businesses.

Does the idea of “giving back the tax” – the carbon tax that does not collect any new, additional tax – make sense to citizens? A: At first glance, it sounds like an oxymoron, to the average person. Governments are in business to collect and spend. The idea of having a tax for the purpose of a “price signal-only” sounds abstract and foreign. What the Alliance proposes aligns better with what people already think: governments tax and spend. To claim otherwise often appears deceptive and dishonest.

Should CarbonWA throw its support behind the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy? A: Mostly, we want to place a higher price on burning carbon. The question is, what way of pricing carbon has the most appeal, and stands the best chance of enactment? The Alliance method smacks of politics as usual. In this sense, it is a disappointment. However, the CarbonWA approach may smack of elitism and abstractness and never quite connect with the average citizen. We have had about a year’s worth of time to try out the CarbonWA platform in public. Polls are gathering data on how it is going. I think we need to pay attention to how we’re doing. Poll results suggest the CarbonWA approach may be falling short. Now, we are faced with the real possibility of pitching in with the Alliance. If so, it will have a whole different feel to the campaign than what we have known before. We’re going to have to try on that Alliance mantel and see if it fits. It’s a different flavor. It may mean more politics as usual. It’s a disappointment. But joining the Alliance may be the Realpolitik needed to get on with placing a price on carbon.
Date: December 22, 2015 at 9:48:52 AM PST
To: “[email protected]” <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: CarbonWA on the fence

Hi Yoram, I admire your integrity, courage and humility. I would be honored to be a part of the 6pm call. Let me know if you want me to contribute in any specific way.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 9:51:22 AM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: tonight’s call

My first reaction is not happy…to go full speed ahead, but I have an open mind and will listen to the discussion.
Please send me the code for the call this evening.
Thanks for all you have done, for getting this movement this far.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 10:10:07 AM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence


I will be [ ] with family this afternoon/evening and will not be able to be a part of your call.

All along, I have supported the CarbonWA revenue-neutral approach.  Primarily, I felt that it had a better chance with the legislature – I felt that a non-revenue-neutral approach certainly had zero chance there.  I also think that it is the only approach that has any hope of passage at the national level (presuming we are thinking of setting a precedent).

As you point out, however, the likelihood is that this will go to the ballot in any case.  From what you indicate, the Alliance approach has a considerably better chance of passage in that case.  That would seem to be a no-brainer.  My only reservation is that the Alliance doesn’t really have a specific proposal on the table yet to be rating for its appeal.  The most appealing part may simply be its current lack of specificity.  I worry that its appeal might change as specific details are worked out.

I trust the judgment of your group as it decides how to proceed.  In any event, I believe that we would not even be at the point we are without the work that CarbonWA has done on this issue.  I offer my sincere thanks for that!


Date: December 22, 2015 at 10:11:18 AM PST
To: Yoram Bauman <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence


Wow, what a difficult decision!!!  I trust your judgement, and that of your closest advisors, and the recent polling.

Let not the perfect become the enemy of the good.

If the Alliance’s proposal has a better chance with the voters of Washington, we should join with them in their effort.  None of our efforts in gathering signatures has been in vain, all to the good.  Washington will lead the nation!

Date: December 22, 2015 at 10:15:10 AM PST
To: “[email protected]” <[email protected]>
Subject: I-732

Dear Yoram;

How wonderful that we have reached the point where we can view our political position objectively and make informed decisions despite our attachment to the money and effort we have all put into I-732. We are human and this is a hard thing to do. Bravo!

I support merging with the Alliance and taking advantage of the influence our many signatures give us to influence the final joint proposal. I believe it is the right decision for our planet.

Thank you for all of your efforts to make significant carbon reduction a reality.

Date: December 22, 2015 at 10:15:49 AM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

Trust is the coin of the kingdom.

Dropping the effort will kill trust, regardless of what polls say.  It will not only alienate the hundreds of volunteers who have done the mind-numbing job of collecting signatures but will severely impede any future citizen based efforts to address social issues.

The proposal of the unions and the green establishment provides huge loopholes for the business-as-usual corruption of campaign contributions dictating policy.  That is probably why it gets the support of the establishment.

Your notice may serve to demonstrate that I-732 is an open and democratically run effort, in contrast to the secretive, inside game being played by the green establishment.  If so, good.

But yielding to political pressure and to polls will set carbon solutions back a decade. Those most concerned will have lost faith and trust. And rightly so.

Date: December 22, 2015 at 10:18:35 AM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: Carbon WA

yes, I support the Board’s thinking to step aside and support the Alliance’s initiative; my initial support was based on the Carbon WA being the only game in town at the time, now I feel it is more important to have a winning strategy to take to the voters in 2016, our best shot at getting a carbon measure passed in WA

thanks for all your hard work and dedication in getting us this far

Date: December 22, 2015 at 10:27:16 AM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: One additional question

I have one additional question:

How can we trust the Alliance after all the dirty tricks they pulled?  If we abandon our initiative now, they are free to change their minds about another initiative. What if they decide that it would further Inslee’s campaign if they wait another year, or if they include funding for transportation or schools?

Date: December 22, 2015 at 10:29:43 AM PST
To: <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: CarbonWA on the fence

Yoram, this is a remarkable mail, and a courageous one.

After reading it all the way through, twice :), I strongly support having Carbon WA throw all of its weight and momentum behind the alternate proposal that you have negotiated with the Alliance, because it’s clear that this approach will give us the highest likelihood of achieving the goal we’re all after: putting a price on carbon.

Thank you again for being open to the discussions of the past weeks, and for providing the leadership that got us all to this point – not only the folks supporting Carbon WA, but all of those who were stirred to action to bring the Alliance together and to the table.

If the call this evening is open to Carbon WA funders, not just volunteers, then please share the necessary information and I will join in. (If just for volunteers, I totally respect that.)

Date: December 22, 2015 at 10:30:57 AM PST
To: Yoram Bauman <[email protected]>
Subject: Heroic + Michael Bloomberg

Thanks for your email and call last night. So sorry to hear of your neck.

You, [ ] and the Executive Committee have led a heroic effort this last year. You have inspired and engaged hundreds of thousands of people to work for climate change.
I hope it is an abiding source of pride to you all. It should be. I am certainly very proud of my part in it.

I remain convinced that revenue neutral carbon tax is the best policy and has the best chance of winning. If we are not revenue neutral, the increased cost of fuel to average people will be used against us immediately. So, while our policy is more complex and includes no give-aways, it also does not hurt voters financially. Given that, I believe it is ultimately the best for the largest number of people.

While I know you are exhausted, I think it is too soon to give up on our policy. I think we should submit signatures and place it on the ballot.

I feel certain that, with professional political and marketing support, we can find a way to tell our story and find the funding and endorsements we need. Please consider exploring a path with experienced and successful campaign managers and marketing people before you pull the plug on our effort on December 30. Between key CarbonWA players, we should be able to identify first class marketing and advertising support ie full service agency. I would be glad to work to recruit someone.

As for funding:  Michael Bloomberg?

So as a pragmatist, I continue to believe we have the best chance of ultimately winning this election with a revenue neutral proposal. Why? Because most people act/vote in their self interest and revenue neutral is the only policy which does not cost voters any money.

Date: December 22, 2015 at 10:35:48 AM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence


As a member of [ ], and moderately successful (~250) volunteer signature gatherer for CarbonWA, I feel strongly you should turn in the signatures and go for the ballot.

I wouldn’t expect the measure to poll at greater than 40% right now and there is no guarantee that it will pass. But the time is right and the opportunity shouldn’t be missed in 2016.

This last year has seen great recognition of the issues of CO2 and climate change in policy makers, religious leaders, and the general public. This momentum will continue into 2016 and will create a strong wind pushing I-732 forward. Don’t miss this opportunity to educate voters and hopefully passed this fair, powerful, and well thought out initiative.

Date: December 22, 2015 at 10:36:03 AM PST
To: “[email protected]” <[email protected]>
Subject: Just a Note to Say how Impressed I am with Your Leadership!

Hello, Yoram,

I attended meetings of CarbonWa  few years ago and took part in some discussions.  I was always an advocate of a carbon tax that would allow for more money to be spent on infrastructure and remediation so I was won over to the position that the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy took in this debate.  Therefore, I have not been active in gathering signatures for CarbonWa.  But, I have remained on the mailing list and have been very happy to see the energy and hard work that went into gathering signatures for 732.

Your e-mail today summarizing the position of CarbonWa and the Alliance and presenting the options for what is the way forward is outstanding.  After all these years of working so hard to create this initiative and to push it to reality, you are able to stand back and try to think what will be best for the climate and the people of Washington.   Not many people could do this.

Whatever the CarbonWa Executive committee decides, you deserve enormous thanks for not only pulling all of this together and getting the carbon tax movement going, but also having the wisdom to be willing to join forces with an alternative view and organization.

Date: December 22, 2015 at 10:33:45 AM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

I understand but am disappointed. I just moved into the State and was delighted that someone was providing the leadership to follow BC’s model in the US. I won’t be as excited about the “easy” alternatives.

Date: December 22, 2015 at 10:37:00 AM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: Carbon

Turn in the signatures!  Leave the alternative as plan B.

Date: December 22, 2015 at 10:52:23 AM PST
To: Yoram Bauman <[email protected]>
Subject: In support

[ ] With the pull from the other end that hopefully ensures the Alliance will not go for some complex cap-and-trade, it seems a middle ground path is emerging.  As you know, I have always supported investment of some of the revenues in carbon-reducing activities.  Your message gives me additional confidence some will be invested in the carbon-soaking natural resources side of things, which my work over recent years convinced me is one of the most imperative needs for carbon revenues.  So all in all, I would count it a victory that CarbonWA has connected with somewhere in the area of three million Washingtonians with a climate message and far exceeded signature and fundraising goals. Thus I would support the decision to which you are leaning and unify forces with the Alliance and an alternative proposal.  This really will be what it takes to gain victory.

Date: December 22, 2015 at 10:53:53 AM PST
To: <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: CarbonWA on the fence


What’s missing from your analysis is the impact of success on the global climate politics, which is really the only thing that matters.  You’ve had strong support from members of Citizens’ Climate Lobby throughout the campaign because they understand that a carbon tax with border adjustments is capable of being transformative nationally and internationally.

I think CarbonWA should stay the course.  Passing I-732 would be far more valuable to the larger movement for rationale climate policy than passing some yet unspecified ballot initiative tailored to Washington State politics.

CarbonWA has proven the doubters wrong in qualifying the initiative.  Let’s prove them wrong again.

Date: December 22, 2015 at 11:01:02 AM PST
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

I am also out of state but was grateful for your thoughtful email.

I celebrate the heroism of [ ] the Executive Committee and hundreds of dedicated volunteers to create our amazing grassroots success this year. I am so proud to be a part of this effort and inspired to work along side all of you.

I believe we should submit our signatures and obtain a place on the ballot. This is a pragmatic decision. Why? Because the revenue neutral policy has the best chance of succeeding at the ballot box in November. Why? Because ultimately people act/vote in their self interest. The inherent weakness of a  revenue positive campaign is increased fossil fuel costs to ordinary people. Another tax that the opposition will gleefully and relentlessly emphasize. Those voters who are not committed to climate change will vote against spending more money.

So, I think the revenue neutral carbon tax will ultimately gain the widest support.

As the surveys have revealed, our greatest challenge is the simple messaging that is part of a good professional marketing and advertising campaign. We need to move from a grassroots campaign to a campaign managed by skilled professionals who have the demonstrated ability to run a successful campaign. That includes fundraising and marketing. As I learned in my businesses, just because I couldn’t imagine it, doesn’t mean it can’t be done. We need specialists!

I believe our revenue neutral policy has the best chance of success. We just need to engage seasoned professionals for the next chapter.

Thanks for your consideration.

Date: December 22, 2015 at 11:06:25 AM PST
To: Yoram Bauman <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

Hi Yoram,
I am concerned about relying on a poll to decide whether to go ahead with I-732 or not.

Polls have become increasingly problematic as people with land lines use caller ID to screen calls and more and more people give up their land lines entirely. Or was the poll that was taken an internet poll?

Just something to consider. I have copied part of an article about polling below.

A-poll-calypse Now

Date: December 22, 2015 at 11:20:20 AM PST
To: Yoram Bauman <[email protected]>
Subject: Tough decision!

Thanks for your honest and detailed analysis of the current situation.  Indeed a tough decision needs to be made.  Let me emphasize that my comments and opinions below do not reflect any special knowledge of politics, voter polling reliability, campaign tactics/financing or even the economics of various climate change policies, all of which are critical here.

First, whatever the decision, no one at any level of this effort should feel discouraged or let down.  Carbon Washington’s impact state wide on climate issues has been profound and everyone involved – and many not directly involved – knows this.  The final paragraph of your memo says this very eloquently.

Second, you may be justifiably discouraged by a lack of support from various business, community and media groups.  And this may indeed be due to opposition to the carbon-neutral approach.  But it may also be due to the understandable tendency of waiting to commit until all potential proposals are on the table.  Carbon Washington may be in a bind here; I-732 needs to be submitted before the end of the year, and the Alliance’s proposal can – and surely will – delay specifics until January.  Alas the difference between initiatives to the legislature and to the people put I-732 at a severe disadvantage.  I’m assuming here – but don’t know for sure – that once the signatures are submitted, withdrawing or altering the proposal is not possible.

Third, although I don’t totally discount voter polls, when conducted long before any real public action, I don’t take them too seriously.  As the election draws nearer, climate issues will be much more on voter radar screens and polling numbers may change.  Not to say they will change, but making significant decisions largely based on early polling is questionable in my opinion.

Fourth, The Alliance proposal – although unknown in any detail – may well have a surface appeal that a revenue-neutral proposal lacks.   “Clean Air, Clean Water” or “Fees to Clean Energy Projects, Healthy Forests, etc” fit bumper stickers better than “Tax Policy” stuff, or “Revenue-Neutral” details.   (Alas, I reveal my age when I recall a time when serious political discussions were common in public campaigning.)   Also we all know money determines much in politics, so judging the relative eventual financial support of different proposals is a major factor that I can’t judge.

Lastly, although I may be paranoid, I still think climate change deniers or do-littles still exist and it would be unfortunate if withdrawing I-732 resulted in an eventual Alliance proposal that was a weaker version of what we were led to believe.  But it would also be unfortunate – very unfortunate – if having two proposals doomed both.  Personally I think I-732 is by far the best approach on many levels and wish it submitted.  Then I would wish a serious public climate change conversation happens in 2016, and then finally wish at least one of the proposals wins in November.  If those more knowledgeable than I deem my last two wishes not possible, I’m OK with that and will respect whatever decision is made.

Date: December 22, 2015 at 11:21:39 AM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: Your Upcoming Decision – CarbonWA or the Alliance Alternative

Talk about a difficult decision!  Kind of like playing a poker hand…

– [ ] and I support whatever decision you come to as to how to proceed.
– Getting some kind of carbon reduction measure(s) in place is the goal, no matter what the process/mechanism.
– We live in Yakima (Tim Eyman’s hometown), so perhaps I’m influenced by being surrounded by E. WA majority conservative voters, but I’m skeptical that a revenue-positive Alliance alternative initiative will be approved by the voters in Nov. 2016.
– The I-732 CarbonWA revenue-neutral approach is more likely to ultimately be approved, in my opinion, but apparently it need ‘expensive’ explanation to simplify it for the average voter.
– If the Alliance groups simply won’t offer their weight of support for helping pass I-732, then our CarbonWA initiative might not get adequate explanation and might then fail on next fall’s ballot.
– I support what the Alliance wants to do, but I worry that their optimism will not prove to be realistic, and that their approach will be rejected by the voters – who have proven in our last election that they are in favor of tax reduction and against new revenue (tax or fee increase) measures.
– Perhaps (from my perspective) in many ways the best of the two alternatives would be the Alliance alternative, but I fear it will fail.
– If the Alliance would strongly support I-732, the most realistic of the two alternatives, I-732 would get its expensive explanation to the voters, and would likely be approved on the fall 2016 ballot.
– I-732 is clearly the most palatable to WA conservatives, though conservatives might simply oppose it in principle.
– WA Conservatives will DEFINITELY oppose the Alliance alternative.

Whichever direction the CarbonWA Executive Committee decides to go, our work this year has not been wasted.  Our work has been important and fruitful and has gotten us to a good place in our goal to reduce WA State carbon emissions.

Thanks for all you’ve done.

Date: December 22, 2015 at 11:30:51 AM PST
To: “[email protected]” <[email protected]>
Subject: Reply to your Dec. 22nd email re: what to do with the ballots:

You have the polls, so you are certainly way ‘ahead’ of me…knowing the best route to go, and I will certainly support whatever decision’s finally made!

But here’s a couple thoughts anyway:   I probably collected in the neighborhood of 500 (?…never kept track, really, just kept turning them in…I’m abit curious to find out just what I DID do, once all have been counted (?!).  But regardless…nearly ‘all’ the folks I explained the revenue-neutral tax bit to, thought it was a great idea.  I’d say 99% thought it’d be terrific to have the sales tax go down 1% (“wow…that’d be neat!”).   I think I only had 3…maybe 4…(out of 500?) that didn’t like the idea of the sales tax going DOWN (which I thought was ‘odd’…’strange’…etc., as I figured EVERYONE would love that…?!).  They were concerned that we “needed” that tax money to pay for schools and other good things, etc.—even tho I’d try to explain to them that the Carbon tax on “industries” would be used to fill any voids.   But no matter how I’d explain it, ‘some’ people (like I say, 3-4 out of 500) just wouldn’t ‘get it’.   Which…that small a figure (in MY experience, anyway) I just wouldn’t worry about….

But you’ve taken far ‘bigger’ polls than my tiny amount, so I’m sure you know far better than me how people would react come 2016 voting time.   I’m just saying that, per ‘MY’ experience, I had a great deal of enthusiasm for the revenue-neutral tax idea.  When explained, for the most part people understood it and liked  it.   Thought it was a great idea!  But again, you know what the POLLS show…I don’t…and I would go by ‘that’.

One other comment:  you say most voters will be too busy in 2016 with the President, etc., to really ‘check I-732 out’ (which may be the case…and sadly it takes a lot of money to advertise it), but there’s roughly 11 months before the elections.  But maybe a program of ‘free’ articles should be started.   Or bombarding ‘countless’ Letters to the Editor of significant State newspapers, could be set up for between now and next November to get the message out (?).   I just sent one in to the Bellingham Herald yesterday explaining my enthusiasm for the recent 195-country climate agreement in Paris; the inclusion of Bill Gates and his 20 billionaire buddies; Elon Musk’s statement that ‘revenue-neutral carbon tax’ was the only way to go ‘all over the world’—and then I added that that’s exactly what was doing here in Washington (!).  (I crammed a bunch of thoughts into their rather limited “1400 characters” space!—plus the Herald allows only 1 letter per month per person—but, heck, that’s 10-11 letters from ME between now and next November…if you like (!).   In short…maybe a program of as-cheap-as-possible advertising could be set up to “inform” the voters between  now and Nov., 2016, so  they’d ‘fully understand’ what they were voting on (?).   Just a thought…

But whatever’s decided is fine with me.   The MAIN thing is to get some type of continually-rising ‘carbon tax’, or ‘fee’, on INDUSTRIAL CARBON EMISSIONS so they’ll start dropping in Washington like they have in B.C. the past 7 years (some 16-19%)…and SO THAT these same industries will start taking whatever steps they need do… “prevent” the emissions in the first place.  Those are MY goals, anyway (!).

Anyway, do whatever’s best (!).

Date: December 22, 2015 at 11:35:54 AM PST
To: “‘Yoram Bauman’” <[email protected]>
Subject: What?!?!?! Surely you are joking

NOT turn in the 350,000 signatures gathered on I-732? Surely you are joking!

Failure to turn in those signatures will lose the faith of tens of thousands of volunteer signature-gatherers, and signers of I-732. Both gatherers and simple signers will feel betrayed. This is not a way forward to carbon taxing in Washington state.

I get it about the polling, and the Alliance groups are very savvy about political polling.

However, failing to certify I-732 now that the effort has been successful, and failing to go forward with this, will destroy the support of too many people who will be needed if we are to pass any kind of carbon tax.

You are headed toward MASS CONFUSION, which is a different way to say WE LOSE.

Date: December 22, 2015 at 11:41:50 AM PST
To: <[email protected]>
Subject: Please send me the conference call code


First, the most urgent matter: please send me the info to get on the conference call this evening for Q & A.

Thank you for all your efforts in pulling this initiative effort together. It’s been a huge and valiant effort, and congratulations on getting the needed 350,000 signatures! That is no small accomplishment. I also want to thank you for the recent thoughtful email about the new situation we are in. Here’s the bottom line for me:


The details are important, and we can quibble about the pros and cons of each proposal ad nauseam, but much more important than the details to me is that the climate change community should get together on a single measure, and we should all fight, on the same page, for the same thing. The important thing is that we GET SOMETHING PASSED. I have been frustrated and angry that the Alliance has not supported our efforts.

So I really appreciated the last email. This CarbonWA measure is your baby. You have poured your life into this for the last several months, and I know you really believe in it (as do I). My hats off to you and the Executive Committee for having the humility to be willing to put all this effort aside to join in with the Alliance on a new effort. I know that is not an easy decision. I only hope they are right that their proposal is more likely to pass. Certainly it is in the sense that anything is more likely to pass when we all get behind one measure.

In the end, your (our) efforts have not been in vain. You summed it up well in the last paragraph. By gathering enough signatures to get this on the ballot, you have spurred the Alliance into action. If what you have achieved by this whole effort is to unite the climate change community behind a measure – any carbon-price measure – that is on the ballot in 2016, then it has been worth it.

Thank you for all you are doing. One question: can we still submit those signatures later if it turns out that something happens with the Alliance’s measure?

Date: December 22, 2015 at 11:44:55 AM PST
To: <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: CarbonWA on the fence

Holy smoke! I do not envy the position you are in and my heart goes out to you with  the hope that clarity comes.

So first some words of reflection which may or may not prove helpful…
Saw a movie recently on Netflix called Jackie & Ryan, where Ryan is a train-hopping busker. Jackie wonders aloud how  all the choices she has made got her to where she is. Ryan does not understand. He never  wonders how he got “here.” Every day he says “Where am I going to go next? How am I going to get there? Felt to me like it was a potent forward-looking approach. Another line that comes to me is Gandhi’s “The only tyrant I listen to is the still voice within.” All this to say that the voice that has impelled you thus far is probably the source of the greatest wisdom.

That said, here are some thoughts from my perspective:
·         A tax is far easier to implement – between pricing mechanisms, I favor it because of its simplicity
·         You have laid out specifics far more so than the Alliance has, and I would submit to you that for any initiative, the more detailed it is, the more likely the poll numbers will drop
·         Signing up for their pledge feels a little like signing on a “trust me” line and I think that is manifest in the polls – you need to try and account for the drop-off with more specifics
·         I think a compelling piece of the alternative is “significant portions of the fee revenue going to fund clean energy projects, clean water projects, and forest health.” It makes the price psychologically more coherent when you know it is being spent on something to boost clean energy
·         I would also encourage talking with [ ] about both moving forward for the following benefit. If only one moves forward, then the choice in people’s mind is “whether to pursue an option.” If two options move forward, then the decision shifts to “which option to choose,” leaving the “whether” behind as a foregone conclusion. I would consult with a behavioral psychologist on this. In that case the focus shifts from  your proposal winning, but the value comes from keeping the pressure on to choose one.

Hope this is of some value.

Date: December 22, 2015 at 11:47:10 AM PST
To: “[email protected]” <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: CarbonWA on the fence

This is not an easy decision. I spoke to a member of the Alliance at the Climatefest event at Western Washington University in October, and I learned more about their objectives and how critical they are when mapping the future of Washington’s climate policies.

I’m inclined to support the Alliance’s position given that there is no solid indication that the legislature will pass I-732.

Thank you for the detailed analysis of the campaign. I am confident the executive committee will make the right choice for the citizens of Washington.

Date: December 22, 2015 at 11:55:36 AM PST
To: “[email protected]” <[email protected]>
Subject: CarbonWA on the fence

Dear Yoram,

Thank you for your email.  I am a professor of political science at [ ], a political economist by training, teaching and researching on climate change policy in the US, China and around the world.  While my position makes in inappropriate for me to work on signature gathering, I have followed your initiative closely, discussed it with my students and hope to host a public forum on the topic once the ballot is clear.  As someone with some expertise in the area, I thought I would share my perspective.

The phrase “pricing carbon” has become somewhat misleading as very different policy instruments have been lumped under the same term.  But we know that a broad tax on use will have a much stronger impact on behavior than a fee on a limited number of producers.  So from the policy studies side (an I know that you know this) the tax you have proposed is far more likely to move Washington State GHG emissions toward where the Governor says he wants them to be.  If the fee system as articulated by both Inslee and the Alliance includes cap and trade options, it is likely that the effectiveness gap between the two approaches will grow even wider.  Taxes are much more efficient and effective carbon pricing tools than carbon markets.  The theoretical literature and the empirical evidence from other places make this clear.

This leaves the political questions which economists might ignore but I take very seriously.  Polls are not very useful at this point.  Only one initiative even exists and the campaign is still in its infancy.  So I think it is useful to consider some scenarios.

If you back down, the best case scenario is that the Alliance and the Governor get something on the ballot and it passes.  But this will be a less effective policy than yours and, in my opinion, less effective than what we need.  If you back down, the worst case scenario is  that, whatever the Alliance puts forward is defeated.  This is made even more likely because with the pressure off, the Governor and his allies may back off and look beyond 2016.  Inslee spoke to a select group of students about climate change last week and I attended as the moderator for our campus.  While he talked in moving ways about Paris, he avoided any discussion of putting something on the ballot in November.  Clearly he will have other priorities for the November 2016 election and I think the Alliance will follow his lead.  So they may delay.  But an off year election is far less likely to be successful.

Now to the scenarios if you stay on the ballot.  Worst case is that you go head to head with another initiative.  This could complicate things.  But those complications could actually increase the chances that one or both pass.  This would require that you clearly advocate that your supporters vote yes on both initiatives.  I am not an expert on WA state politics but I don’t see anything wrong with this.  And the collective publicity is both a short and long term plus.  Of course, the best scenario is that you end up as the only initiative on the ballot for any one of a number of reasons.  This would present all stakeholders (including the Alliance and the Governor) with a choice to support or oppose your imitative.  If they decide to oppose, they have to tell their constituents that we are better off waiting than supporting a policy mechanism that has been proven to work.  I don’t think they will take that path.  Even if you lose, this could unite the climate change community behind the idea of a tax, the details of which they could develop and propose themselves down the road.  While the delay would be unfortunate, getting everyone behind a tax would be an existential good in its own right.  And, there is always the possibility that you will win in November 2016.

So my analysis is that you should go forward with your signature submission.  While there are some potential negatives, they are less negative than the potential negatives if you back down (nothing on the ballot or a an insufficient policy outcome).

If you are on the ballot, I hope you will consider coming to speak on our campus in the spring as part of our educational events around the issue.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 12:13:57 PM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

Dear Yoram,
First, thank you deeply for all your efforts on this.
I support submitting the signatures for the revenue neutral approach. If it works or not, it is the best effort. The caution of the Alliance is based on not trusting the political process. It will never get better. The political process at its best deals only with incremental change regarding issues immediately in front of us. Climate change is neither of those. It requires immense international change. The consequences of inaction are not immediate. They are the gradual erosion of the planet’s ability to sustain life. Gradual. It is already happening to many animals, and even to some human societies. The fundamental issues are well known, and as the UN put it, are essentially growth of population and economic development. We will soon appreciate that we cannot rely on political processes to save us, our children, and other living beings. Sooner is better.

Date: December 22, 2015 at 12:15:26 PM PST
Subject: Your Message / Feedback / The Code, Please

Wow !  I’m in SEA and driving down I-5 this eve and will try to join the call, so please send me the code.

You and the EC have clearly given this lots of thought. My short number of questions and suggestions are below. I hope someone brings them up…

1. Why not go forward with BOTH proposals ?  Two advantages I see:   It might force the Legislature to have a more serious discussion about carbon pricing than if just I-732 or the Alliance proposal was on the table.  Second, it would put the subject of carbon pricing in the media for much of 11 months rather than just a 3 month campaign in the Fall.

2. Related in part to the above, I think it’s rare that bold new ideas get embraced by a preoccupied public the first time around — especially if they are complex like carbon pricing.  Absent a clear crisis, they need to be hammered relentlessly over a long time to overcome apathy and be understood.  But you have to start sometime — and the 2016 legislative session might as well be it ! — and the continue the discussion into early Nov.

3. You mentioned not having resources to carry the message. Two thoughts:  money follows the perception of success, and $$ can come from unexpected places.  I-732 / carbon pricing in WA will be unique in 2016., and $$ from rich, bold people (across the entire political spectrum) flows to unique, focused efforts.  You’ll never know if you shelve I-732.

4. Submitting the signatures will give you the opportunity to clarify and sharpen your message — which is needed. One learning from gathering signatures was that I-732 is difficult to explain in 5-10 secs. When you figure out how to do this, Washingtonians will either love it more (or hate it more), and your polling results should show this clearly.

I hope some of this is helpful. I’m sure you and the EC are tired/ burned out.  You deserve to be; you’ve all done an incredible job !!  We all see it, and appreciate it !  Whatever decision you and the EC make will be embraced.

Date: December 22, 2015 at 12:26:03 PM PST
To: “[email protected]” <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: CarbonWA on the fence

Dear Yoram,

While I believed strongly in the simplicity of the revenue neutral tax and the possibility of a bipartisan approach to fighting climate change, more than anything I want to see some kind of real, substantive laws passed in 2016 that will reduce carbon emissions.  If the Alliance approach is actually going to happen and has the greatest chance passing, then we should unify around that proposal.  I was very worried about having dual initiatives running next November which might split the vote and doom both approaches.

I must say I am very disappointed in the lack of support by environmental organizations and people who should be out in front supporting this (where was Bill Gates?), but in this day and age it is perhaps the bipartisans that are out-of-touch idealists.  The Sierra Club prided itself on sinking the “roads and transit” initiative and holding out for the transit only initiative that ultimately passed and will send light rail to Bellevue and beyond. Hopefully the Alliance will have similar luck with its approach.

Thank you for leading the carbon tax effort.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 12:26:54 PM PST
To: Yoram Bauman <[email protected]>
Subject: RSVP- would like to participate in conference call; please consider these thoughts.

Dear I-732 campaign,

Thank-you for all dedication and hard work!  Your humility, considering deferring to the Alliance, is noble.  However I-732 is the best initiative because:

1)      I-732 is the right policy and this is the best chance for it in the U.S. Lobbying the legislature should be the focus not the public.

2)      I-732 is timely; it uses the focus/momentum of the Pope’s encyclical, COP21 and the voices/education of 350,000 citizens.   Time is of the essence.  We shouldn’t spend it sitting, waiting and watching.  Who knows where the populace focus will be in nine months.  What if the Alliance initiative failed or was overturned?

3)     I-732 could build bi-partisan support (the legislature has some leeway right?  They can direct some % to wildfire expenses or the ” renewable energy cost burden”; let the Republicans raise taxes).   The Alliance folks can lobby for what they want,  their potential initiative creates urgency/focus.   Then all camps can come together and celebrate a compromise.  It would be a reconciling event, a great example to the country.  If I-732 is implemented by the legislature they will be the leaders that convince people this is the best option.  It’s much easier to explain/defend to constituents than cap-n-trade.

The Alliance could try to overturn the legislature with their initiative.  Then the left has a clear win, that’s okay but it’s their battle not Carbonwa’s.

It seems to me the “worst case scenario” is the legislature fails, I-732 goes on the ballot  in competition with the Alliance initiative which could mean nothing passes.   That scenario would call for unusual creativity.  The two camps can poll before the voter pamphlet is created and come to consensus on which initiative can pass.  In the pamphlet the “for” statement on both initiatives could recommend the consensus option and explain why it is best.  That would generate publicity/endorsements that would focus on results not politics.

4)      Washington voters are astute, don’t underestimate them;  e.g., I-1401/protect endangered species passed in eastern Washington/every county in a non-presidential election with very little education/outreach (Paul Allen only funded getting it on the ballot).

5)      I don’t trust early polls (e.g., are Republicans going to nominate Donald Trump, really?!).   Especially when the polls are funded by the Alliance which has a bias.   Please don’t make a momentous decision based on polls.

I know you’re all exhausted but don’t take the easy path.   I-732 is part of a new generation of leadership that has earned a voice and needs to lead.  Great ideas are often opposed, great leadership enacts needed changes before they are popular and advocates in the face of indifference and opposition.   You are on the right path, I strongly urge you to stay the course.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 12:38:05 PM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: quick thoughts on I-732

Hi Yoram,
I’m a Seattle native living in [ ] with plans to be moving back to WA this summer. I used to work for [ ], and I’ve worked hard to make folks more aware of the need to address climate change.

I’ve been watching the progress of I -732 from afar, and in principle, I really like the idea of a revenue-neutral tax and intuitively, it seems that such a proposal would generate more support.

But if the Alliance folks have a lot of polling data on this, and have a strong coalition that can get out the vote and raise funds, then I think perhaps it would be best to lend your support to their efforts.

That doesn’t diminish what you’ve accomplished. You’ve accomplished a lot, and you’re absolutely right to be disappointed that there isn’t bipartisan support for solutions to the climate, as there should be. That reality doesn’t yet exist in the US, sadly.

Best of luck, I’m sure it’s a hard decision, but I admire what you’ve accomplished.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 12:50:42 PM PST
To: [email protected],
Subject: Decision time

We have always been, and still are, supportive of the revenue neutral approach for tackling carbon.  It’s an unfortunate sign of our times, and it’s a priori, that half of those who support a price on carbon have not made the effort to understand the no-cost way to get there.

It’s a tough place … that fence.  The one item that eases which side to fall on, are the numbers which appear to favor the Alliance even after massaging  the results.  So near, yet still so near.

So, we have been kicking this around between ourselves for the past hour and regretfully have nothing more to add in the way of counsel.  Nor are we able to join the call this PM.  We are appreciatively aware that the Carbon WA Executive team is on top of the strategy, so we will conclude with one important piece:

We back your decision 100%.  Good luck with the process, and thank you.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 12:53:08 PM PST
Subject: One More Thought

The Alliance is wrong on one important point:  for the reasons I cited in my longer message… ‘Swinging and missing’ IS better than not swinging at all !  As Wayne Gretsky once (famously) said:  “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take!”


Date: December 22, 2015 at 12:56:00 PM PST
To: <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: CarbonWA on the fence

I have another commitment this evening, so I am not able to take part in the conference call.  I believe strongly that we should go ahead and submit the petitions and get I-732 on the ballot.  Polls taken in 2015 are not too indicative of what will happen in November 2016.  We should make the effort.  That in itself will be an educative process for the voters.  In a presidential year, a higher percentage of voters will go to the polls, especially younger voters, those who have the greatest stake in combating climate change.  But if we fail, then is the time to go to plan B.  I am not convinced that a failure would set the movement back that much.  It might, instead, unite us, make us more determined, and impel us to agree finally on what it is we want to do.  Time and climate change will bring more of the voters to our side.
I agree that it would be disastrous to have two carbon tax measures on the ballot.  (Calling it a fee will not fool many people.  If it’s mandatory, it is a tax.)  Unless the supporters of the alternative have a pot full of money to hire signature gatherers or a huge army of volunteers, they will not succeed in getting enough signatures to qualify a petition to the people.  They will not have all year as we have had.
Those of us who have busted our butts collecting signatures from May through December expected that the result would be a ballot measure.  To stop now would give us a sense of betrayal, and I don’t think I,for one, would want to do this again right away.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 1:21:18 PM PST
To: “‘[email protected]’” <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: CarbonWA on the fence

I fully favour the carbon tax proposal by Carbon Washington.  The alternative package, still not fully disclosed, is, I think, mistaken in trying to achieve some policy ends as add ons to a less direct carbon tax.  The unite the left ambition of the other effort is, in my judgment, unlikely to unite “the left” (whatever that means in this state), and anyway such would be an achievement insufficient to the task of cutting GHG emissions significantly, quickly, and efficiently.  Uniting the left is a trivial purpose compared to gaining soon important reductions in GHG emissions.  And the list of purposes to which revenues would be dedicated invites challenges as to why this, that, or some other wish is left off the roll.

The legislature and the political parties, both of them, but maybe especially the Democrats (since much of the state Republican Party appears to be still in denial), ought to get from voters a clear, distinct message favouring a revenue neutral carbon tax, rather than a mix of messages.

I would not vote for the Alliance proposal and if it is on the ballot, I hope it is defeated, as its mix of messages and sentiments seems to me to be a good example of what too often weighs down and overloads responses to the climate crisis.  (Mind you, I am a Canadian, so I do not, cannot vote in this country.)

While I have no knowledge of any scholarship supporting this view, I also think that a general, all consumers, direct carbon tax can or should have some impact in mobilizing the entire population because pretty much everyone would daily confront the carbon tax, and make daily choices as to how to respond in terms of consumption.  There are market efficiencies here, as economists note, but there are or might be also political and social benefits, less tangible, in that nearly everyone is enrolled in this one major step to cut GHG emissions.  Given the major challenges still ahead, even with an effective carbon tax, gaining the participation of the population will be more and more necessary.  The Alliance proposal mistakenly aims to unite some faction of the state’s citizenry, “the left”, and address a few environmental and social purposes, bypassing the legislature and mandating spending on these.  The Alliance proposal fails to enlist the citizenry day in, day out in the direct, clear way the CarbonWA proposal would achieve, and such daily, universal enlistment of the citizenry will be ever more important.

Very best regards and good wishes for your deliberations on this question.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 1:27:22 PM PST

To: Yoram Bauman <[email protected]>
Subject: Latest event

I read yesterday late in the evening with much attention to your long E-mail – I understand the competitive situation of you initiative verses those of a yet to be propose initiative of the Alliance. (I readily admit that I don’t understand your initiative versus the yet to be propose Cap-andtrade Alliance initiative).

My opinion: Is there room to negotiate your initiative with the WA legislators/politicians ? Or, obtain endorsements from some of them ? Or, WA WA Congress representative and the 2 senators ?

If that is not possible: Try to negotiate a compromise with the Alliance. I see no other alternative, other than giving up.

I am not a resident of WA, yet I think that without endorsements from some “heavy-Weight” legislators/Politician, you have no (?) chance to win the elections – my opinion.

Please explain to me the particular differences between the 2 competing initiatives ? Among my Q’s How industrial use of Coal – per ton (?) translates to $, Are they not the same in both initiatives, except that the money is used differently ?


Date: December 22, 2015 at 1:29:23 PM PST
To: “[email protected]” <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: CarbonWA on the fence

Hey Yoram,

Nice little pickle that CarbonWa has itself in! My brief thought: the importance of the revenue-neutral portion of the I-732 proposal cannot be overstated.

From my conversations with conservatives, their entire demeanor surrounding I-732 softens as soon as the rev-neutral concept is explained to them. It seems that the right is coming around (finally) to accepting climate science. The issue now is finding a solution that is going to have at least some support across the isle.

While I say their demeanor softens, that doesn’t mean that they support I-732. As you mentioned in this email, communicating 732 accurately and succinctly is extremely difficult, BUT (and I think this is a crucial point) it gives a starting point where both sides of the isle are finally able to have a concrete point from which we can have substantial talks about policy rather just merely posturing and calling each other idiots. This is a BFD.

My worry is that waiting for the left to present a unified front behind a revenue-positive tax is going to lend itself to the classic “taxes from Seattle/Olympia/DC” criticism which will be fought tooth and nail by business and the right. If the goal is to create a solution that can be copied by other states and eventually the nation, we need  to present a solution that has bipartisan support.

Regardless of the decision the exec committee makes, I think that the progress CarbonWa has made is both impressive and encouraging that we as a state are headed in the right direction.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 1:32:20 PM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: on the fence – I’m not

Hi Yoram,

I’ve never heard you speak, only heard from friends how great a speaker you are.  I have so much respect for you, leading this effort in such an effective manner!!!!!  Wow, you hired great staff, had effective fund raising, got the paid sig gathering thing going at the right time.

I have volunteered for I-735 for two years: last year as I-1329, and this year.  I can say I kept looking at your campaign with envy, all the way.  Even now that you are on the fence, you are SO thoughtful, wow!

BUT, I have to say, our experience (I-735/Wamend) is that many of the people who gathered signatures last year DID NOT do it this year.  They were burned out (or defected to CarbonWA because that caught their attention).  Please consider very carefully, I’m sure you are, whether people will be there to help the alternative campaign, if they even get it together to write their language.  There will be many that will feel very burned by not turning in the CarbonWA signatures and may not want to help the other campaign.  So don’t necessarily count on them to help get signatures.  Also, the timing for signatures gathering was VERY HARD for I-1329.  We got our initiative printed and distributed by beginning of February, essentially a month late.  We didn’t know what we were doing, so we lost of most February. (These are my opinions, as a leader of the Seattle area).  We collected 175,000 from March through June, and had bad press from Danny Westneat in mid-June which slowed the collection of signatures.  So we didn’t make it.  What if they (the alternative group)  don’t get their language together, so there is no initiative on the ballot?  What if they don’t get enough signatures and then there is NOTHING on the presidential ballot in 2016??? Oh, that would be most horrid!!!

It REALLY PISSED ME OFF to read that article in the Seattle Times about the Joe from California who gave $80,000 to the alternative “initiative” before they even have an initiative!!  Argh!  Wamend has tried so hard to get press, and you guys were pretty good at it, that it just drove me crazy before they even have initiative language they are getting press.  They are getting press because some guy from out of state, who is a friend of the governor, gave money – (that’s why I think I-735 is SO important)!   You must know about other support they have besides him that is making you take this large pause and consider this decision.  Yes, I had some neighbors say they weren’t certain about CarbonWA because WEC and a few others (FUSE) were not in support, but I thought the response was that the others have taken too long, that CarbonWA is the RIGHT way to do a carbon tax, etc.?

I only got 3.5 sheets for CarbonWA, and I’ve been impressed all year at your campaign, the strength and focus of your volunteers, etc.  (You “stole” at least one of our greatest gatherers from last year!).

Given the great job you have done, and your staff and Exec Committee, I trust that you all are informed and in touch with this alternative campaign, you have faith that they actually will do something, and not languish as they have for 10 years….so, I’ll have to leave it up to you.  BUT, I caution you…that the volunteers will be burned out, they may not be there to get all those signatures.  March of 2014 was the wettest March on record!  And, people don’t stop and listen when its raining and cold out, I’m sure you have seen that recently, let alone getting volunteers to go out in the cold rain.  it’s totally different than starting in April and going to December.  We are still working to get our signatures and I can’t wait for it to be over.  I won’t collect signatures for an initiative again for a long time!  Not even the Carbon one next year.  NO.  i won’t!

I have always thought highly of WEC, am a financial supporter, etc. But when they came out against CarbonWA, I decided not to send in my annual contribution.  It goes both ways.

I feel that the efforts of this past year will go unnoticed, unknown, by the people running around too busy to stop and sign, or to have the conversation and understand the Carbon tax is the best way.  I still feel that CarbonWA is the best way, because I have grown to trust you, your leadership, your judgement and the fact that your campaign brought in 350,000 signatures! I don’t know if the polls are true.  It seems there’s momentum for the CarbonWA approach.  The fact that you can point to British Columbia, where it’s working, and the others can’t, and the alternative campaign involves social services for low-income, which almost is two issues, isn’t it…???  That they have many obsticles to overcome that you already have tackled.  I know there will be commercial and industrial pressure and money against CarbonWA, but I still think it’s a good deal and a good bet.  I wish the alternatives would support CarbonWA.  In my ideal world, that would happen!

As I said earlier, i trust you, your team, to make the right decision.  I just wanted you to hear about the volunteer burn out, that there could be a lack of gatherers, and it’s a short period of time with typically nasty weather to try to get 325,000 signatures.

Good luck!  Thanks for everything you did for Washington.  I’ll be really sad if you don’t go forward with it, but…perhaps something good will come out of it……I understand that IF the alternatives get something on the ballot it could be confusing for voters, BUT, will they…????

We (WaMend) are also facing the possibility of another similar initiative being on the ballot from  Bad timing I think, just confuses voters and then I fear they’ll vote against it all, because they won’t understand any of it.  Such is life I guess.
Sorry this is so long!


Date: December 22, 2015 at 1:36:23 PM PST
To: “[email protected]” <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

Before you decide against going forward with I-732, read the first URL below about the fate of the Chicago Climate Exchange, similar to the experience of the European cap and trade system:  Substantive failure due to a flood of offsets than undermined the value of the Carbon Financial Instruments (CFI) that was the medium of exchange.  Since the Alliance proposal has yet to be made, no one knows what it will contain, but the CarbonWA proposal is well known by the entire state and targets carbon and carbon only, leaving offsets and other cop outs aside.

To support the (eventual) Alliance proposal is to support a hypothetical solution to climate change in exchange for your existing solution.  You know about the bird in your hand (I-732) but you don’t know about the bird in the bush (the Alliance proposal, whatever it might be).

You will sorely disappoint your volunteers if you pull out.  I think after all their efforts, you are morally obligated to move forward with I-732.

The second URL is an article by Robert Cruickshank who is more concerned about maintaining political purity than in solving the climate change problem; he’s more concerned about the political coloration of board members than substance on climate.

Don’t let your supporters and volunteers down, please go forward with I-732.

OK, I’m a Californian, but I have half ownership in Washington state property.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 1:40:45 PM PST
To: “[email protected]” <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: CarbonWA on the fence

Yoram – Thanks for this comprehensive e-mail.  Big congratulations on getting the discussion to where we are now and galvanizing action.  I strongly agree with the leaning of the EC highlighted below, and I’ll be disappointed and troubled if the conclusion is to pursue the perfect over the good.

We all owe you a great debt of gratitude for getting us to this point.  I do hope you can guide us through this final stage and serve as the closer the Mariners have lacked!  My best regards.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 1:51:15 PM PST
To: [email protected], Duncan Clauson
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence


I’ve been thinking about the complexity of your dilemma and talking with colleagues about it for a good part of today. Although I would not urge CarbonWA to come down on one side of the fence or the other; I do want to congratulate you, Duncan and the rest of your team for your terrific achievements (a beacon for the rest of the country!) and on your current inclusive/transparent decisions-making process. Good luck with it and know that I’ll be supportive, whatever you decide.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 2:02:33 PM PST

To: Yoram Bauman <[email protected]>
Subject: worse than a swing and miss

Hi, Yoram –

Worse than swinging and missing in my opinion is not as bad as being
called out for not swinging at a 3-2 pitch in the strike zone.  Thus,
I favor filing what we have.

Ultimately, I defer to your wisdom and judgment.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 9:06:22 AM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence


My advice, having run many campaigns over the years, is to stay with the plan and submit the signatures.

You and the team have done a great job. You did it by following your own playbook and it’s worked.

I believe you are overthinking the poll results, even if they are valid (what was the sample, have you seen the raw questionaire)?

A revenue neutral model makes sense. Incorporating social changes—no matter how worthy—poisons the well. Don’t let the politicos scare you off. Predictions for a year from now are meaningless. Events will help define the political climate


Date: December 22, 2015 at 2:21:30 PM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: Turn Sigs In?


The problem I see is that the Alliance initiative is apt to end up as “christmas tree” legislation. That is, it will be heavily festooned with ornaments intended to capture as many constituencies as possible. These might be limited to only those that make sense re: GHG reduction (i.e. “forest health”). But more likely, it will include both good and bad in an effort to gain support. For example, beneficial transportation funding will likely be included in the form of mass transit. But then so will general highway and road construction. The first is good vis-a-vis GHG emissions; the second bad. But the political dynamics are such that the second will be included.

Failing to turn in the signatures amounts to buying a pig-in-a-poke.

Also, in terms of actually getting the measure passed, the Alliance initiative is probably either going to be considerably more complicated, making it harder to explain and more vulnerable to attack. As you point out, “providing voters with a “simple explanation” will not be easy. Or, if simplified, it will have to rely on legislative or agency rule adoption for its guts. Those processes are fraught with peril.

And without seeing the actual poll, including how questions were worded, I would not automatically accept that an alliance initiative automatically had greater support.

I suggest turning in the signatures, then waiting to see the actual Alliance initiative. If it looks reasonable, then simply abandon the campaign. If not, full speed ahead. But not keeping the options open after all of the work invested is foolish.

And if the Alliance initiative is not ready in January, that suggests very strongly that it will indeed end up being a christmas tree.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 2:23:33 PM PST
To: Yoram Bauman <[email protected]>, Kyle Murphy , Duncan Clauson
Subject: Turn in the Signatures

I just got back into town last night and saw your email. Here are my reactions, in no particular order of importance:

350,000 people supported putting the initiative on the ballot. That is a big number giving your low-budget and weak fundraising. And lack of access to and lack of support from many individuals and organizations associated with climate solutions and the alliance. It may be that 50% of the people who signed were merely voicing discontent with the lack of government action on climate change. And maybe the other 50% actually understood what the initiative proposes to do. But they all signed and they all support you.

Delivering the signatures will be a major success; in and by itself. Regardless of what happens in the November elections. You may well find that you have much greater visibility and response from politicians, business leaders, and social and cultural leaders once you have delivered those signatures and are on the ballot. Delivering those signatures is a major filter to prevent the public and are electives from dealing with issues that do not have enough public support. You will get a different reaction going forward once you are on the ballot.

You three and the board will have no political future if you do not turn in the signatures and keep on with the campaign.

Do not take the above statement to be self-serving or egotistical. We need experienced politicians and political operatives, fundraisers and grassroots community organizers, in the environmental and climate realm. You folks have gained a lot of experience. We need that experience in the future. Losing the election does not lose you credibility. But collecting 350,000 signatures and not submitting them does lose you credibility. The climate needs you to keep on working on the problem.

I know your email questions what is best for the climate and the environment. I think that for the legislature to see that a poorly funded and fairly unexperienced and unsupported group had enough signatures to get on the ballot because of concerns about climate change is a very strong message and may well change how some legislators act.

I think forcing the argument into the public sphere regarding what is actually good for the environment versus what makes us feel good is a very important debate to have. And the American system is about debate and about making a fuss in public.

Polls are only polls. They are not the election. The election is nine months away and many things can happen between now and then. You have a real product that you are ready to ship. The alliance is posturing. Would they have even gone the initiative route if you had not forced them?

Maybe climate solutions/the alliance have or can claim higher poll numbers, but they do not have anything ready for the ballot. You do.

Remember that individuals involved in climate solutions/the alliance have failed politically before, both at the legislature level and at the initiative level. Do you guys remember the Commons? It failed twice. Do you remember the monorail? It did pass and then crashed and burned due to a lack of management and budgeting before during and after the election.

Carbon Washington has a strong simple approach. Voters have good bullshit detectors.

Debate and conflict are not bad, especially if they can result in a better outcome. Part of the outcome here might not be winning in November, but forcing a broad conversation about the issue and forcing politicians to take stands.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 2:34:12 PM PST
To: Yoram Bauman
Subject: Further thoughts


I won’t be on your conference call today.  If I have a vote, it’s to stay the course.

You can make history by tossing out 350,000 signatures, since apparently it has never been done before.  I may be mistaken, but I didn’t think that was the way you wanted to make your mark.  Put your trust in God, not the Alliance.

But do what your gut tells you to do.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 2:35:11 PM PST
To: Yoram Bauman <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

Hi Yoram,

I’m humbled by your ability to consider taking this route, and I strongly support whichever route you think is best for passing a carbon tax/fee/whathaveyou.

Two clarifying questions, if you have a moment:
Is the “alternative proposal” coming from the Alliance, or is it a new (third) proposal?
If CarbonWA doesn’t submit more signatures, is there any chance it could end up on the 2016 ballot (but not part of the 2016 session)?
FWIW, the basis of my support for a revenue neutral carbon tax comes from being a self-proclaimed “middle of the road moderate”. Rev-neutral seems like the easiest carbon pill for conservatives to swallow, while still having significant, positive impacts for the environment and the “liberal agenda”. A carbon fee, I believe, would have to be forced down the throats of the right, which I fear could have unintended side effects in the future (e.g. threats of repeal, polarization around climate issues, etc.). Of course, my knowledge of the inner-political workings down in Olympia is extremely limited, and these philosophies may not be applicable to our current state of affairs. Which is why I trust you to choose our path and make the decision that you believe will be best in the long run. (no pressure!! ?

Seriously though, thank you for everything you’ve done to get us to this point and for being so transparent and engaging along the way. It’s been an exciting process to watch unfold and this new fork in the road makes it that much more so.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 2:36:13 PM PST

To: “Bauman Yoram ” <[email protected]>
Subject: Last night’s E-blast from you


[ ] and I were really disappointed to read your e-blast this morning, especially after the amazing work you and the CarbonWA team have accomplished with signatures and a very small budget.  The thought of throwing in the towel at this point strikes us as counterproductive on many levels. [ ]


Date: December 22, 2015 at 2:30:06 PM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

Turn in the signatures and get it on the 2016 ballot.
Let’s not waste the $, time and energy and let’s present a plan.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 2:51:10 PM PST
To: <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence


You have done well to guide the Carbon WA effort this far to be on the brink
of turning in 350,000 signatures to send the initiative to the Legislature.
What a terrible predicament to be put in now after all the effort to get to
this point.

You should consider some policy and technical questions about the proposal
from the Alliance, not just political calculus which is fickle and can change
hourly.  For example, these questions deserve serious answers:

– how complete of coverage does an Alliance proposed carbon fee extend
throughout economic activity relative to the carbon tax of I-732?
– Do the proposed clean energy investments in the Alliance plan generate
additional GHG reductions in a virtuous circle type of effect relative to the
reductions projected under an I-732 plan?

If you don’t see a definite proposal from the Alliance that shows indications
of true effectiveness then by Dec. 30th you ought to go ahead and turn in
I-732 signatures.  The polling may or may not be indicative of where the
voting public will be in autumn 2016.  While the Alliance approach may do
better in central Puget Sound, I can’t help but think the 732 carbon tax with
sales tax cut would fare better state-wide.

Best wishes in this difficult dilemma.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 2:58:55 PM PST
To: Yoram Bauman <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

I plan to join the call, please send me the code.

Some questions:

Suppose both measures go to the ballot. Does the presence of both hurt
the chances of both?
(Will people vote no on both because of confusion?)
(Will people vote no on both because they think that would be too much
carbon tax?)
(Would it dilute volunteer time and donors?)

If we pull back, the Alliance would still have to write a measure and
get it on the ballot.
How much would that cost ($ and volunteer time)?
What are their chances of success?

If we turn in signatures now, could we change our mind later (if the Alliance succeeds in getting to the ballot)?
If not, could we make use the Voter’s Guide to say something like:
“We urge you to support Referendum X – we are uniting behind that referendum.”

What are the chances of the legislature acting to pass this?

How quickly could the legislature act?
If they would act, what is the effect on the Alliance measure?
Is there a chance that they might act quickly enough that the Alliance
would stop (and save $ and time)?


Date: December 22, 2015 at 2:59:18 PM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence


I agree with your take on the situation now faced by I-732 and support setting it aside in favor of joining the forces of CarbonWA’s grassroots support with the many progressive organizations that have been involved in putting together the Alliance’s policy — joining together to support an initiative that has a real chance to pass — in an effort that has the resources necessary to take on the huge amount of cash and misinformation the fossil fuel industry is likely to throw at us.

With the blood, sweat, and tears (and time away from your family) you’ve put into CarbonWA over the past few years, this was a very brave and admirable letter to send out at this juncture. I first saw a presentation you gave at [ ] late last fall or winter and then saw you again at [ ] as part of a program looking at the Governor’s proposal and CarbonWA — and got on the mailing list and signed the petition early on.

I agree that at this point I-732 doesn’t stand much, if any, chance of being approved. We have a real window open this year to getting citizen approval of carbon pricing in Washington and so it’s not enough to merely run an initiative that serves to open up conversation — not when there is an alternative that has a better, more realistic chance of passing.

All the CarbonWA folks, from the leadership to the many, many volunteers and petition gatherer’s who have also put so much effort and belief into the CarbonWA so far, deserve a huge amount of praise and applause for the hard work that’s been done to get the ball rolling on carbon pricing, to prod others who were slow on the uptake to get involved, and to demonstrate that there is significant grass-roots support behind putting a price on carbon.

The one thing you say that I do worry about is how much weight you’ll give to the response of CarbonWA’s supporters in making the final decision of whether to go forward with 732 at this point. The folks who have been working hard to gather signatures over all these months are likely to feel like the rug is being yanked out from under them and to be running so much on emotion right now in their responses — and unlike those of you on the executive committee of CarbonWA who are well aware of the big picture and the numbers, they won’t have access to much actual relevant information needed to make an informed decision. Lack of information tied with emotions do not make for good decisions.

And while the poor polling numbers and lack of widespread support and access to serious funding you mention are pretty worrisome, there’s a factor you didn’t touch on that I think poses an even higher hurdle — the analysis by the State Department of Revenue of the budgetary impact of 732 on the state’s general fund. Their estimate is that by the second biennium, passage of I-732 will result in nearly $600 Million being subtracted from the general fund. Some may disagree with some of the assumptions DOR makes to reach their numbers, but the key thing is that those numbers will appear as part of voter information on 732. And beyond just the budget problems that shortfall will cause, I think it also means it’s likely that because of the hits their constituents will take in the cuts that will be required, the largest labor unions (including the state employees and the AFL-CIO) will not just not support 732, but will actively campaign against it. As will low-income and organizations of people of color.

Beyond proposing a “fee” rather than a “tax” (yes, I know it’s semantics) and seeming to be intent on structuring their initiative to be more certain that’s the language used for the ballot, I like that the Alliance initiative also aims at “clean air” and “clean water,” in addition to climate change alone. As a health professional, I know that the problem with emissions extends way beyond just carbon dioxide and warming. Millions, even billions of people, especially children and the disadvantaged, are already being hurt and having their lives harmed and shortened by air pollution — by the release of the other gases in those emissions. Being able to address the health impacts of emissions and talk about the health co-benefits that will result right away from reducing emissions is a huge deal and a winning approach!

I work with [ ] — he and I have had quite a few discussions recently about the initiative — and while he’s been a big supporter of you, Yoram, in particular, if all this latest information was to reach him somehow down in his getaway in [ ], I think he’d also agree that I-732 should be set aside in support of going with the new, joint approach.

Thanks for all you’ve done to get us to this point. Now let’s join together and move forward to doing the hard work of passing the first citizens’ carbon initiative.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 3:01:54 PM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: CarbonWA call


I’d like to dial in tonight at 6:00 if you would provide the dial in info.

Thanks for the lengthy memo laying out the situation. If you’re counting, count me as CarbonWA backer in favor reaching a consensus that leaves us with just one widely supported, well funded carbon pricing initiative on the ballot in 2016. It’s a victory for the CarbonWA effort that this is the new map of the path forward in WA.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 3:32:44 PM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: a note of support


As someone who signed I-732, I appreciate how important it is to unify the groups that are working to limit climate change and to identify an initiative that has the best possibility of success.  I’m sure you did not anticipate how challenging these efforts would be, but we must do this challenging work.  I support your recent steps in questioning whether it makes sense to move forward with I-732.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 3:30:51 PM PST
To: [email protected], Kyle Murphy, duncan
Subject: Recommendation for Carbon WA Signature Turn In

Dear Yoram & Friends at Carbon WA,

What you and the rest of the Carbon Washington team have achieved thus far is nothing short of incredible. Congratulations on collecting the tremendous amount of signatures required to qualify for next year’s ballot. I couldn’t be more pleased to see environmental causes championed, and to witness the very real possibility that Washington might finally take concrete action to address carbon pollution.! !

I understand that Carbon Washington is tasked with making a very difficult decision in the days ahead regarding what to do with your signatures, and I wanted to take this opportunity now to weigh in with the perspective of someone who both supports the vision of your organization and has some knowledge of how certain Alliance members operate.

It was my intention to join your conference call at 6pm, but due to a prior engagement I must
instead submit my thoughts in the form of a letter. I know you are all incredibly busy at this
critical time, but I sincerely hope that you will read the full contents of this message.
Carbon Washington is right to be concerned about the threat of a competing initiative from the Alliance. As I understand, one of the principle reasons Alliance members wish to present a competing initiative, in addition to the stated desire to raise revenues for important causes, is grounded in a lack of confidence in the ability of your organization to mount an effective general election battle against entrenched fossil fuel interests.
I wish to first explain why some members of the Alliance might hold this belief, and then to offer a possible path to resolve this conflict that I have not yet heard discussed in the emails to your supporters.

In many ways, the leadership of I-732 is rooted in academia, and that vibe is reflected heavily
throughout your campaign, from your literature to how you present yourselves. Your website is chock full of texts, charts and calculators. It appeals to a very specific demographic: educated and engaged voters who regularly investigate policies in order to make the best informed decision and aren’t intimidated by investing significant time to understand each aspect of your proposal. It’s built to influence policy makers, editorial boards, and the most active members of your base. Your messaging thus far has done an excellent job of mobilizing and inspiring volunteers, but it falls far short of what is required to win a statewide ballot vote.

Simply put, the website of the Alliance is better than yours. I don’t say this in order to disrespect your online efforts, but as a matter of professional opinion. Perhaps some members of your steering committee might blow off this comment by responding with “It’s just a website!” or “Well of course we would have changed the website before the general election, once we had the time” but consider this: your website is your digital headquarters. Creating an effective, understandable website with broad appeal is one of the single most basic responsibilities of any campaign. The Alliance understands this, and they have put together a beautiful, polished product even before finalizing their policy proposal! They use vibrant colors, beautiful photographs, and personal stories to highlight how climate change hurts Washington families and our economy. These details matter, and so far Carbon Washington has yet to utilize similar tools. The Alliance has a powerful name (It’s The Alliance!); they understand the importance of creating a narrative during a campaign.

The more you can get people to connect with you on a gut level, the more likely they are to
support you, even without knowing the specifics of any given legislation. This was especially
true with the 594 campaign concerning background checks for gun sales. The more you dive
into the specifics of the law going over the various exceptions for background checks, the more you lost people. Similarly, seeing parents and health care professionals concerned about the rising asthma rates for our children is going to be much more powerful than explaining that I-732 doesn’t create an undo burden on businesses as it effectively replaces the B&O tax for manufacturers with new carbon taxes that will result in these entities paying roughly the same amount in said new taxes.

The Alliance is experienced at what they do. Win-Win and many others are masters of voter
persuasion. They have longstanding databases of progressive voter files and confidence in
their own effectiveness. They raise money, lot’s of it, and deliver results. [ ]

Any carbon measure put on Washington’s ballot next year will be historic and the first of its kind. Thus, you can realistically expect overwhelming opposition funds to come rolling into this state. This is a reality you must confront. In the poll you cite, support for I-732 reportedly rises to 60% when voters are offered a simple explanation of the initiative. Unfortunately, your positive voice will not be alone in a vacuum this election cycle. Consider the GMO labeling efforts that failed recently in both Oregon and Washington. They too had bold, historic proposals that would have been the first of their kind in the United States, and the big players in the food industry quickly identified these measures as “must-quash” initiatives to prevent the movement from spreading. The food industry invested millions in ads to confuse voters in order to protect their bottom line, and it worked. The fossil fuel industry will never let I-732 to pass without a fight. Seeing a carbon tax, in any form, would be a dangerous precedent for them to allow.

The Alliance has resources and expertise that you need. To succeed against the fossil fuel
industry you must co-opt, or falter and die. Having two competing carbon measures on next
year’s ballot spells disaster for the movement, as it creates greater opportunity for the fossil fuel industry to come in, sow even greater confusion, and defeat both efforts.

I personally support increased revenue in Washington. I think a proposal like what the Alliance suggests would be better for Washington State, but it isn’t what would be best for the planet.

Climate change is a global crisis, and I continue to believe that a bipartisan, revenue-neutral
approach has the best chance of creating the necessary change to avert the most devastating
impacts of carbon pollution. We need to ask ourselves one simple question: “What initiative,
once passed, would have the greatest chance of inspiring other states, and the nation, to tackle climate change?” We need to drastically reduce our carbon emissions, and we need to have done it yesterday.

Perhaps the Alliance is better equipped to pass a historic carbon measure in Washington, but
that doesn’t mean that their path is necessarily the one your campaign should take. Washington State is only one piece of the climate puzzle. Should a measure like what the Alliance proposes pass, how many other states might adopt similar policies? The answer is very few, and will likely be limited to a select number of other progressive states with an initiative process. Governor Inslee pushed to tackle carbon emissions earlier this year and failed. If the legislature in Liberal Washington couldn’t put a price on carbon, what state’s legislature can?

As you know, one important reason why legislatures across the United States have failed to act is that neither party wants to empower the other. A local example is the fact that just last year, Washington’s DREAM Act was renamed the “Real Hope Act” because passage of the DREAM would have been perceived as a win for democratic policymakers. To make a significant impact on this global climate crisis, we need to have a state with several years of data to prove that a revenue neutral carbon tax works. We need something new that can unite moderates on both sides of the aisle. For better or for worse, carbon pricing has been married to new taxes and the left. Republicans certainly don’t want to hand democrats what would broadly be perceived as a massive victory, especially when supporting revenue-raising legislation which limits emissions would be seen as hypocritical in many cases, and thus political suicide. Allowing Republicans to champion a free market approach to carbon pollution that doesn’t raise taxes is the best way to create broad, meaningful change in this country. What the Alliance suggests would never pass in the US congress, but Carbon Washington’s proposal, given time and successful performance data, could create the needed recipe to bridge the historic divide that has paralyzed the country with devastating inaction. This is the most powerful argument available to you when debating other environmentalists. Never lose sight of what makes your proposal unique.

No doubt, you are already knee-deep in negotiations with the Alliance. They have surely
indicated to you their commitment to the movement and suggested that their knowledge and experience is the path to successful passage. Don’t let them bully you. You are in a stronger position than you realize.

Even should you decide to not turn in your signatures, you can use your ability to do so as
leverage. How will they run their campaign? What will their final policy be? As much as
possible, extract specific commitments. The people at the Alliance are smart. They know that
having two measures on the ballot isn’t good, but they will also remember that last year they still won 594 when there was a competing gun initiative on the ballot.

The Alliance is indeed powerful, and their own Hubris might force them to follow through on their threat to create a competing measure where they are in control. If they do create a competing measure, they will almost surely out fund and out organize you. They feel snubbed for not having been included in the process thus far, and others object to what they regard as insufficient outreach to communities of color. Some perceive your campaign as an upstart effort with unseasoned leadership, and likely many believed that they wouldn’t have to engage with you because you would never collect enough signatures with so few resources available. You have shocked and surprised many with your success so far, but also recognize that even though you have obtained the required signatures, next year is a wholly different animal, where the fossil fuel industry will rear its ugly head and pour massive and terrifying amounts of resources to defeat you. Remember the failures of the GMO labeling efforts; you want only the most seasoned and experienced leadership and this is something the collective organizations of the Alliance have in spades.

Taking all these circumstances into consideration, how can you give the Alliance come of
what it wants and avoid the dangers of two competing initiatives? Undoubtedly, the first
two options you have already considered, but I hope that you might give equal and fair
consideration to the third option soon to be presented.
1. You can effectively disband your organization, not turn in your signatures, and become one
seat at the Alliance’s table, offering your support and resources to help bolster their
collective effort of whatever new policy is created.
2. You plow ahead and turn in your signatures, hoping that the Alliance will not follow through on their threat and will instead join you. Aggressive outreach will be needed to try to co-opt some organizations of the Alliance, but some bridges might be burned.


3. Hand over your campaign to the Alliance. You express your desire to turn in your
signatures, citing concern over their lack of a specific policy to promote, and offer to turn
over all reins of your campaign to the Alliance. Let them assume full ownership over your
campaign. Thus, the Alliance would gain control over ALL aspects of the campaign,
including its management, and will provide its own new senior leadership. Give them full
permission to bring in a new Campaign Manager, Deputies, as well as Communication,
Finance and Outreach Directors and to hire any other positions they deem appropriate.
Encourage them to retain existing staff you have as much as possible, but let them know
you are willing to restructure your staff in any way of their choosing. Let them rebrand or
rename you if they like. Assure them that only their new communications director, or a
deputized representative, would be authorized to talk to the press. It’s important to allay this
fear as some Alliance members might worry that Yoram could be an unpredictable wildcard,
going around talking to the press promoting and going off script from the most effective
language and messaging available to the campaign. Let them know that you are happy to
remain a face of the campaign or a citizen sponsor if they desire it, but that you are willing to
follow the lead of any new campaign manager they bring on. In summary, the Alliance
would need to feel like this campaign would become their baby. They want control, and
you can deliver that to them! After all, the ultimate win would be to see Carbon
Washington’s policy enacted into law and ripple across the country! I understand this might
be a tough pill to swallow, but surely the first option would be even less desirable to the
supporters of a carbon-neutral tax.

When pursuing this:
A) Remind the Alliance that you are on the same side; everyone wants to reduce CO2
emissions. Not only does your proposal accomplish that, but it has the greatest chance to
be replicated beyond the borders of Washington State. The climate change debate has
been deadlocked for years, and your path offers the best way forward as an experiment for
the nation. We need to change the language surrounding how this issue is perceived. Gun
control efforts never made much headway until the issue was rebranded as an effort for
increased gun safety and more common sense gun laws. Gay Marriage never passed by popular vote until it was rebranded as the freedom to marry. A carbon-neutral tax would
similarly rebrand the climate change debate in this country.

B) The Alliance talks a lot about making sure that low-income families aren’t hurt by increased carbon prices. Remind them that you already include a provision with your working families rebate that deals with just this issue. Sell your policy proposal to them as if it’s brand new to them, and encourage them to adopt it as there own.

C) The Alliance is strong, experienced, well-resourced and connected. They have been left out
of the process so far and want to guide any future efforts. Acknowledge and compliment the
resources and successful track record of these organizations. A little humility and some
sincere compliments can go a long way towards making people receptive to new ideas.

D) Remind the Alliance them that you do still have the capability to turn in your signatures, and that you owe it to so many of your volunteers, donors and supporters to honor the significant commitments they have made already to your campaign. By saying that you want to proceed, but proceed with them at the helm of your organization, you may gain some new

E) Suggest that the Alliance take your recommendation to a vote among its member

Perhaps the Alliance will reject outright any such proposal to consolidate efforts, or to champion Carbon Washington’s policy proposal, but I feel obligated to make the recommendation nonetheless, as I have yet to hear it discussed as a viable alternative.

In the days ahead you must make an important and calculated decision that may fundamentally shift the direction of the campaign. Next year, I genuinely hope to be able to cast my ballot for a carbon neutral tax, but I strongly encourage you to not go the route alone if you don’t have to.

Whatever the results of your negotiations, please ensure that there will indeed be an initiative in 2016 that puts a price on carbon on the ballot. A presidential election year, with higher rates of turnout, particularly among normally irregular young voters, is too good an opportunity to pass up. With so many organizations left and right working around the clock to boost voter turnout, any environmental cause will benefit tremendously.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 4:06:38 PM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

I can’t get behind the alternative measure because I have no idea what that is? Any information on that front?


Date: December 22, 2015 at 4:22:01 PM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

Dear Yoram,

Thanks for sending this; I hardly qualify as a volunteer, and shouldn’t take up time in the conference call, but am sending my opinion.  I think CarbonWA should send the signatures in, for three reasons:

1) Polls are unreliable and volatile.  The differences you found between support for the two alternatives were a few percentage points.  If it were 60% vs. 30%, then I think this would be a strong case. But not with the numbers you have now, especially since support before a simple explanation has grown from the earlier to the more recent poll.

2) I remember (and excuse me for not looking this up) there was a previous case of similarly competing initiatives before (something about budgetary restrictions) and both passed.

3) There is still not an actual alternative proposal, though it looks like there will be one.  Is there a guarantee that it would get enough signatures?

Just my thoughts.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 4:29:50 PM PST
To: Yoram Bauman <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

Yoram & team,

I support the option to turn in the signatures and move forward with I-732.

It’s a difficult decision, for all the reasons you list above.  But then again, true leadership is *always* difficult.

If you were leading in a direction that people were ready to move, they wouldn’t need you as a leader.  Instead, you consult your compass and your objectively derived map, figure out the direction, then patiently explain to everyone which way to go based on what is right.  If they don’t understand at first, you keep explaining.  Just the fact your message stays constant, confident, and internally consistent gives you credibility and a louder voice, compared to those whose message shifts as they try to please the crowd.  You don’t choose the direction based on polls of an electorate that hasn’t had time to look at the map or the compass.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 9:39:14 AM PST
To: Yoram Bauman <[email protected]>,
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

Hi Yoram,

I want to respond to your thoughtful, heartfelt and even anguished message below.
I’m deeply moved by the even-handed and open-handed presentation and attitude you express so clearly here. As you analyze and carefully weigh the options to best advance carbon pricing in Washington State, you seem to be putting aside your ego, as well as your personal and your supporters’ hard work and psychological investment. You’re on the ground there; I certainly cannot gainsay your feeling that it may be best to step behind the Alliance by not submitting the signatures you’ve so diligently gathered.

On the other hand, you also allude to the effect that your brilliantly successful campaign and your decision will have on the larger, national and international effort to advance transparent carbon taxes (with substantial revenue return) as a bipartisan or non-partisan cornerstone of effective climate policy. On that subject, I feel more qualified to opine.

I feel (fairly strongly) that the Alliance has behaved very badly. First, by ignoring and throwing mud at your nascent effort and refusing to engage at the time when they could have affected the substance of your proposal. Secondly, by disingenuously using (or more accurately, stirring up) EJ concerns as a false front for a debate about the progressivity and fairness of your proposal (which in my humble opinion is utterly unassailable). And thirdly, by stabbing you and I-732’s supporters in the back with their threat to put their competing proposal on the ballot, creating a high risk of sinking both.

Informed by the major green groups’ rent-seeking behavior on the national level (and which until recently I’d hoped was fading), I can only infer that these groups’ commitment to carbon pricing is conditioned on their directing and siphoning off revenue. That’s as corrupt and revolting as any political dynamic I can imagine.

So to the extent your decision about Washington State is informed by broader political dynamics, I would urge you not to give in to (and thereby reward and encourage) the Alliance’s dirty tactics.

I am very sorry I was unable to bring forth public support from [ ] sooner, when it might have helped.

As you know, [ ] and I met with [ ] who graciously offered to convene and moderate a discussion between I-732 leadership and Alliance leadership under the auspices of his home office in Seattle. Before I’d even made that request, his political antennae started twitching — he broke in to ask why the Alliance was attacking I-732 from behind.  Honestly, I could not answer that question then — I still can’t now.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 10:31:10 AM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

Dear Yoram —

I’m writing as an individual, i.e., not [ ]. Though obviously my perspective is informed by my work for [ ].

I too want to begin by complimenting you on the open and collegial deliberation process you’ve created to decide Carbon WA’s next steps. It will stand you in good stead.

I strongly urge you and Carbon WA to submit the petitions on Dec 30 and to go all-in in pursuing and winning a ballot measure next November establishing a revenue-neutral and economically progressive carbon tax in Washington State.

Yes, it’s easy for me to say that. I won’t be the one giving up another year organizing, campaigning, fund-raising, cajoling, rebutting, sweating, risking. To go the ballot route will be difficult and sometimes exhausting for you and your compatriots. [ ] will do what we can to help, and, who knows, maybe I’ll come out for a week of campaigning. But it won’t be me on the line.

That said, I think your chances are good. The poll numbers in your email don’t seem unpromising to me. What’s more, I don’t fully share your concern that circumstances — the presidential campaign and election and the ongoing crush and distraction of everyday life — will make it impossible for the majority of citizens to grasp the I-732 proposal. Once you get rolling, I think there will be a huge buzz that Carbon WA’s fact-based, committed and very clever forces will be able to capitalize on.

The fact is, your venture at Carbon WA is precedential and powerful. It’s a template for what is, roughly, an order of magnitude more effectual a climate solution than what Obama has been able to put forth. (Yes, that assumes a higher carbon tax than WA or any one state can do, but the point, duh, is to start building the political path to such a higher, national carbon tax.) Your referendum has the potential to be *the* defining campaign in the U.S. climate movement for 2016 and to open the door to immense climate payoffs beyond.

Not only will this give your referendum campaign salience. It will also, I believe, force the fence-sitters and the manana-ites to stop stalling, stop prevaricating, and take a stand. And, after Paris, after the recent/current extreme weather, after the Pope, after the gathering disgust with Exxon and the rest of the FF gang, I believe the fence-sitters will start to come on board. Some members of the business community who have turned away will perk up and listen, and begin to endorse, eliciting others. Editorial boards will see, and say, “If not I-732, then what?” I even believe that elements of the Alliance will be forced by public opinion to join with you. Momentum will gather and build.

It is true that I haven’t followed what the Alliance is offering or planning. To be blunt, I’m not interested, and I think you should be uninterested as well. I could well be wrong, but I’ll bve surprised if they come up with an actual plan … and even more surprised if such a plan proves saleable. The devil will be in the details, and the plan will, I predict, collapse in a heap, much as did Waxman-Markey in 2010.

The path you’ve chosen (revenue-neutral carbon tax) and the particular revenue-design elements (esp’ly the sales tax cut) is not only admirably simple and transparent. It’s the one the rest of the nation needs to go down as well. (Though with different revenue mechanisms for the national carbon tax, of course). To alter or dilute that would be to muddy the template and sacrifice the chance to truly and fully set in motion the course our country and our world need to follow.

Yoram and the whole Carbon WA gang: you’re at the cutting edge. Yes, it took me most of 2015 to figure it out, and that was lame on my part. But don’t let that raise a caution flag. Within WA, people will figure out what’s at stake: their mountains and rivers, their cities and farms, their children and grandchildren. You guys have come a long way. You’ve got another huge hill to climb, and it’s going to be tough as hell, but this is a battle your whole lives (I’ll bet) have been building toward.

Please don’t stop now. You — we — can do this.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 4:35:34 PM PST
To: Yoram Bauman <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence


My two cents here, and I admit to not being as heavily immersed in the politics of this issue as you have.

But maybe you are TOO close as there was always be plusses and minuses to everything and when you live with something like this for long enough, one tends to possibly stray (oddball side story because I love music: I once saw an interview with Marvin Hamlisch over the song “The Way We Were” which he wrote for Barbra Streisand. Before recording it, they played to song so many times they all got sick of it, and he and the lyricists went and wrote an entirely new version, which they then played for Babs, when they all ended up agreeing the first version was better, which became the classic it is—perhaps similar here).

Here’s how I look at it: you’ve put a lot of time and effort into this very worthy effort. You’ve gotten enough signatures to get on the ballot and get the attention of the legislature. Carbon must be addressed, and with at least one side of the legislature being Republican (and possibly likely to stay so [ ]), the revenue neutral approach seems best.

If I get you right, you say that polling indicates people are against the proposal 60/40, unless it is explained more simply, when it reverses. I think you don’t believe you have the money to do the education campaign, but perhaps others can help.  [ ] Because this effort in WA State is the first, there may be some national organization(s) that would dive in. At any rate, you’d have the Voter’s Pamphlet and perhaps free media like radio and TV to cover. Get someone noted like Elon Musk to be a talking head on it, and it will get attention.

It would seem deflating to those who have supported you to date to not go forth, and win or lose, moving forward would appear to move the ball forward in terms of people understanding some key issues—not only Carbon (I just drove by the Pacific Science Center and saw their tote board of King County carbon emissions), but also other key things which need attention, namely, the regressiveness of our tax policy. Patty Murray is running for reelection here, and may get behind it, too, I would hope. One mention by Hillary one a campaign stop here (I’m assuming she will be the nominee), would be huge.

My sense is that even if you don’t win, you move the ball forward and advance the dialogue. I hope it’s a fair analogy, but I’m thinking about the GMO labeling initiative of a little while back. It lost, because of course powerful forces came in and outspent the group by a lot, but having multiple states have GMO labeling initiatives just added cumulatively to the awareness of knowledge of the people, so that at some point, we can hope something my pass.

And who knows: maybe it would pass! You don’t know if you don’t try. If all that separates voting from not voting is submitting the signatures you already have, my vote is to go for it.

Thanks for listening. I wish you much success.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 4:40:22 PM PST
To: Yoram Bauman <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

Are you really considering capitulating to the Alliance bid to dump Carbon costs on ordinary people while protecting the state from fulfilling their educational responsibilities via taxing the elites??

Quitting without a fight is not what we’re in this to do.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 4:44:40 PM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: Carbon tax strategy


I find it hard to understand that the revenue neutral approach would not win more supporters. But I’m ready to trust the executive committee to make the call on which path to take forward.

This issue will not go away in a single ballot.  The most valuable product of CW may prove to be the email list of contributors. I beieve that, with signs of serious progress, most of them will be prepared to step up again.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 4:47:08 PM PST
To: “[email protected]” <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

Hi Yoram,
Wow!  I admire your courage and forthrightness in taking this open approach.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 4:23:30 PM PST
To: yoram bauman <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

Certainly this is disappointing news.  Here is how it breaks down for [ ] and I:
CarbonWA still has the best product even though voters remain foggy and generally unconcerned.  The Alliance to date has a concept.
We want to keep the public’s attention.  It has already been stirred by  the Pope, international political events (Trudeau’s election and COP21) and this year’s weird, destructive, unsettling weather, which is far from over.
Washington State Republicans do seem committed to ideology versus pragmatism.  Hard to shift that without just replacing them.  Which leads to…
The fact that it is a presidential election year favors voter turnout = progressives.  The fact that it is a highly contentious, brutish one which is putting a heavy tarnish on the Republican brand may signal a regime change at the state level which would favor progressive change.
If it fails, it will have paved the way for perhaps for the Alliance’s fee approach if that is more to the public’s liking.
You can be sure the fossil fuel industry will campaign vigorously against us. A bad thing?  I’m not so sure. Isn’t advertising all about getting attention? Their product and credibility are getting increasingly oily.  Look at what happened in Canada.
No mistake we will need to up our game and  f/u with  education and demonstrations.  We ought to seek alliances with the change makers at
Bottom line:  My friends It is 2015 and time for “the buffalo to run”


Date: December 22, 2015 at 4:34:22 PM PST
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

We can’t circle the wagons and shoot at each other.

The Alliance concept plays well, and as noted perfect is often the enemy of the good.

Aligning w will not change WA voters pov or understanding. They are nationally/globally focused. And $$ is required to reach constituents.

Here is the last article I can find ….. Does a decent job. Eventually a national solution will prevail. Itmt an incremental approach may be all that is possible until that time,  and we should be grateful imho to be here.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 4:54:24 PM PST
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

I also believe what we are seeing is what [ ] described as “Realpolitik”. A lesson in aligning and stakeholder management.

I anticipate the Alliance team would embrace the CarbonWA work and accomplishment, and craft a proposal that the voters will accept and can be built upon. Leverage the I-732 organization…..etc.

Doors have been opened.  Let’s see what can be pulled thru.

Frankly I’m very excited and optimistic. Something wonderful may be about to happen.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 4:57:04 PM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: Fwd: CarbonWA on the fence

Yoram, I am one of the current co-leaders of [ ].  While I support the intent of your initiative, I have learned that several polls show it will fail.  I believe there is an alternative initiative ready to go if you withdraw yours, which has slightly different wording and is more likely to pass muster with the public.  I am very appreciative of your work and your values, but in this case I hope you do the right thing and do not file your initiative.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 5:02:02 PM PST
To: “[email protected]” <[email protected]>
Subject: Response to your email of 12/21

Hi Yoram:

1.   It does not appear that Carbon Wa would have any leverage to get a carbon tax into the Alliance program if the two groups were “joined”. Thus, you are possibly proposing giving up on the tax.

I talked to a number of people who signed my petitions and who said, “I would like to see this on the ballot because people including myself need to be educated about the idea of a carbon tax.” To give up this opportunity to educate voters about the most sensible approach to reducing carbon emissions is sad.

2. From what I understand, the administration of the carbon tax in British Columbia requires very little administrative apparatus.

On the other hand, there been revisions of revisions of revisions of the California Climate apparatus and its rules, largely because businesses find ways to game it. A large number of emloyees are busy rewriting details, evaluating this and that.

Is the evidence sound that the California system actually is cost effective and that it effectively reduces carbon emission?

It is my understanding that just a handfull of staff manage the British Columbia tax program. Voters will definitely like that.

3.  Most important, you have barely started a process of education. You cannot expect voters to understand a novel idea just because they sign or opt not to sign and initiative. In fact I was impressed with these people. They seemed willing to learn about the carbon tax idea.
Your education process has hardly begun. The distribution of tax money is not clear, and there are some attractive possibilities.I think one of the most attractive possibilities is to refund tax money to drivers who depend on their cars either to drive long distances to work, or to do the work itself.

If you give up now, What Have You Got?? all you know will be that you didn’t follow through and that it will have a bad reputation BECAUSE it was dropped.

With appreciation for what you have done and could do……


Date: December 22, 2015 at 4:31:54 PM PST
Subject: Re: [oiltransportcampaign] Hell No!

I-732 has a mechanism to relieve ordinary people from pass-along Carbon Tax costs. The Alliance wants to allocate the $$ to state responsibilities (education!) and short-stop taxes on the rich while burdening the poor with higher prices. . No-brainer to me.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 4:40:17 PM PST

Subject: Re: [oiltransportcampaign] Hell No!

I completely understand where [ ] and others are coming from and the strong feelings around it given how events have transpired over these past 12 months with what felt as some really low and nasty punches coming from the side of the Alliance earlier this year. And I want to acknowledge that I have not been one of the hundreds of amazing and inspiring volunteers who bravely stood in all corners of the State collecting signatures for hours and hours and for days and weeks on end to reach a point of having this incredible opportunity to hand in enough of those signatures to qualify for a ballot initiative. This has been an epic, against all odds, admirable, and successful grassroots campaign. And I want to express my immense gratitude and admiration for all the Carbon WA volunteers.

However, I must say that the one main reason I would like to support this turn of events where Carbon WA and the Alliance come together to successfully get a carbon fee initiative passed in our State is because of the fact that part of the Alliance is composed of a broad group of communities of color, environmental and economic justice, and farm worker and immigrant justice organizations. And, as is becoming clearer and clearer these days, and as Naomi Klein would put it, to Change Everything, We Need Everyone. And while just putting a price on carbon is not going to change everything, it is certainly going to be a major step forward. And the more diverse and inclusive this movement becomes, the more and better we will be able to achieve, whilst also addressing some of the other important and pressing problems and issues that our current out of control system has created affecting mainly communities of color on a regional, national, and global scale.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 4:44:28 PM PST

Subject: Re: [oiltransportcampaign] Hell No!

Hey all:

I’ll be on the call tonight also. I hope we’ll take this prospective direction fairly seriously.

Where I’m coming from, we don’t really have the option of deciding between CarbonWA and the Alliance. We are under constant assault from fossil fuel megacorporations planning more and more devastating projects right here in our backyard. I’m sure this is true for others on here as well. We desperately need a policy, any effective policy, to succeed AND we need to build solidarity across movements to resist the fossil fuel monopolies. At ground zero I tend to feel like our only option is to fire back. If you all have the space to debate at length exactly how, I am supportive of what you come up with. But it’s not a luxury we generally have here in [ ].

My sense is that we also can’t afford to ignore the science. Our main objection with the fossil fuel industry and its supporters is that they deny and ignore the information provided to them by peer-reviewed science; why should we do the same when it comes to evaluating a ballot measure? If we have scientific data showing that a particular policy will be hard to pass without a broad base of support from diverse constituencies, shouldn’t we take that seriously? Can we afford to be wrong? Yoram’s e-mail indicated we should take this seriously with respect to CarbonWA. Communities of color organizations, labor unions, and social justice allies may not support the exact policy we want, but without their help reaching voters who might be on the fence, it doesn’t actually matter what our policy is. The enemy will divide and conquer us at the ballot box, and in the process will keep anyone from even considering action on this vitally urgent issue for at least a decade — in short, their ideal outcome. We can’t let them get away with it.

Additionally, I hope we’ll must remember that even if CarbonWA goes this route, the work of gathering signatures was not wasted. CarbonWA had 350,000 different conversations around the state about the need for climate policy with individual voters and volunteers; they activated thousands of people who potentially can help us with the hard task of getting people to vote for climate action. Many of these people will be motivated, like me, to support immediate climate action.

Finally, I think we must consider that a solution that works for us doesn’t necessarily work for everyone. We have a responsibility to work to end environmental racism, systemic violence against communities of color, the pangs of heart-breaking poverty, colonial oppression of tribal nations, and other various wrongs perpetuated by our fossil fuel driven economy. We are not absolved of that responsibility by the number of signatures we collect alone. It is still, in essence, something we must think about even if we have this option in our grasp.

I hope we can all listen carefully before we decide how to proceed here. I don’t have all the answers here, but I’m committed to better understanding our options and setting my feelings aside as I do.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 4:58:06 PM PST

Subject: Re: [oiltransportcampaign] Hell No!

I have tremendous respect for everyone working on these initiatives. I will support whatever is agreed upon.  I only ask that the solution be the one that best achieves the goal of reducing GHG.

Some of the strategies in the initiatives have been tried elsewhere. Please check results of those efforts and make sure to prioritize what works best in reducing GHG.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 5:04:06 PM PST
Subject: RE: [oiltransportcampaign] Hell No!

I think there is a need to work this out and find a way forward that respects the groups and thousands of individuals that have been involved in both Carbon WA and the Alliance For Jobs and Clean Energy.  Like many others I believe that having two initiatives on the ballot means both lose.

Carbon WA has done an incredible signature gathering effort that probably wasn’t anticipated by those putting the Alliance together.  The Alliance has tried hard to build a movement that incorporates social justice issues and are to be commended for that.

The polling numbers are disturbing, and I fear the multiple use of the word tax in the initiative and complete lack of support by R’s make it difficult to pass without massive resources.

An outcome almost as bad as both initiatives on the ballot would be one or the other group bashing each other during the election season and causing both to lose badly and set back progress.

I encourage Yoram and the good folks at Carbon WA to continue to work with the Alliance to find a way through this challenging issue – it’s the only path forward that makes sense to me.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 5:32:07 PM PST

Subject: Re: [oiltransportcampaign] Hell No!

We need something that will win.
To me it looks like plan proposed by the Alliance has a better chance — it would have the support of labor.

I’m very annoyed that we are in this predicament.

Inslee’s plan to regulate greenhouse gases and fine those that exceed allowances might be our only hope.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 5:35:48 PM PST
Subject: Re: [oiltransportcampaign] Hell No!

My two cents… The polling numbers are important, and I’m very relieved that the folks at CarbonWA are willing to pay attention to them, and to reconsider their path forward given the current realities. In good faith, they did a tremendous amount of work-most especially, organizing a terrific group of signature-gatherers, and inspiring people to pay attention to carbon pricing. That fact will only be enhanced if there is a unified measure: we’ll get what we need, which is a carbon pricing ballot measure with broad and diverse support, that can make a real difference both in-state and as an example for other states. I personally will be thrilled if this is the case, and I hope others will be, too.

With Yoram & the other folks at CarbonWA acknowledging that a measure crafted specifically to be bipartisan has no meaningful conservative support, how can we insist that that measure will suddenly be transformed into the one everyone supports? And given that we know that the Communities of Color for Climate Justice are opposed to I-732, what would it mean for us to simply push ahead with this?

I understand that there’s been mistrust around this fight, and I know some people will probably be disappointed if the measure they personally fought for is (sort of) left behind in favor of something else. But I implore people…please consider the facts as we know them now (as Yoram himself has stated them), and consider throwing your support wholeheartedly behind the effort to have a measure that has broad and strong support, and that would make WA a real climate leader.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 5:44:24 PM PST
To: Bauman Yoram <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

Of Course you should send them in.  Many people who worked hard on the them would be disappointed if you didn’t.  If the Legislature wants to amend it then it comes back to us to decide.  If they don’ act on it, it  will also come back.  They may not do any of the other alternatives either.  In that case we have nothing if we don’t send it in.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 5:44:42 PM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence


Based on what I’ve heard from you and [ ], I will support you if you decide not to file the signatures. I’ve known about the polling issues since I wrote the first check and frankly wasn’t sure how this process would shake out. I prefer the elegant revenue-neutral model you are pursuing but based on the complete and utter lack of support from the right, I am perfectly content putting all the eggs in the left’s basket, however messy and imperfect it is.

Assuming you do not file and the Alliance moves forward, you/they can count on my full support.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 5:45:23 PM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: price on Carbon

Dear Yoram,

I just read your post about not filing the initiative.  I have been on the fence about I-732, but in the end signed on because  all pressure is good with regard to carbon pricing.  Now you have to take a cold look at numbers and pick the best strategy.   I very much respect your blog post about filing since is shows what a strong leader you are willing to be, taking the high road with regard to pricing carbon.  No one can predict the future, but data driven decisions are a good thing and the polls are all the data we have.  i support your and the other leader’s judgement on this.

It is a bitter pill to swallow, I collected over 1000 signatures for I-937.  Not a fun job, to have to let supporters know there will not be a filing.  However, we all want with a burning passion a price on carbon in Wa State.  If the alternative is the most promising, I believe folks will come around.  We have to all be working on the most winning approach.  We must win this one.

Thank you for all you are doing to provide focus and need pressure to come up with a winning strategy.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 5:48:46 PM PST

To: Yoram Bauman <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence (please response ASAP)

The more I think about the more I think we should stay the course.  Sorry I can’t be. On the call.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 5:54:04 PM PST
To: Yoram Bauman <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: CarbonWA on the fence

My read on the dilemma is that “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush”.  We do not know the details of the Alliance proposal and it seems to me that there has been a lot of time and effort put into moving I-732 forward.  Dream big but take the wins where you can get them and submit the signatures, nonw.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 5:24:59 PM PST
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence


Here are some of my questions for the meeting today.

1) We were pretty sure the Alliance was going to run another initiative.
We knew the polling numbers for I-732 were in the 40’s – In other emails this was characterized as not too bad.

We knew raising money would be difficult.

What has changed?

2) If you drop 732 and the Alliance is unable to collect enough signatures there will have no initiative on the ballot next fall. What is your level of confidence that the Alliance will be able to collect enough signatures to qualify another carbon reduction initiative?
Given the demonstrated ethics of some people in the Alliance, could they be lying about the effort they say they will put into collecting signatures for their initiative? They may prefer having no initiative on the ballot next fall and try and work with Inslee through the legislature again, in 2016 and/or 2017.
Are they trustworthy enough to give up on 732? What assurances do you (we) have?

3) Given that most signature collection volunteers are burned out on collecting signatures, most of the signatures will need to be collected by paid signature collectors. Even if the Alliance is willing to use paid gatherers, with the level of attention most people allow when asked for a signature, most will say they have already signed it and brush the solicitor away. It will take more patience from people to listen to someone explain that ‘this one is different’ and how it is different. This will make collecting a lot more difficult. I and many others have collected a lot of signatures on the ferries and the level of annoyance from people for being asked again and again, whether they support climate action or not, is getting higher all of the time.
Most people who are supporters of climate action have already signed an initiative for climate change and will be less likely to sign another one.

How confident are you that a second initiative will be able to gather enough signatures to qualify even if the paid signature gatherers are hired?


Date: December 22, 2015 at 6:15:05 PM PST
To: Yoram Bauman <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence


My hat is off to you and all of your staff for your humility!!


Date: December 22, 2015 at 6:23:31 PM PST

To: [email protected]
Subject: Please don’t give up

Having watched your presentations on revenue neutral GHG control, I really believed that you believed in the economics of what you were doing while benefiting the environment. I met your volunteers at the grocery store and really believed in you.  Basically, A real stand-up guy.

Now I hear that you are considering compromising everything you were about, standing-down, and supporting an initiative that goes against everything you have preached.  In six months, 1 year, and for the rest of your life, how will you look in the mirror and realize that you sold out your principles and all the students that supported your economic principles???  A cap and trade goes against everything you told us, it is not you, and you will no longer have even an insignificant role after all this work as it sells out all you are about.

I guess it was all just a bunch of BS.  Can we now call you a stand-down economist who folds right on the verge of victory?  Or perhaps you are now just a comedian and the joke is on your supporters.  I guess you can’t take the heat – so go ahead and fold and get out of the fire!


Initiate supporter


Date: December 22, 2015 at 6:28:10 PM PST
Subject: Re: Instructions for CarbonWA Conference Call: tonight at 6 pm

I suspect the term fee vs. tax is having a large impact on polling results.

It makes no sense that an initiative which gives all of the money back to the people has to be called a tax and an initiative which has the government spend all of the money can be called a fee. This sucks.

[ ] said you are trying to get the other initiative changed to give more money back to people.
If you succeed in this will it then need to be called a tax, thus lowering its poll numbers?


Date: December 22, 2015 at 6:34:04 PM PST
Subject: comment

I am not sure I am clear about how you are assured that there will be a carbon price measure on the ballot in November, if you don’t turn in your signatures? How is 801 guaranteed to get on the ballot?

I can appreciate that you unselfishly want, above all, to get a carbon tax passed, whether it’s yours or not. I admit that part of why I want you turn in your signatures is because I want to see credit where credit is due, and that I want to see your good policy through.

What really bugs me, though, is that you have the *right* policy. It us better than 801. This is only partially an environmental measure. It is also an economic measure. I don’t see that aligning yourself with environmental organizations is a good thing. It contributes to the unfortunate environment-versus-economic false choice. Has it ever done anyone any good to ally with major environmental organizations?

I also think that 801 will draw more fire and opposition money, so that is dangerous.

I won’t pretend to be a political strategist, but I find it hard to swallow that the better policy will go down, in favor of putative political benefits. The worst outcome of all is that you make the deal, not turn in the signatures, and the whole thing fails. You would feel terrible, and so would I (for you).

Thank you again, and to all of your volunteers, for your wonderful work. This is historic.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 6:41:23 PM PST
Subject: Question

Since 80X has not been defined and won’t be finalized before the deadline for turning in I-732, what leverage does CarbonWa have with the Alliance?

Seems like after 12/30 they won’t have any need to compromise or do anything to make CarbonWa happy.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 6:59:06 PM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: Don’t submit

I got my friends to sign the petition. I support the idea.  But there’s another proposal that will get more votes and has the support of many local organizations, so we should go with that one.  We also shouldn’t divide the progressive community. Let’s support the alliance.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 7:14:53 PM PST
To: “[email protected]” <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: CarbonWA on the fence

Of course, you turn in all the signatures!


Date: December 22, 2015 at 7:18:56 PM PST
Subject: more questions and comments

Have your partners said they won’t support I-732 with money or effort if you go ahead and turn in your signatures?

I have always liked the idea of calling carbon pricing a fee, rather than a tax, but your opponents will still call it a tax, and this will definitely be revenue positive…a tax.

The state already has a $40 million Clean Energy Fund, so how successful has that been in reducing carbon emissions so far.

One positive message you might try…the new initiative will collect a pollution FEE and the proceeds will be used to drive away the need to pay the fee by individuals and businesses around the state.

I still have a problem with this equation:

I-732 = carbon tax (fee) and money goes back to people and businesses and Washington.

I-80x = carbon fee (tax) and money goes to the state to spend on big energy and enviro projects…maybe people get some benefit somewhere.

I still believe in messaging over polling. We have to get the message out.

I find it interesting that while I-80x has better polling at the title phase it actually loses support after some explanation.

The I-732 inititative can gain support after the explanation is done.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 7:25:07 PM PST
Subject: Fwd: forest

Yoram, Kyle
Sorry to overwhelm your inbox but if 80x goes forward we enter into the VERY thorny business of forest carbon sequestration…just glance at the highlighted pieces of the Mackey paper, attached (this is a VERY high-profile journal, and recent).  I know forest is a big industry in WA, but it gets really thorny to dive into the weeds about forest carbon sequestration.  At best, high-profile papers say such an effort would be speculative.  At worst, it could amount to nothing, especially if forests go up in smoke in the future.  And such storage must be permanent (as in thousands of years, at least).  How can anyone guarantee that??  If you ask 10 people you’ll get 10 answers about this, but many have a conflict of interest (they’ve worked in the forestry industry, or have spent their academic careers doing this work). Managing this would be a nightmare, and could easily end up doing the wrong thing, despite the best of intentions.
I can share other papers that have similar concerns about forest carbon storage.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 8:15:41 PM PST
To: “[email protected]” <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

Dear Yoram,

Thank you again for all your hard work and expert judgment.  I wish I could have joined you on the conference call. I spent the day reflecting and discussing Carbon WA’s choices, and here is my conclusion:

Bottom line: Turn in the signatures now.  Only after the “alternative measure” has gathered and turned in enough signatures in 2016, then decide whether to withdraw I-732. There are many ways to withdraw I-732 later. There are no ways to introduce I-732 later.

You write: “To quote CarbonWA co-director Kyle Murphy, “Our campaign has guaranteed there will be a carbon pricing measure on the ballot in 2016, the first one in the nation. We are only deciding which version we prefer and which version is the strongest. We have this option as a direct result of your hard work.”

This is not accurate.  If you do not turn in the I-732 signatures that have been gathered, then THERE IS NO GUARANTEE that there will be a carbon pricing measure on the ballot in 2016.  Do not count your chickens before they hatch.  Once there are actual, guaranteed choices, then you can decide on which version you prefer.  Right now, I-732 is a real choice. All other versions are still dreams.

There are too many risky uncertainties to bet everything on the alternative ballot initiative. And supposing the alternative ballot measure does get enough signatures and passes, it will be an empty victory if we cannot use Washington State as an example for the country where revenue-neutral can win the ballot, and succeed for one year in operation.

1 .Will the alternative ballot measure really get to ballot? My biggest concern is that there is too much uncertainty about the other ballot measure.  We should only withdraw I-732 when the alternative ballot measure has collected enough signatures, and not sooner.  How certain can we be sure that the alternative initiative will get to ballot (proposed as mentioned, raise money, get enough signatures)?

Will people who have already signed be confused and not sign again on worry that they signed already?  The plan to abandon I-732 in favor of some promised alternative ballot measure relies on a lot of steps happening in the future, steps that may or may not happen.  In contrast, we ALREADY HAVE the signatures in hand to get I-732 on the ballot. Don’t step back now.

2. Is the poll precise enough and accurate? The plan to abandon I-732 in favor of some promised alternative ballot measure is placing a lot of weight on a single poll, a poll that may or may not be accurate. Does this poll accurately capture the sentiment of all Washingtonians, especially those in the eastern part of the state?

In the end the results predicted were:
48% Yes, 47% No, 5% Undecided for I-732
53% Yes, 45% No, 8% Undecided for the Alternative Approach

This is only a 5 point difference, which seems well within the margin of error for such a poll.  So this would be throwing away a guaranteed ballot measure for a promise of a ballot measure based on a possible 5 point difference that could disappear in an actual election.

3. Can the alternative ballot measure really be replicated in other states better than I-732?  The poll cited in the email refers to Washington State only.  What do the polls say about the success of the different ballot measures across the nation?  Carbon Washington’s first goal is to “pursue bipartisan climate action” that can succeed in DC and across the country.  “Our top priority is and always has been to take action that reduces carbon emissions in Washington, that does so in a fair way, and that can be replicated in other states.” Curbing carbon in Washington State is not point — we need to be the catalyst for curbing carbon across the country.

I am impressed with the campaign so far, and I will support whatever decision you make.  Just be sure to make it with all relevant information, without taking any risky chances, and without losing the real chance we have right now.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 8:21:50 PM PST
To: “[email protected]” <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

Turn in the signatures, please!


Date: December 22, 2015 at 8:29:56 PM PST
To: “[email protected]” <[email protected]>
Subject: U have my blessings!

Dear Yoram,

Your reasoning makes sense. Too bad most folks just have not been interested for revenue neutral, perhaps it is an idea before its time.

I have not been active, but hope to be in the next phase. An alternative leftist measure is fine by me!

Thank you to all who have worked hard on this issue.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 8:38:13 PM PST
To: Yoram Bauman <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

I saw this too late to participate in the debate;

We don’t understand:
1.  if this ‘alternative’ is the long-awaited Alliance proposal or something new, and
2. whether people (including those who signed the I-732 petitions) will be asked to sign another one
3. what assurances you have that the alternative will have the ‘strength’ to go forward. In particular: has a deal been struck with the Alliance?
4. Will the alternative be submitted even if you submit the I-732 petitions?

With  these questions  unanswered, here are our two cents:

Go ahead and submit the I-732 signatures as planned. These are a sure pathway to the ballot and represent a well reasoned proposal. Polls are not the final word (they are showing Trump ahead by double digits) and it will be demoralizing and confusing if you collected those signatures and that money and then change the direction as dictated by such uncertain data. Once I-732 is in the system there will be time to make more strong arguments about why it is such a good plan.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 8:35:18 PM PST
To: “[email protected]” <[email protected]>
Subject: Support for the Alliance

Hello Yoram,
Thank you for your leadership in Carbon WA, and for all that you have done to hone the message about pricing carbon in our state.

Despite the fact that the revenue-neutral approach has more of a bipartisan appeal, I agree that the alternative measure has the best shot of getting climate action in Washington State in 2016.

As such, I support the decision to not submit the signatures for I-732, and to support the alternative measure by The Alliance.

Thanks again, Yoram, for all that you do.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 8:43:31 PM PST

Subject: Re: 2 docs

Kyle, Yoram, Duncan…
See the email below I sent on Jun 9, very relevant to today’s discussion….clean energy polls well.  This is independent of your polling, and peer-reviewed in a  high profile paper (I can share it if you want, and if it is not on the google drive).  The interactive poll from Yale is still accessible via that link.  The caveat I would give this is that society does not have time for much “research” into clean energy.  We really need to implement the technologies we have right now, and the very good news is that solar and wind energy are now competitively priced with fossil fuels.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 8:45:15 PM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: “The Fence” issue

Yoram –

You and your team are right to give this “issue” or “opportunity” CAREFUL thought.  “Polling” your supporters is very wise, too.

Politics, given my experience in business pursuing political support for one business objective or another, is extremely hard to predict until some deadline or “push” arises.  Deadlines and pressure are needed to make moves truly known.  Many comments on blog are correct, others I tend to regard as “beliefs” – not necessarily guaranteed.  A few “truths”: this is not a “one and done” situation, if that were true Paris 2015 would never have happened; polls are just polls and are prone to misleading expectations (exhibit Obama v. Romney in Ohio); there are reasons why the “eggs in one basket” saying remains to this day, this will be a hard decision.  I’m certain you can sift through the blog and discern fact/truth from strong opinion/belief.

Belief is one thing (e.g. polls, the current situation is likely to hold, etc. …), another is to make things “certain” — submit the signatures as a foundation.  My guess – and it is only a guess – that I-732 would be able to gracefully back out (even with the signatures turned in) if you and all the supporters of I-732 indeed conclude in the future (with “certainty”) that the Alliance proposal was going to win and is the best way to move forward.

I tend to lean toward submitting I-732 strategically.  If you can be convinced, strategically, that not submitting is absolutely the thing to do — I support your decision.  (I do wish that “the alliance” had got their act together months ago!  Why no document yet?)

I hope this helps.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 8:45:41 PM PST
Subject: 80x sounds like the pragmatic choice.

Good luck with the big decision and thanks for the great job facilitating.

80x sounds like the pragmatic choice.

I personally have passion to spare and (modest) funds to commit to what ever you all decide.

Echoing your framing… I was unable to convince my right of center friends to fully embrace 732 and got very passionate recoil from my most liberal activist connections. We need funds and passion in spades to win this fight.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 8:51:18 PM PST
To: <[email protected]>
Subject: My opinion


As one of the co-founders of [ ] (you spoke to our group!), I applaud you for considering partnering with the Alliance.  I believe a partnership is our best chance of getting a carbon tax passed.  This should be our first priority.

I recommend you NOT submit the petition signatures and work to form a mutually beneficial partnership with the Alliance.

I appreciate the courage and strength of character is has taken for you to consider this option.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 8:56:53 PM PST

Subject: Congratulations

I  am almost entirely off the grid for a while. But I just stopped at a Starbucks and happened to download the email you sent to your base.

The thumbnail description of the proposed final result (and I realize the process is not yet completed) sounds to me like the way American politics is supposed to work, and actually did work historically for some of the nation’s greatest achievements. Both sides protected the core element about which they care most, and both conceded enough to be arrive an a defensible deal that appears more likely to win than the initial proposals of either of the groups.

The contest/combat was, I know, full of painful wounds that were very hard to rise above.  It’s a tribute to all of you that you did so.

As you know, I deeply hope that this now all comes together as one shared effort, establishing a new era of mutual respect and cooperation that leads to a resounding victory.

But, whatever ultimately happens, I wanted to thank you for all the effort you’ve put into finding a solution, and for the gracious, intelligent, pragmatic email you sent to your legions.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 9:03:18 PM PST

To: <[email protected]>, “‘Greg Rock’”
Subject: RE: Please breathe.. ?

I just finished listening to the whole call.  And honestly, a single call at the 11th hour (12th?) of this process was not a good choice.  Three calls (to select at the listeners election) would have been more graceful, thoughtful and manageable.  The whole thing smelled like last minute backroom arm twisting and dealing – and the ones on the ExComm who are for the deal are already selling the rest out.  Please stop and think for a couple of days.  You guys are clearly bitterly divided.  Not good.  Throwing it out to the crowd: also not good.  You are going to lose half of your support either way now.

Sell out for a $900,000 escrow?  Are you kidding?  News of that would sink the effort alone. The competition would have a field day.  I know there needs to be some assurance, and practically so in a concession environment (the other side is deathly afraid as you called their bluff months ago and WON), but cash is a bad idea.  The appearance of impropriety cannot be overcome.  Wow, that almost $3.00 per signature.  End of signature gathering.    They are not negotiating – they are throwing a hail Mary…  but the $900,000 solution is pure lunacy in a PR sense.  Just go home now and avoid the career destroying press and stress.

Please take my comments here as gentle ideas.  No more, no less.

A lot of folks who put sweat and hard earned money in where the signature bulk is now were greatly disenfranchised tonight by the leaders’ fear and unwillingness to lead tonight.  Throwing such controversy open to the group is not leadership – it is failure to lead at a  minimum and cowardice in the extreme.  And the message I had written last night and held on to,  out of better judgment, was much (much) harsher.

I write to the two of you because you are whom I have supported – Yoram for the idea and thought platform, [ ] for the balls to “just go” and energy and mind in support.

In a nutshell, Yoram: I believe the ExComm has suddenly become the ground hog that has seen for the first time this season (and is now afraid of) his own, long shadow.  You are about to have impact and you are, for some reason, suddenly afraid of it.  Take a few days to NOT do anything and let this sink in.  it will be OK.  Just go.

But mostly, I don’t feel like you have to trade away all you have gained for some whiff of something better.  The variables that might make polling true are too obscure and yet-to-be-defined .

The polling numbers other than the uneducated going-in delta) inconclusive.  Seriously.  If there is a conclusion, it is that it will be a hard slog, 80x or 732.  Face it.  732 is not really inferior in the bigger picture – it is just slightly harder slog of two hard slogs.

And Yoram: you comment about national $$$ is THE RIGHT ONE.   Once in, we will make our own weather.

Finally, I really cannot support a gov’t admin office to pick winning and not winning projects.  Hat is HORRIFIC POLICY that we know will be eaten alive by Olympia pork and political process.  If that is such a good idea, why didn’t we go with it in the beginning?  It is because it IS NOT a good idea.  Better to fail at the noble and right cause that enable that kind of NON –reform.  Seriously.

Yoram: How can you even think of extracting the effort and heart and money from the folks who have given it to you only to pull a stunt like this?  Are you even serious?  Are you even aware?  An honest broker here would honor the gifts he solicited and took  – with his own effort to take this thing over the line – even if you fail and miserably so – because you simply owe it reciprocation to those you duped.  Be a stand up guy.  Stand up and go.

Yoram: I sensed a slinking deep regret in you when I could only get a moment of your time and no real eye contact (alongside [ ]) a few days ago at the celebration on South Rainier – I felt a cold shoulder then and now I know why.  You knew then that you were going to have to face this with the decision already made.  How could you let those volunteers down like this?  Simply, I am so disappointed.

One man’s very unhappy opinion.

Go big or go home.

Don’t sell out to a deal you will not have a shot at controlling.  Those ARE NOT your 350,000 signatures to trade away.  They are people’s trust.



Date: December 22, 2015 at 9:03:42 PM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: Turn in the petitions!

I don’t think we should wait for a campaign that doesn’t even have a petition started yet.  We don’t know what they will do, or whether they will do anything.  We should go ahead with our campaign.  If we can get our initiative passed next fall, changes can be voted later when we may have a better legislature.  Meanwhile, I will be pushing our initiative in the legislature, through my position as chair of the committee on environmental legislation for the statewide [ ].


Date: December 22, 2015 at 9:06:09 PM PST

To: Yoram Bauman <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

Thanks for this.  I think you should not turn the signatures in, and should support the alternative proposal.

Date: December 22, 2015 at 9:06:56 PM PST
Subject: Very short email, HUGE THANK YOU

I just wanted to say, as an individual (not as a representative of any group)—THANK YOU FOR THE AWESOME WORK on getting carbon pricing on the ballot in Washington state. Whatever form is chosen in the end, you made it possible, by believing it was possible and getting it rolling. Thank you thank you!!!


Date: December 22, 2015 at 9:32:18 PM PST
To: “[email protected]” <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence-send in the signatures!

Dear Yoram,

I have read your very clear and detailed latest thoughts below.

However, I entirely  favor turning in the signatures for I-732 and going full speed ahead!
We still have time to develop ‘simple language’, and to pursue additional strategies with media (which have often been successful).
The same base-along with yourself-that has generated such an amazing 350,000 signatures will also be at work! I can’t claim to have had a big role aside from donations, but many of us will be much more active on that front in this election year.

I do not back the Alliance’s approach, and I do not have confidence in their tactics (or even their motives, sorry).
I also have a healthy distrust of polls-particularly with so many hypotheticals still in play.

I appreciate the dilemma.  I truly hope to see I-732 on the ballot.

Date: December 22, 2015 at 9:41:15 PM PST
Subject: Thanks for taking my comment

Thanks for the great call, and everything else CarbonWA does. I really don’t envy the decision you have to make. If you were hoping for a resounding consensus, that call couldn’t have helped.

I was struck by the comment around 8:00 that you owe victory above all else to your donors and volunteers. I find that pretty outrageous and wrong. Those of us who gave to this effort are united by the written language of the ballot initiative. We may be divided now, but the purpose of this campaign was never ambiguous. Nobody will expect an explanation if you bring our efforts to fruition by delivering those signatures. But win or lose, I don’t think anything can justify compromise to the half of us committed to revenue neutrality.

This decision would be easy if the goal were a 2017 ballot victory-I agree that the polling data is grim. But please let me reiterate, Washington could go carbon neutral tomorrow and neither the climate nor the global energy economy would feel it. The measure of our success will be our influence on DC and the rest of the world, full stop. I know from my experience building Oregon Climate that the bipartisan case remains theoretical, but the conservative counterargument to climate action is totally legitimate. Republicans are basically right about climate policy, even if they’re bafflingly wrong about the science. A carbon price will burden low-income families disproportionately, and somehow, it always becomes a Trojan horse for all the other liberal priorities that have deadlocked western governments since the invention of agriculture. You are sitting on 350,000 signatures proving that an elegant solution to this existential crisis can be decoupled from the paralyzing politics of gub’ment size. This moment was made possible by tens of thousands of dollars and hours given in the spirit of that vision.

A revenue neutral carbon tax would discredit the narrative that climate change is an elaborate hoax cooked up by ivory-tower research scientists to buy more Solyndras by taxing the poor. A revenue positive carbon tax isn’t a silver metal; if anything it would validate that narrative. If AB32 were going to change anything in DC, it already would have. But it seems to me they’ve harvested the 7% of their lowest hanging fruit, with their auction proceeds reducing emissions at a price north of $700 per ton. A losing fight for a revenue neutral carbon price in Washington would be a much greater contribution to our national dialogue than a winning fight to duplicate AB32.

There’s a lot more I’d like to talk about with you guys. I’m living in Seattle now, and I should have reached out sooner. But for now I really hope you decide to file those signatures.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 4:22:01 PM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

Dear Yoram,

Thanks for sending this; I hardly qualify as a volunteer, and shouldn’t take up time in the conference call, but am sending my opinion.  I think CarbonWA should send the signatures in, for three reasons:

1) Polls are unreliable and volatile.  The differences you found between support for the two alternatives were a few percentage points.  If it were 60% vs. 30%, then I think this would be a strong case. But not with the numbers you have now, especially since support before a simple explanation has grown from the earlier to the more recent poll.

2) I remember (and excuse me for not looking this up) there was a previous case of similarly competing initiatives before (something about budgetary restrictions) and both passed.

3) There is still not an actual alternative proposal, though it looks like there will be one.  Is there a guarantee that it would get enough signatures?


Date: December 22, 2015 at 9:59:44 PM PST

Subject: Thank-you for the Conference Call

Yorum and Kyle and the entire CarbonWA Executive Committee,

I am filled with emotion and gratitude after listening for more than 2 1/2 hours to the “On the Fence” conference call.

I am so impressed that you are carefully considering adapting to the political reality that a majority of our state’s voters will likely not vote to approve I-732.

Evidently, we must appeal to a broader range of voters with simple language and effective”framing” of the issues -while still carrying forward our climate and social justice goals.

In the December 21 & 28, 2015 New Yorker magazine Elizabeth Kolbert describes how the political and business interests along with most of the populace of South Florida cannot accept the reality that regular flooding of their streets, homes, and businesses is related to Climate Change. Most believe that technological or engineered solutions will arise -including the improbability of sealing off the porous limestone upon which they live.

Evidently, most business people in Washington State prefer to ignore the realities of Climate Change and focus on short-term and narrow interests.

While I-732 appeals to my scientific and rational mind, I will be able to fully support the alternative initiative, if this is how your consensus plays out.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 11:06:24 PM PST
To: Yoram Bauman <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: CarbonWA on the fence

Thank you for your kind message.  I was able to listen in on the conference call tonight at [ ].  I was very much impressed with how all the call leaders organized the time, explained the issues, and listened so respectfully.  That you could honestly share the uncertainties we all face made all of us participants into partners.  It was the right thing to do, and how you did it gives me even more confidence in the group.

Now that I have heard the discussion, my questions are answered and my thinking has broadened.  The history of the talks with TPL, more information about the polling, understanding fee versus tax, and playing out possible scenarios from different perspectives helped me appreciate the complexities and the high stakes involved.  What an excruciating decision!  It is hard to give up the surety of getting this issue on the ballet, AND it is hard not to give it up for something else that may truly have a better potential of being enacted in the end-reaching the ultimate goal.

Having many groups working together on one initiative and having financial backing are two big pluses for going for I-80X.  Inviting the involvement of People of Color would be another plus in my mind.  The parameters agreement, governance set up, and other assurances provide credence.  One drawback may be that this may no  longer be an both aisles issue.  The conservatives who might have resonated with the tax neutrality of the I-732 may disparage I-80X for giving the “fees” to government administration.  Strategies to keep the focus on clean energy, water, healthy forests and choosing the right language to inspire a hopeful future would be key for voters.

At the same time, I think I-732 remains a strong, clear and unique proposal, tested and ready to go.  I would work hard for it, even if it were an uphill battle.  It would be keeping our eye on the ball.  The question is-Is this the ball that will win the game?

Politics is the art of the possible.  You’ve been handed a challenging time frame.  Given all of the expertise on the Executive Committee and your consulting resources, I trust you to choose which pathway seems to be the most possible?  I support you.

I am grateful to you and everyone on the Committee for your past and current efforts, collaboration, communication, and for using your hearts and heads together, even in trying situations.  That in the end is what will drive humanity toward justice-the ultimate game.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 10:24:34 PM PST
Subject: comments on call

A couple of thoughts from the discussion on the call:
1. Congratulations on even doing it. I have not seen that kind of democratic involvement in any petition effort or campaign         I’ve been involved in – and I’ve been involved in quite a few over the years.
2. It is a truly difficult decision. I think we will have to respect and support whatever the ExCom decides.
3. We need to keep in mind that we already have a significant victory if I understood the description of 80X right. If the revenue side is essentially a carbon tax as far upstream as you can push it, then we  have won. In my conversations with         Alliance folks just after the session they were still focused on cap n’trade. Getting rid of the bureaucracy of every firm of any size having to do inventories and reporting with third-party auditors is a great victory (I was a third-party auditor in California – that experience taught me how bad an idea it is). That alone should bring in the national players who want to see a carbon tax. And don’t forget: the Holy Father endorsed a carbon tax and dissed cap n’trade.
4. We can’t let this be seen as a Jay Inslee initiative. That would be the kiss of death. I have serious concerns that the Ecology proposal for a carbon cap is not allowed by the Washington Clean Air Act and will fall apart before November 2016.
5. On the expense side we need to keep the clean energy, etc. disbursements as self-executing as possible. Avoiding more bureaucrats in committees evaluating proposals and dishing out money is important. We could have the money go directly to the electric utilities in the state to subsidize any renewable energy they add to their portfolio in excess of their requirements under I-935. It could be use it or lose it – it is initially allocated in proportion to their MWhr sold but retained if they don’t use the extra renewables – and redistributed to those that do, maybe next year. We only need to make sure it doesn’t just raise the dividends of the IOUs. There are probably some other ways it could go out automatically – give it some thought.
6. We need to extend that idea to the other expenditures – keep the bureaucrats out of the picture, period.
7. With respect to the water projects – make one focus on salmon. There was a statewide poll back in the late 70’s that found Washingtonians really identify with salmon, both east and west of the Cascades. That may have changed some in the east as the tribes  have struggled with the irrigators but it is likely still the case with the general public. Salmon face a serious future because of climate change. Same with shell fish. That also speaks to climate justice, given that most of the tribes are concerned about fishing rights.
8. Find ways to give as much of it as possible directly back to the people. You do have to deal with border adjustment. Since it isn’t a tax that might be easier to do.
9. It is absolutely essential that the $900,000 that is being talked about is not paid to CarbonWA. The optics of that is all wrong and the opposition will play it for all it is worth. It should be paid to a new entity that has the governing board you talked about. Not sure how a contribution this large works with respect to contribution limits. On the other hand I’d like to see Yoram get something out of this. He – his family – deserves it.
10. The big question is where do we come up with the $10 mil that is needed to carry out a successful campaign. If the Alliance can promise that they will raise that much for the election, then going with a great 80X would become a no-brainer.
11. I want to second what I heard one of the commenters say – early on when I was trying to gather signatures talking about climate change I got no where. When I shifted to “a small tax for you that will be a big amount of money to someone like PSE and will encourage them to switch to renewable energy” I had a much easier time with signatures.
12. Again, thank all of  you for all your efforts and your thoughtful working through this fork in the road. Remember:

I read how Quixote in his random ride
Came to a crossing once, and lest he lose
The purity of chance, would not decide

Whither to fare, but wished his horse to choose.
For glory lay wherever he might turn.
His head was light with pride, his horse’s shoes

Were heavy, and he headed for the barn.


Date: December 22, 2015 at 11:25:26 PM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

Hi Yoram,
Not able to phone in but will share my thoughts. Please stay true to the vision, submit the signatures, and get a carbon price on the ballot for a revenue neutral carbon tax. Do not waste the incredible effort by the Carbon Washington team, an effort that has been truly amazing.

This effort is being watched by other states, and most recently Vermont, who now has a group pushing to create a revenue neutral carbon tax. I believe this is a tangent response from the Carbon Washington effort. That is a huge success story, and many more will follow.

The Alliance took their swing last year with the legislature and did not connect. That failure set back the movement. The Alliance components have a lengthy list of past failures so I’m not buying their ballot initiative, if it is ever generated, will be a success. Don’t be afraid of failure, instead, believe in success.

Let the Alliance make a revenue positive carbon tax. I hope they are successful too. Let both of the initiatives pass. The price of both combined still falls substantially short of the societal cost of carbon as published by a Stanford University report.

I firmly believe more people and organizations will join the Carbon Washington effort once the initiative makes the ballot. At that point it becomes ‘real’. Up until the signatures are turned in and it makes the ballot, it is not a real initiative yet, evidence that this effort could all go away if the signatures are not turned in.

Make it real. Give Washington state the chance to take a bold step forward toward creating a price on carbon. Vote yes to turn in the signatures, vote yes!


Date: December 22, 2015 at 11:41:43 PM PST
Subject: RE: CarbonWA on the fence

Hi Yoram and Kyle,

If you are serious about this, and I assume you are, how about doing a survey?  I suggest this because a call sounds like it is going to be difficult to really get the full spectrum (and weighting) of responses.

Would suggest quick survey monkey with required questions of name and email and what involvement in the campaign has been (check all that apply:  signature gathering, donating, general supporter on the email list (myself), just interested, etc.) so that you can gauge seriousness of the respondent.  And then walk people through a decision tree of responses (first question being something obvious like “I want WA to have carbon pricing” – range of response from Strongly agree to Strongly disagree and then through your logic of questions…

Just my 2 cents from afar to supplement what you have already asked for….. (esp during the holiday season of crazy schedules and people being out of town….)



Date: December 23, 2015 at 5:27:30 AM PST
Subject: RE: CarbonWA on the fence

Hi Yoram,

You have worked extremely hard, and you deserve uncountable kudos for your accomplishments so far. I don’t think you should derail your plans to submit the signatures, and I disagree with several assertions attributed to the Alliance or their supporters. Here are my thoughts:

1. I don’t think it’s a disaster if your ballot measure fails. It will not poison the well for other measures. Rather, it will have started an awareness campaign that future efforts can build on.
2. I am not convinced that their polling is dispositive. These are tricky numbers, and there is a lot that can happen between now and whenever anyone may actually vote on the measure. Not least, any measure wrapped in a label other than a tax will be called out — possibly in a way that attributes subversive intent to its supporters.  This would be unhelpful.
3. The Alliance’s approach is in some ways a bad precedent for the national carbon tax dialogue. If it passes, it confirms to opponents of the idea elsewhere that a carbon tax is a lefty liberal plot to grow government and that a revenue neutral measure won’t meet the true demands of Democrats so there’s no sense pursuing it.  If it doesn’t pass, then it suggests that even the most craven giveaway of revenue can’t build a sufficient coalition.
4. I do not think the Alliance’s approach is robust to changing political winds. If Washington State ever does turn purple, the carbon tax could be in jeopardy.
5. Moreover, the Alliance’s approach is simply inferior on fiscal policy grounds. That alone is reason enough to go forward with your measure.

My recommendation is to stick to your guns and submit your signatures. Of course, you have more information than I do, so I trust your judgment.


Date: December 23, 2015 at 6:33:44 AM PST
Subject: 732 v 80x

Yoram and Kyle,

I second what [ ] says about distrusting the Alliance. As I look at their list of members, I am struck by how it represents an old and outdated coalition. This is a polarizing coalition. And it is surely telling that CarbonWA actually got the initiative and the signatures, while they did not. It is a shame that you have not been able to get business or Chambers of Commerce onside, as this is as much an economic as it is an environmental initiative. But it is still the right thing.

At the risk of repeating myself, I think that the worst thing of all is so awful that you would do well to steer clear: that you fail to turn in the signatures, and then all of a sudden, Alliance members and your putative partners change their tune. If things fall apart, then all that heroic, historic effort will have been lost.

It wasn’t my effort, and I doubt I’ll be able to contribute much outside of money if you move forward with 732. But for what it’s worth, I believe that you would be doing the right thing by going ahead with 732.


Date: December 23, 2015 at 7:09:26 AM PST

Subject: Join Forces for the Win

Hey, guys.

I know we haven’t been in touch in a while, but I saw Yoram’s Monday email and thought I should weigh in.  You guys have moved mountains to make sure some sort of carbon pricing is on the ballot in 2016 and you should be crazy fucking proud of that.  But the numbers you described for I-732 make it a nearly insurmountable lift.  If the Alliance’s option starts in the high 50s and ends in the low 50s, then I think you should take that option.  Even those numbers seem like a very heavy lift to me.  I say take the grassroots network you have built these last two years and use it to join forces with the Alliance to build a winning campaign.  Only together will you achieve a victory for our kids and the future.


Date: December 23, 2015 at 7:17:50 AM PST

To: yoram
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

Be a Bauman!! Turn in the signatures…that’s what Mom (and Dad) would do!! And so would I!!

And 2 BIG middle fingers to the “establishment”!!

Go git er done & figure out how to win in November…I KNOW you can do it!!


Date: December 23, 2015 at 7:26:33 AM PST

Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

Well said.
I too am very happy the executive committee, especially Yoram, are flexible and open to change.  I know the committee has and is working very hard to come up with an initiative that works for us and the Alliance.  And they are doing their homework.
So many of us signature gatherers feel disappointed with such a large change.
And at the same time, I believe getting it on the ballot, getting it passed and MOST IMPORTANT lowering our emissions is the objective.  And maybe other states will take up the call, realizing this works.
Thank you to the committee who is working so hard now and everyone who had contributed.
Maybe it will be a better initiative than before as Yoram said.
Forward we go….


Date: December 23, 2015 at 7:56:22 AM PST
To: Yoram Bauman <[email protected]>
Subject: I-732 vs 80X — it’s not “Waxman-Markey all over again.”

Hi Yoram,

After reading info on C-WA’s Website and listening to the whole call last night, I feel differently than I did yesterday. I see your dilemma more clearly.

No, it’s not “Waxman-Markey all over again.” The Alliance doesn’t seem to be a big factor in your decision. (As I wrote yesterday, I feel the Alliance has behaved badly, I wouldn’t want to reward those tactics.) I gathered from the call that nobody seems worried that the Alliance would submit a competing ballot initiative and risk tanking both.

My impression now:

1) I-732, rev-n carbon tax doesn’t poll over 50%, (and the state sales tax is already being reduced even without carbon tax revenue); conservative and business support has failed to materialize despite strong and repeated entreaties to them.

2) I-801, carbon “fee” with rev returned to low income HHs, funding for clean energy, forestry and water projects polls ~ 13 points better. There’s funding to get signatures and promote it.  Members of the Alliance are likely to help promote it; they probably won’t support I-732.

I’m inclined to agree with commenters who said the goal is a win for a carbon tax, not just sticking to the initial proposal or its terminology. The state’s legal definition of a “fee,” dedicated to specific projects strikes me as consistent with most people’s understanding.  Supporters of whichever initiative is chosen will have to fight the FF interests; starting with the strongest possible proposal and with as much unity among advocates as possible makes a lot of sense to me.

I avoided taking sides in my comments last night. I applauded the organizers and your process. I offered CTC’s support and respect. Your callers and the exec committee struck me as extremely well informed, thoughtful and respectful. I would not presume to second guess you or them.

I wish the dialog in Washington DC were at that high level. You’ve set a wonderfully high standard. Whatever you and the committee decide, you have my full and unqualified support.

Date: Dec 22, 2015 6:41 PM

I welcome the concept of using some of the revenue as described for the 80x (30-50% of revenue?), but feel very strongly that some of the revenue should be returned to people via a sales tax rebate, or some mechanism….because 1) it’s what we said we’d do all along; 2) if we don’t, 80x is a new tax, or fee, that middle class folks will feel, and that would have an economic impact as well as political opposition.

know I’ve been overloading your inboxes, and for that I apologize, but these are important conversations, as you well know.

Upon a few more hours of reflection, I would vote for a compromise solution as follows, if it were possible.  I would fund the green energy (etc.) stuff with something like 10-15% of the revenue of the fee/tax, along the lines of the working families rebate level of funding.  I would do so for many reasons:
1) this would help ensure that the policy would NOT be revenue-negative, as some critics have suggested.
2) this would retain most of the spirit of the original I-732, by returning the vast majority of the revenue to the people.  Any more contribution to clean energy funding would in fact be a regressive-ish new tax on the middle class, with some opposition and ill-defined economic impact, and could be seen as putting WA businesses at a disadvantage to those in other states.
3) this would allow kick-starting such clean-energy efforts in WA state with minimal negative impact on the economy.  This would be ESPECIALLY true if some of the early emphasis was on funding energy efficiency improvements for low to middle class folks (the cheapest way to reduce CO2 emissions).
4) This would minimize the potential fallout if some of these clean energy investments don’t pan out (it’s only a small fraction of the overall budget).
5) this would capture some of what the Alliance has been after, and can help bring those people on board.
6) This, too, could be a national template.  It is important to me that anything proposed be a template that other states and countries could emulate.  Nothing WA state does as a stand-alone effort will have much of an impact on the planet. Creating a policy that can easily be copied in other locations should be one of our driving principles, in my view.

IGNORANT QUESTION:  Could the above be accomplished with a second, modest initiative that would merely complement I-732, rather than entirely replace it? Such that voters could simply vote FOR both?  Such that I-732 could hand in its signatures, be sure that was on the ballot, and have a second, low-budget revenue-positive initiative on the ballot?

Any more funding for clean energy should NOT be funded by something like 80x, which is somewhat regressive (would hurt middle class people most, if bottom 40% of income is excempted somehow).  Such funding could be obtained with a future millionaire’s tax, or an income tax, in WA state, perhaps.

I’ll try to stop sending emails, and good luck with the final, difficult decision.  Kudos to all of you (us!) for getting to this point!  Happy holidays to all!


Date: December 23, 2015 at 8:51:31 AM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence


First of all, thank you for your leadership, your informative and inspirational emails, and your help in making all of this a reality.

I hope I speak for many others in saying that my highest priority is to get a carbon tax/fee on the ballot and passed; the underlying politics are secondary. Based on your email, I would put my vote in for the Alliance. However, I’m happy to leave the final decision to you and the people that truly understand what is going on.


Date: December 23, 2015 at 7:55:36 AM PST
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

Not looking to circle the wagons but we’ve got to join the stampeded to succeed.  As Van Jones said in 2012 at the Focus on the Climate rally, “We are in the last minute of the last quarter of the biggest game of our lives and the other team has has been cheating.  They own the refs.  Its time for the spectators to rush the field!”  Actually [ ] works at the every level.  Their Divestment campaign is a good example.  They are great collaborators.  We won’t get it done unless we have their youthful enthusiasm and willingness to take risks.


Date: December 23, 2015 at 8:49:38 AM PST
Subject: Re: CarbonWA on the fence

I know I do not have all the answers for what makes a perfect price on carbon. It’s obvious that the rest of the world does not have the answer either!! Carbon pricing varies all over the place from country-to-country and province-to-province. But I think what’s mostly needed is vision for our basic objective, without being overly dismissive of the players and the process. In this case, exacting a suitably large, socially acceptable, price on carbon is the essential goal.

And it’s good to keep in mind that carbon pricing is just one part of the solution. We will also encourage and commend business and government for their will to take a stand. The world’s largest, most successful  businesses are stepping up. Major religious leaders are weighing in. Governments not that far from the U.S. are moving ahead and actually showing us the way. Costa Rica is now at 99% renewable electric power. Little ole Uruguay, because its government has the will to exit fossil fuel dependency, is today at 65%.


Date: December 23, 2015 at 9:20:07 AM PST
To: Yoram Bauman <[email protected]>
Subject: Groups to help get the word out, thanks- conference call/all my questions were answered, will support your decision

Yoram and staff,

Thanks- the conference call answered all my questions and I’ll support your decision.   Twenty years ago I would have stood firm for revenue neutrality but now tax starved budgets are being hit by climate costs.  That must be addressed.

One insight- your email focused on the Alliance but the phone call revealed the Nature Conservancy brokered a better deal for both camps (not sure how the Alliance sees it).  I felt defensive for I-732 after reading the email, I felt excited for a better option after the phone call.  No criticism, this is delicate information, my point is how/when the story/decision is conveyed is critical.

Thanks for your sacrifice of time/stress.  Sending prayers for strength and peace,
Date: December 24, 2015 at 3:51:59 AM PST
To: <[email protected]>
Subject: I-732: next steps — do not submit I-732 signatures. Join Alliance

It is the belief of [ ] that Carbon WA SHOULD NOT submit the signatures gathered and instead encourage its supporters and others to work in partnership with the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy.  We believe this is the best option to have Washington be the first state in the nation to put a price on carbon.
Date: December 24, 2015 at 5:22:04 AM PST
To: Yoram Bauman <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: Stand-Up Economist email (from [ ] )

Hi Yoram, Lindsay:

I’ve been following your signature gathering with great interest, good on ya!
The alt coalition is simply misguided: they are using polls for an issue where polls
are of no use at all.  This is analogous to a disruptive innovation in biz and you
don’t poll to see if people would like something they’ve never considered before!
What is crucial is to have the right brand strategy, which anticipates the impact of
both pro- and anti- down the road.  And they don’t.

You’re on the right track with “telling what it is in simple language.”  This is the
crucial first step toward effective brand (but there are more).

I now have fully developed brand/campaign to pass a carbon tax such as yours
(in rough form, still need to bring in creative to make it sparkle).   You’re really the
only game in town other than the CCL (which still wants to believe that they are
a lobbying organization and so aren’t investing in campaigning).

Very happy to help out in any way that I can in your efforts.
I’m too busy with my commercial work at present but what you’re doing is crucial,
precedent setting for the rest of the country, so I will make time if I can be useful.

Date: December 24, 2015 at 6:33:41 AM PST
To: “[email protected]” <[email protected]>
Subject: Late suggestion

Hi Yoram,

We’ve been following CarbonWA progress from [ ] and are full of respect, admiration, and hope for what you all have accomplished and are trying to do. The circumstances you describe are quite a difficult one to resolve

This suggestion may be be invalid (legislatively) and too late, or both, but I’ll make it anyway, in case:

Combine both proposals into one:

Part 1: the revenue neutral piece (CarbonWA) part [required]

Part 2: the revenue positive part, a fee; [optional]

– part 2 (the fee) would be built on top of part 1. As such, it would be smaller and separate; perhaps more palatable to some
– voting for part 2 implies voting for part 1;
– the liberal wing would vote for 1 and 2;
– independents and concerned republicans could vote just for part 1
– the best parts of both initiatives would be preserved

Good luck !!


Date: December 24, 2015 at 7:37:09 AM PST
To: “[email protected]” <[email protected]>
Subject: I-732: next steps

Thank you for your enthusiasm, energy and efforts to put a price on Carbon in our state.
PLEASE, PLEASE combine forces with the Alliance for Jobs & Clean Energy!!
Date: December 24, 2015 at 9:22:59 AM PST
To: Yoram Bauman <[email protected]>
Subject: initiative

Dear Yoram,

[ ] has told me of your great success in obtaining 350000 signatures supporting the Carbon Washington initiative.

The purpose of this letter is to encourage you and to help give you the confidence to give this success a chance to bear fruit by allowing the initiative to appear on the ballot.

[ ] has told me you have had second thoughts about doing this for a number of reasons which include the following:

1.  Other groups may write competing initiatives , and it is not a good idea to have 2 carbon initiatives on the ballot.

If in fact a second initiative had been written and had obtained enough signatures to be placed on the ballot, then of course the sponsors of the two initiatives would have to
decide by some means which one should appear on the ballot.

According what [ ] understands this has not occurred.  If that is so, then allowing your initiative to appear on the ballot would not only give your approach a chance for success,
but would also enhance the probability that some approach to reducing carbon emissions will eventually succeed.

In order to deal with such a vital issue, one has to have a  a concrete proposal which can be built upon if necessary to achieve a common goal.  Having the Carbon Washington initiative on the ballot is (at the minimum) a first step toward that goal.

Your success up to now has not only been a major achievement but has generated energy for work toward further accomplishments. Perhaps this achievement has happened so rapidly
that you haven’t had time to absorb its significance and gain the confidence to carry it through. Your accomplishments more than merit this confidence.

2,  There are polls that indicate your measure isn’t sufficiently popular, and perhaps other measures might be  more popular.

There is almost a year before the elections, and  one does’t have to look hard to see how
quickly polls get turned upside down. You are certainly a person who takes actions which can
change the polls, and not one who takes polls to determine action.
3. You are disappointed that you have not obtained as many endorsements from the business community as you had hoped for.

Of course it would have have been good to have obtained more endorsements,  but again there is a year remaining before the elections to obtain more endorsements, and having your measure on the ballot so that it can be openly discussed  gives the opportunity to gain more supporters in the business community.


As a final and perhaps personal comment, there are those whose confidence is much greater than that merited by their accomplishments and who stubbornly stick to their ideas paying no attention to others.

You are a person who has gained a major achievement, and need only the confidence to carry it through.

Good luck.

P. S. I  just saw the morning Seattle Times with the article about the initiative. After having read the article I still stick with everything I have said in this letter.
Date: December 24, 2015 at 12:48:14 PM PST
To: <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: CarbonWA on the fence

Dear Yoram,

·         First of all, I feel for you. You have created an incredible advance for all of us in Washington.  Thank you.
·         Secondly, I think if it was me, I wouldn’t cave.  I would file the signatures and let the mainstream coalition fume and then give them no choice but to eventually support.
·         Thirdly, that may not be a strategy to win friends…. but
·         Fourthly, once the deadline passes, you lose all your leverage vis-à-vis the initiative.  Unless you get some ironclad guarantees as to what is in the phantom initiative, I would  not do it.
·         Fifthly, as someone who has worked to change our regressive tax structure, I find it insulting that the “progressives” oppose 732 because it lowers the sales tax and replaces it with a progressive tax based on carbon consumption.
·         Sixthly, they critique 732, saying, and you stray into the narrative, that it is revenue neutral.  It is not.  It raises enough revenue to fully fund the Working Families Tax Credit and drop the sales tax.   Because you use up the new revenue, it becomes revenue-neutral.  But the phantom initiative will also raise new revenue and then use it up for various interventions.  That is revenue-neutral if 732 is!

The mainstream enviros and their allies in labor have attacked 732 rather than embracing it.  Theirs is a stupid position, stupid policy, and stupid strategy.  732 is elegant, uses market mechanisms correctly, and is redistributive.   It is a wonderfully thought out policy.

Whatever you decide to do, you have my heartfelt respect for your wisdom and your work.

As I wrote earlier, I would file the signatures and make them deal with you.  You have shown the grassroots empowerment (vs. the staid coalition machine politics).

So that is what I think.

Date: December 24, 2015 at 12:59:11 PM PST
To: <[email protected]>
Subject: CarbonWA on the fence

Hi, Yoram…

We haven’t met, but I’ve been involved with CarbonWA since April of last year and helped circulate petitions on Bainbridge Island.  I know a woman here on Bainbridge Island who worked tirelessly and collected over 2,000 petition signatures for the CarbonWA revenue-neutral proposal.  So I’m sure it will be a huge disappointment to her and others who worked very hard on this to not proceed with filing the petitions.

However, I’m reminded of Keynes comment: “When I’m presented with new information, I sometimes change my mind.  What do you do?”  J

It will be a disaster for WA to have two competing proposals on the ballot and that’s the direction we’re heading in.  It would be almost as bad to have I-732 on but the environmental community not 100% unified behind it to pass it.  Having a proposal on the ballot and losing is arguably worse than not having one on at all – especially in a progressive state like Washington.  If we can’t pass a carbon fee in Washington, the story line will go, what makes us think we can do this nationally?  We’ll drive people who might be closet supporters further underground.

So I really encourage CarbonWA to take a deep breath, put behind all the personal hurts, insults and disputes and do the right thing to move the ball forward.  I support you combining with the Alliance.  I think you will owe petition gathers a huge apology and explanation, but I don’t think you owe it to volunteers to file the petitions.  There will be many petition volunteers who will be sorely disappointed; they will be more disappointed if the proposal fails in November.

Date: December 24, 2015 at 9:28:31 AM PST
To: Yoram Bauman <[email protected]>
Subject: Kudos

I’m pleased to see the positive article in this morning’s Seattle Times, with both sides behaving well. In my opinion, Alan Durning’s quote  underscores the importance of lifting our heads out of the bubble of King County. I encourage you to press the alliance for robust investments in grassroots organizing in parts of state many Seattlelites have never  heard of.

Happy to help or just be a sounding board


Date: December 24, 2015 at 9:50:41 AM PST
To: <[email protected]>
Subject: in support of you

Hi Yoram:
You know me as [ ].   Thus I am very familiar with the difficulty of internal politics of an organization.  I also know that in general in our society and on the left, that leaders do not get support, appreciation or acknowledgement very much but that criticism can flow freely.   So I can only imagine the Hell you are going through this month.

So I want to say to you personally what courageous leadership it takes to take into account information that is not good news for your campaign and to try to just do what will be successful – to talk bold leadership even when this may not be popular with volunteers who have spent literally hundreds and hundreds of hours gathering signatures.  It takes real leadership to do what you feel is most likely to get a price on carbon in WA, and to be wiling to re-evaluate cherish ideas and beliefs about how this might go down.

Personally I am one of your lesser volunteers.  I gathered two sheets of signatures and then once the controversy started I stopped.  I stopped because I do not believe in carbon neutral and had not known there could be another possibility.  What the Alliance was drafting was more towards what I wanted but when you were the only possibility…well I want a price on carbon no matter what.   I did however, like most of the environmental community become deeply disturbed by the ranker between the two camps and the dirty pool I saw the Alliance playing.

I have literally prayed for your two camps to come together and for a solution to arise.  At one point I was trying to imagine how could this resolve.   What I had come up with (but seemed a pipedream at the time) was that you would choose not to turn in the petitions and that since you do have at least addresses if not in some cases other contact information for more than enough signatures to immediately in Jan put the other initiative on the ballot that you would work in collaboration with the Alliance to reach out to those voters to sign the new initiative.   That in so doing that the Alliance would welcome you as their FULL partner and credit you accordingly.   That the two groups would walk forward united!   So I realize that the last part about reaching out and getting people to sign the new measure is more than you are currently proposing but I think might actually be very healing for your volunteers???

So when I got your email to volunteers I frankly felt like “Wow there really is a Santa Clause.”   I know for you right now Dec 30th is just a day that weighs heavily on you (if there is anything I could do to help that please let me know.)   But I would love to see the environmental and climate movement unite and fight shoulder to shoulder for the new initiative.


Date: December 23, 2015 at 9:38:15 PM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: Babysitting offer still stands.

Hi Yoram,

My offer to help out with babysitting still stands. It will be an
incredible amount of work to mount the grassroots lobbying campaign needed
to pass I-732. You will need support so you don’t get burned out.

I hope we can work with TNC, WEC, WCV, and Climate Solutions.

I think the consensus process would be useful in bringing people together
and creating momentum. I can give you more info if you are interested.

Have you read Don’t Even Think About It: Why Our Brains Are Wired to
Ignore Climate Change, by George Marshall? It has some good ideas for a

Please let me know of other ways I can help.
Date: December 24, 2015 at 1:44:33 PM PST
To: “‘[email protected]’” <[email protected]>
Subject: I-732: next steps

Hey Yoram.  Really good to hear about your movement towards forming one Int on carbon for the 2016 ballot.  That is something [ ] would definitely support [ ].  I know the past several months and weeks have been grueling for you and Carbon WA leadership to deal with all the criticism on the path forward for our state in terms of CO2 emission reduction – but am really glad to hear of a reconsideration of turning in all the 732 signatures – because that effort involved a LOT of time, energy, and money and you know all about that as the leader.  I can only assume that a lot of conversation/negotiations going on right now w/in Carbon WA and w/the Alliance.  I do hope that you and your leadership make the difficult – but in the end the best decision to not turn in the signatures and hold a press conf in the new year with the Alliance announcing a new unified collaboration for ALL of our communities to solidly get behind.  Thanks Yoram for all of your work and leadership in the 732 effort and look forward to collaborating with you and the Alliance in 2016 for unified victory for our state, for the environment, and the planet.  Hoping you can find some time away during the holidays in the midst of all of this.


Date: December 24, 2015 at 8:48:46 AM PST
To: [email protected]
Subject: revenue neutral please

My husband and I collected signatures and sent money to carbonWA in good faith that those signatures would be turned in.

I actually had some moderate republicans sign the petition who are concerned about climate change and open to a revenue neutral plan to decrease carbon emissions.  An Initiative to the People will NOT be accepted in Eastern Washington if there are  many social agendas included in the measure, or if it involves a general increase in taxes.

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