Campaign News

Hello carbon tax friends: Last Wednesday was my birthday, and the best present I got was being reunited with my family after being out on a two-week comedy-and-carbon-tax tour. 

My birthday was also the day I sent out our open letter to the environmental community, and getting signature-gathering pledges in response from Emma and Maggie and Ryan was the second-best present I got. (You can send in a belated present here!) That may sound corny, but the truth is that I am incredibly fortunate to be able to spend some of my time working on carbon pricing, especially in collaboration with so many terrific people. So this week I want to give extra thanks to Duncan and Dani and Ben and Kyle and Vicki and Akua, and to Bill and Joe and David, all of whom have been giving loads of their time and energy to the campaign over the past many weeks and months. We are busy working on our winter deliverables and will have more to report on that in the weeks ahead!

Beyond that, there’s a lot of readings for the week, including a terrific economist sign-on letter making the rounds in Oregon. (Spread the word, and BTW Washington economists should make sure to sign onto our letter.) In other carbon tax news from elsewhere, voters in Massachussets re-elected carbon tax advocate Mike Barrett to the state senate; activists in Vermont launched a carbon tax campaign (more here); and a review of the tax system in Nova Scotia recommended a BC-style carbon tax. (See also Preston Manning’s “How to communicate a good idea: carbon pricing”.) So while the New York Times emphasizes that a carbon tax is “politically impossible” and “off the table”, groups like these are working to make carbon taxes a reality on the ground.

Our Carbon Washington effort is playing a leading role in that larger campaign, and we got stories in the Washington State Wire and the UW Daily, plus repeated mentions in Elaine Spencer’s “Cap and Trade to Reduce Carbon Emissions in Washington Is SO 1990s” from the Graham & Dunn law firm blog. There’s also a lively debate on our blog about our open letter to the environmental community, and also a thoughtful dissenting view from Patrick Mazza on the Cascadia Planet blog. My challenge to Patrick is to (1) put a specific proposal on the table and (2) show how it’s going to help lead to national action. Come to think of it, that’s also my challenge to the governor’s CERT taskforce, which released its final report last week by advocating carbon pricing but punting on the details. (Ditto for the signers of the Washington Climate Declaration, which was even less specific.) Governor Inslee himself will hopefully provide details of his proposal (which apparently includes carbon pricing but also lots of other things) in the weeks and months ahead, but as we forge ahead with our winter deliverables we can take pride in having a specific proposal and a bipartisan path to action at the state level and beyond. Hope springs eternal!

Regards, and thanks to all of you for all of your good work,



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