Campaign News


Former Starbucks President of North America and nationally respected business leader, author, and speaker supports policy that will reduce carbon emissions while providing much-needed tax reform

SEATTLE, May 5, 2016
— Howard Behar, a nationally respected business leader, author, and speaker, has endorsed Washington State Initiative 732, which would place a price on harmful carbon emissions while reducing the state sales tax and providing other forms of tax relief to families and businesses in Washington state. It is the first and only carbon pricing plan in the country going before voters in the 2016 general election, and has the support of hundreds of thousands of citizens across the state who believe we must act now to tackle climate change, and leave future generations a cleaner, healthier, safer world. 

“I am endorsing I-732 because it is a pragmatic, common-sense solution to a difficult problem that we have to address together,” said Behar. “It’s an approach that serves everyone and I urge other business leaders and citizens across the state to join me in supporting I-732.”

“Throughout his career, Howard has inspired people to believe in and act on the bigger purpose, values, and success they aspire to,” said Yoram Bauman, founder and co-chair of Carbon Washington, the sponsor of the initiative. “We believe everyone has a moral responsibility to focus on carbon reduction now to protect our children and future generations, and we are proud to have Howard’s endorsement of our policy.”

I-732 represents the best climate policy and the most progressive tax shift in decades in Washington and is designed to move the state toward two goals – cleaner energy and fairer taxes – with the following policy objectives:

  • Tax pollution, not people. I-732 will add a $25 per ton tax to polluting fossil fuels
  • Pay less at the cash register. I-732 reduces the state sales tax by one percentage point, putting hundreds of dollars a year back into the pockets of each household in Washington
  • Support working families. The policy funds the Working Families Tax Rebate, providing up to $1,500 a year for approximately 400,000 low-income households
  • Promote innovation and economic growth. I-732 supports business growth and job creation by effectively eliminating the Business and Occupation Tax on manufacturing

About Howard Behar

Howard Behar led Starbucks Corporation’s domestic business for 21 years as President of Starbucks Coffee Company North America, and was the founding President of Starbucks International. He served on the company’s Board of Directors for twelve years before retiring. Howard now travels the world speaking to leaders, corporations, and students, while also serving on the boards of several for-profit and non-profit organizations. He is the author of two books on personal leadership, “The Magic Cup” and “It’s Not About The Coffee.”

About Carbon Washington

Carbon Washington is a bipartisan grassroots group of scientists, economists, former elected officials, business owners and concerned citizens focused on seeking a solution to climate change that works for businesses and households around the state. The group developed Initiative 732 as a revenue-neutral approach to tax carbon pollution while encouraging economic growth for families and businesses in Washington. To learn more about I-732, view endorsements from around the state, and get involved, visit and follow on twitter @carbonwa.

Media Contact

Samara Villasenor

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