Hello carbon tax friends: We still don’t know if there will be action in Olympia this coming week on a 732B alternative, but what we do know is that we’ve gotten a lot of folks thinking about and talking about carbon taxes and climate policy. And since I’m on the east coast this week I can confirm that our influence is actually being felt all around the country! More on that below, plus a great NYT article on the BC carbon tax and other news stories… but we’re going to begin with a strong endorsement of I-732 from Interfaith Works.
Here’s what the board of Interfaith Works wrote: “People of faith worldwide bring a crucial spiritual and moral voice to the issue of climate change and the pressing need to act boldly. The Interfaith Works Board of Directors finds that passage of Initiative 732 would be an important step forward in combating climate change and therefore endorses I-732 and will educate its members and the wider community about climate change and the value I-732 would have in stemming the worst effects on low-income people and on the ecosystem that sustains use all.”
Like many of you, I’ve spent a lot of time in the trenches in Washington State, and heaven knows we’ve had our ups and downs… so it’s been something of a revelation for me to hear from folks on the east coast, because the view from the other side of the country is uniformly positive. Adele Morris of the Brookings Institution, for example, watched the TVW videos of the legislative hearings (which she thought might have been the first public legislative hearings ever on a carbon tax in the U.S.) and said things like “Just getting as far as you have is massive” and “I’m a fan” and “Nobody’s ever gotten it as far as you”. She also emphasized the importance of the CarbonWA effort in terms of learning by doing and building “policy muscle”.
We also heard from Mike Tidwell, executive director of Chesapeake Climate Action Network, that CarbonWA is the inspiration for the carbon tax campaign his group is planning to start in Washington DC (!). And DC is just one of the growing list of carbon tax campaigns around the country; more information about others can be found via the State Carbon Pricing Network organized by US Climate Plan.
Carbon Washington made national news with Phuong Le’s “Washington considers nation’s first carbon emissions tax” in the AP, which got picked up in such far-away locales as Jackson Hole, Wyoming. More CarbonWA news from Washington State Wire, which has an article about a 732B option (“An Alternative to I-732 Joins the Debate”); from an editorial in the Olympian, which closes with strong words in support of climate action (“By abdicating, lawmakers will have only themselves to blame when Inslee moves ahead with a carbon cap, or a hard-hitting citizen initiative arises to combat global warming”); and from Sydney Brownstone in The Stranger (“What Will It Take for Washington State to Put a Price on Carbon?”), who notes that “it doesn’t look likely that the Alliance will be offering up a ballot initiative to compete with I-732 after all”.
Elsewhere, there’s a new TED talk from Al Gore, plus a climate talk during the Oscars from Leonardo DiCaprio. And a new study on the household impacts of a CCL-style fee-and-dividend approach. The NYT’s Paul Krugman gives a shout-out to carbon tax in “Planet on the Ballot”. And, as noted above, Eduardo Porter has a a great NYT article on the BC carbon tax.
Talk to your friends and neighbors about I-732