Hello carbon tax friends: This week we’ve got more news from Olympia, including your last chance to RSVP for Lobby Day on Tuesday Feb 23!
Our lobby day is this coming Tuesday, February 23rd; there will be training, lunch, and meetings with legislators across the state… and carpools too! If you can attend, even for just part of the day, please RSVP here. (You can also try out our snazzy new form to contact your legislator directly.)
And stay tuned for a report next week on the House Finance Committee hearing that is scheduled for this Friday—tomorrow, Feb 19—at 8am. (If you’re interested in attending or testifying please email email@example.com.) We will be sharing our concerns about the OFM Fiscal Note, summarized in this op-ed in the Olympian, with details here. And, despite all the talk in Olympia about the McCleary decision and education funding—a price tag estimated at $3.5 billion per biennium—we will also be encouraging everyone to keep the fiscal note for I-732 in perspective, for example by noting that even the OFM numbers for I-732 are of the same magnitude as the quarterly fluctuations in the state’s Economic and Revenue Forecast. (The most recent forecast projects General Fund revenue for the next biennium that is $440 million [1.1%] lower than the forecast from just three months ago.) The bottom line is that we are still poised to pass the best climate policy in the USA, a hugely progressive tax shift, and our analysis continues to be that I-732 is approximately revenue neutral. So we’ll keep working on it, but let’s not take our eye off the ball over a revenue dispute that is relatively small (and likely to shrink in the months ahead).
CarbonWA gets a shout-out in Christopher Flavelle’s Bloomberg View piece on “Obama Shows How Not to Sell a Carbon Tax”. And there’s an interesting segment on I-732 on conservative talk radio KVI, with host John Carlson and guest Todd Myers. Regarding the possibility of an I-732B from the legislature (we discussed how that process would work a few weeks ago), Washington State Wire attempts to read the tea leaves in Olympia: “Consensus amongst conservatives and business people is that carbon reduction will continue to be an issue in Washington, even if I-732 fails, and that it’s time to switch from defense to offense.” Hopefully they’re reading Carbon Pulse, which has “BP stresses need for global carbon pricing as world faces 25% rise in CO2 emissions to 2035”, including this quote from BP CEO Bob Dudley: “This underpins the importance of policy-makers taking steps that lead to a global price for carbon, which provides the right incentives for everyone to play their part.” Finally, in terms of local climate change impacts, the Olympian has “Rising sea poses more urgent risk to downtown Olympia than previously thought”.
Regards, and don’t miss your last chance to RSVP here for Lobby Day on Tuesday February 23!
Talk to your friends and neighbors about I-732