Campaign News

Hello, CarbonWA friends: Happy holidays and read on for some climate action updates!

Carbon tax in Governor’s proposed 2017 budget

Governor Jay Inslee has released a proposed 2017-2019 Washington State budget that includes a capital gains tax, new funding for education and other priorities, and a $25 per ton carbon tax with a 3.5% annual increase. This budget would have to be passed by both the Democrat controlled State House and the Republican controlled State Senate to go into law, and a major education deficit still looms over the state, so there is good reason to believe this budget proposal will face significant challenges. Even so, we are excited to see climate action at the heart of the legislative discussion.
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Carbon tax friends, be proud of what we’ve accomplished 

Together, we accomplished something historic by putting the nation’s first statewide carbon tax before the voters. We showed that there is a strong desire for common-sense climate action in Washington State, and we influenced the national conversation on climate policy. We ran an honest, transparent, and positive campaign focused on addressing the climate and equity problems facing our society. We did all of that thanks to you.

The votes are still being counted, but we’re on track to get well over 1 million votes in support of a policy that would have created one of the strongest carbon prices in the world and been the biggest improvement in the fairness of our state’s tax system in 40 years. We led the biggest voter education effort on climate change ever in the state. We knocked on over 100,000 doors, made over 1 million phone calls, and published more than 140 letters to the editor in every type of media outlet. Our campaign raised more than $1.5 million from thousands of donors with a median donation of $50.

We formed a terrific partnership with Audubon Washington and with grassroots organizations across the state, especially chapters of Citizens’ Climate Lobby (both in Washington State and as far away as Hawaii!); regional climate action groups like Climate Action Bainbridge, Cascadia Climate Action, Olympic Climate Action, Oregon Climate (now Our Climate), and Divest UW; faith organizations including the Climate Action Ministry at Eastshore Unitarian, Interfaith Works, and Washington UU Voices; clean energy groups like Seattle Electric Vehicles, Seattle Transit Blog, and Solar Installers of Washington; and many others, including Carbon Tax CenterConservation Hawks, the American Sustainable Business Council, AIA Seattle, and the American Planning Association’s Washington Chapter (more…)

Haven’t voted yet? All ballots must be postmarked today or put in a drop box by 8 p.m. this evening. (Find your nearest drop box.)

Every%20vote%20counts.jpgHaven’t made up your mind about Initiative 732? Here are a few articles to read:

Whatever your political persuasion, today’s your day to celebrate democracy and exercise your franchise. Your vote is valuable. Please use it!

P.S. If you want to join us to watch the election returns you’ll find us — starting at 6:30 p.m. — at Peddler Brewing Company (1514 NW Leary Way, Seattle). If you’re on Facebook, you can find the event here and invite other supporters.

YEARS OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY is back for another must-see season. In the video posted here, Don Cheadle, Nikki Reed, Ian Somerhalder (who have all endorsed I-732) and others make the case to “Put a Price on Carbon.”

Watch YEARS OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on the National Geographic channel. Each YOLD correspondent – including top Hollywood stars recognized for their commitment to spotlighting and acting on the biggest issues of our time – delves into a different impact of climate change. In the show’s second season, they cross the globe not only to discover the devastating impacts climate change is already having, but to also find the solutions that can solve the crisis.

Famed environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., has weighed in on I-732. Writing in EcoWatch, Kennedy says “Washington state voters have a profound duty to support Initiative 732, our nation’s first carbon tax.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Supports Initiative 732, carbon tax in Washington

“By making Washington the premier American government to place a price on carbon, Evergreen voters will pioneer the trail away from our deadly carbon addiction and its murderous offspring: climate chaos . . .”

Kennedy also emphasizes the national importance of I-732: “By voting yes on I-732, Washingtonians will not just preserve the environment for children. They will pave the way for a national transition to the clean energy future.

“I hope Washington voters will step up and show the federal government that the visionary, idealistic, can-do leadership is alive and well in America and it’s living in Washington state.”

Read his complete column in EcoWatch. (You can also help share the article via Facebook and Twitter.) (more…)

5 days left

Carbon tax friends, we’ve got 5 days left and we’re closing strong! 

When we launched this campaign we compared ourselves to a relief pitcher, and now—two years later— we are on the mound, it’s down to the wire, and it’s time to finish strong!

You can get inspiration from today’s New York Times article about I-732 (and the fight over coal export terminals). And also the article in today’s Seattle Times.
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Celebrity support for I-732: Don Cheadle, Leonardo DiCaprio, Lili Taylor

Leonardo DiCaprio, Don Cheadle and Lili Taylor have all said yes on I-732 on social media. #YesOn732 continues to be building momentum via Facebook and Twitter as celebrities push for the I-732 carbon tax swap in Washington State.

Leonardo DiCaprio says Yes on Initiative 732 and a clean energy future:

I-732 is a revenue-neutral carbon tax—the first of its kind in the U.S. It offers Washington state a chance to protect birds and secure a clean energy future. Vote Yes on I-732 to act on climate.

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Carbon tax friends, we have a good shot at winning… 

Last week the Elway Poll showed a “significant gain in support” for I-732. This week we’ve got a KCTS poll showing 51% Yes, 44% No, 4% Undecided. (Note that they pushed pretty hard on Undecided voters, many of whom still don’t know what I-732 is all about or or that it will be the most potent carbon tax in North America!

leonardo-dicaprio-tweets-in-support-of-i-732And in just the last few days we’ve gotten a boost from the Washington Post editorial page, from Leonardo DiCaprio (for comic relief see also this classic headline in the Tacoma News Tribune), and from the folks at Years of Living Dangerously.  (more…)

The policy was developed to de-politicize the climate debate and start a national movement

I-732 encourages renewable energyOur latest news release is helping to generate nationwide news coverage. It notes that I-732 has bipartisan support and is endorsed by over 50 University of Washington climate scientistsAudubon WashingtonCitizens’ Climate Lobby, and numerous other groups and individuals who believe we must take big action now on climate change. The New York Times says I-732 “could well set an example for other states.”

Other recent articles have appeared in The Christian Science Monitor, The Huffington Post, Bloomberg View and the Washington Post.

Read the press release on BusinessWire.

Photo: Jason Blackeye via Unsplash.com

Conaway, Tam and Nelson refute claims of I-732's opponentsThroughout the campaign, opponents of Initiative 732 have recycled the same arguments — that the tax swap will reduce revenue to the state, lead to a loss of jobs, and create an “unjust transition” to a clean-energy economy. This video explores each of those issues, and shows how — in each case — I-732 will accomplish the opposite of what opponents claim. (more…)