Campaign News

Hello carbon tax friends! With our noses to the grindstone it can be easy to forget the big picture, so go read the New York Times editorial board commentary on I-732: “Washington State’s Ambitious Carbon Tax Proposal”. And while you’re at it read the Bloomberg View editorial about our left-wing opposition: “When Climate Campaigners Miss the Point”. And also Noah Kaufman of World Resources Institute, writing at the Huffington Post: “A Climate Change Policy that Benefits the Poor”. Also Ramez Naam, writing in The Stranger: “To Fight Climate Change and Poverty, Vote YES on Initiative 732”. And here’s our national press release on BusinessWire: “Nation’s First Carbon Tax, Initiative 732, Goes before Voters in Washington State”.

Then send these articles to all your friends, with a special note about this part from the NYT ed board: “The Washington proposal would be the first in the country and could well set an example for other states.” (!) And then encourage them all to donate to the campaign.

And PS feel free to also send them lots of our other fabulous media hits, include the Seattle Weekly’s amazing full-page cartoon explaining I-732, plus articles in the USA Today, the Economist, the Washington Post, the LA Times, Slate, Vox, ClimateProgress, ClimateWire, and more. And also consider forwarding to them the wonderful “Vote for 732” email copied below from Kristy Royce (I think with help from Phil Mitchell, both of them CarbonWA activists going back years and years!).

And then let’s put our noses back to the grindstone for the next 15 days! You can help by writing LTEs (please read these guidelines and/or contact communications@carbonwa.org if you need help or when you’ve submitted one!) and by helping us knock some doors or make some phone calls because the ‘politics as usual’ approach to climate change hasn’t worked and it’s not about to – only we can mobilize, organize, and make the change we need – we are the ones we’ve been waiting for – so let’s get out there!

New endorsement

Thank you to the University Unitarian Church (UUC) Climate Action Team for their endorsement of I-732!

Upcoming Events

In Tacoma on T Oct 25 at 4pm Yoram will be part of a debate at UPS. In Seattle on W Oct 26 a CarbonWA representative will be part of a United Nations Association of Seattle panel discussion at UW at 7pm. In Bellevue on Th Oct 27 Jen Syrowitz from Audubon Washington will be part of a panel discussion at Eastshore Unitarian Church. And finally remember that every weekday along with many other days we are hosting phonebanks with pizza in our office in Seattle so please join us remotely or in person!

Election night party details!  

We are moving the center of gravity for climate action, and we are moving the center of gravity for election night as well! The official Yes on I-732 election night party will be from 6:30-9:30pm at Peddler Brewing Company (1514 NW Leary Way, Seattle WA, 98107). If you are on Facebook, you can find the event here and invite other supporters. A couple of logistical notes: Peddler is all ages, they serve beer and cider and soda, and the overflow space is a heated outdoor tent, so you may want to bring a jacket. Win, lose, or draw we hope you will join us for this historic night… and if coming to Seattle isn’t an option we are encouraging people to host local house parties as well!

Finally, for the love of Earth and all the living things on it – we need you to volunteer right now!! Please sign up to doorbell, flyer, or phonebank.

We’ve got 15 days to go. We are taking a swing at the ball and making history with the most important climate vote in the nation. And PS. it’s not too late to donate. Let’s win!

From the whole Yes on 732 team… and read on for the letter to share with friends.

A letter to share with your friends (from Kristy Royce) 

Dear Friends,I’m writing about I-732, the carbon tax initiative on the ballot this November. If you already plan to vote for it, no need to read further.

If you are at all concerned about climate change, and I am, given my step-dad is a climate scientist, and I founded the non-profit CoolMom with the hopes of engaging moms around climate action. My belief is that, without a doubt, climate change will be the biggest threat to our children’s future and I will do whatever I can to create a shift. Washington is staged to become a true leader in passing climate policy and this could shift the whole country if not the world.

If you are not sure, or are thinking of voting NO, please read this. I was one of the first organizers for this bill, I have stood out in the rain, and the hot sun, and the boring hours, collecting signatures for I-732 and I want to make sure you hear the whole story. We are within striking distance of passing this! And this is a BIG DEAL!

So … a carbon tax. Under normal circumstances, no email would be required. Carbon tax? Yes, of course! We’ve been waiting decades for this! We’ve known for years that this is the single most effective policy to tackle climate change.

But this is not a normal time.

You may have heard that many of the progressive and green groups are not supporting I-732. You may have seen Fuse’s Progressive Voter Guide that advises a No vote on I-732. How is this possible?

That is some crazy talk!

The politics around I-732 are complicated*, but the short version is this: The groups opposing I-732 oppose it for one main reason: it is revenue neutral. In other words, it’s a carbon tax that won’t bring in any additional revenue, because it lowers other taxes at the same time it raises a tax on fossil fuels.

These groups are so committed to the idea that a carbon tax should raise new revenue that they’re willing to kill the strongest climate policy in North America over it. They’re even willing to trot out the same lies that right wing opponents always use against environmental initiatives: in the official Voters’ pamphlet, they have the audacity to call it a “job killer” and say that “it will not significantly address climate change.”

Here’s what Sightline, the Pacific Northwest’s premier progressive think tank had to say about I-732:

“I-732 would launch Washington to a position of global leadership on climate action. By implementing a pollution price, rising steadily for four decades and keeping pace with inflation thereafter, I-732 would reorient Washington’s economy away from fossil fuels and toward low-carbon options. The price would be simple to administer and would cover most of the state’s pollution. By reducing Washington’s regressive state sales tax and funding tax credits for working families, I-732 would make the state tax code more progressive.”

“Taken on whole, for us at Sightline, and judged exclusively on the basis of policy, not politics or political strategy, the policy’s flaws are cause for concern but are dwarfed by I-732’s potential benefits.”

If you’re still unsure, read the whole meticulous analysis (fyi, they refute the supposed “budget hole” that I-732 would create):
http://www.sightline.org/2016/08/01/pros-cons-carbonwa-carbon-tax-swap-ballot-initiative-732/
http://www.sightline.org/2016/08/02/does-initiative-732-carbon-tax-have-a-budget-hole/
http://www.sightline.org/2016/08/03/weighing-critiques-of-carbonwa-i-732/

You can tell from the way they wrote the piece that they’re bending over backwards to avoid pissing off all their allies on the left. But facts are facts.

Please join me in supporting I-732 and helping to spread the word. Please vote YES for climate action!

Cheers,
Kristy

* The complication is mainly around the involvement of environmental justice, climate justice, and social justice groups representing communities of color. I’m not in any way minimizing the importance of the issues they’re raising. But I deeply believe that opposing I-732 over these issues is a huge mistake. As so often, perfect is the enemy of good, and I believe that to be the case here.