Legislative language on the home stretch: One of our winter deliverables was to finalize our legal language, so here’s an annotated copy of another new draft following our legal team meeting earlier this week. The tweaks from the previous version were fairly minor, so we expect the ballot title to be similar to the ballot title that just arrived from the Secretary of State’s office for our previous version: Initiative Measure No. 1397 concerns taxes. This measure would impose a tax on certain fossil fuels and electricity generated by fossil fuels, phase in a one-percentage-point sales tax reduction, reduce certain business taxes, and increase a sales tax exemption. Should this measure be enacted into law? Yes [ ] No [ ]. More generally, we are making good progress towards being able to file a final version on March 11, the first day that we can file our Initiative to the Legislature. The Secretary of State’s process takes about a month, so signature-gathering will begin in early/mid April.
Bellingham: Kyle Murphy and Ben Silesky will be in Bellingham this Friday and Saturday, so if you are located in/near Bellingham and want to connect, email Kyle@carbonwa.org to set up a time! Also check out the pretty hilarious post I wrote last year for Sightline about whether the BC carbon tax is successful because all the Canadians are filling up their tanks in Bellingham. (The short answer is No.)
Other events: I’ll be part of CityClub’s March Civic Cocktail on W March 4, and Duncan and Kyle are scheduled to be part of an event at Bainbridge Art Museum that same evening. Then the CCL Greater Pacific Northwest Regional Conference is coming up March 7-8 in Seattle; CarbonWA will be tabling and I’ll be doing my comedy-and-carbon-taxes routine on Saturday March 7. Earlier that day Ben Silesky will be at the South Sound Sustainability Expo in Tacoma. Cliff Mass will be at Seattle Town Hall on W March 11, and I’ll be at Town Hall on M March 16 for a panel on “Putting a price on Washington’s climate pollution” with KC Golden, Todd Myers, and Nicole Keenan. Further afield it looks like I’ll be in Spokane around April 15, Whidbey Island around April 22, Bremerton on April 25, and Bainbridge Island around April 29, so email me if you want to organize events or a house party while I’m in town! Details on most upcoming events are here.
Also Todd Myers of the Washington Policy Center has a video describing cap-and-trade (and why he’s against it, all in less than 2 minutes!). Ian Adams of R Street has a post that should be especially thought-provoking for CCL folks: “The difference between wanting a carbon tax and getting one.” Somehow that dynamic seems to be missing from the state transportation discussion, where Senate Republicans introduced a “poison pill” that eliminates funding for transit, pedestrians, and bicyclists if Governor Inslee introduces a Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) via executive order. Richard Davis also argues against the LCFS in the Seattle Times, and in doing so he has nice things to say about how the CarbonWA carbon tax would be better than an LCFS… but so far the oil companies can’t manage to translate their theoretical support for carbon pricing into practical support. Elsewhere, “Sea-Tac Airport tells of need for expansion”, and Clean Energy Canada has a report based on BC’s experience called “How to adopt a winning carbon price”; they have a handy summary in “How B.C. brought in a carbon tax without tears”.
CarbonWA is hiring! Our campaign co-directors Kyle Murphy and Duncan Clauson are assembling a team of talented organizers to help us build a strong volunteer network, get the word out about CarbonWA, and collect signatures. We are open to candidates across the state, but we are especially interested in hiring in the greater Puget Sound region. More details in this job posting (PDF), please share widely! Applications and inquires can be directed to Kyle@carbonwa.org.
As always comments welcome on the blog or via Facebook and Twitter.