Tag Archives: carbon tax

OCA endorses I-1631; time to gather signatures!

State initiative would put a fee on carbon and devote the proceeds to clean energy and climate protection

At its April 2018 monthly meeting, Olympic Climate Action (OCA) agreed by consensus to endorse I-1631, the Protect Washington Act initiative. OCA joins Sierra Club, The Nature Conservancy, Washington Audubon, a coalition of Native American tribes and 200 other statewide organizations in our endorsement.

We cannot continue to treat our atmosphere as a sewer without incurring a deadly cost, one much greater than the cost of an emissions fee.

We must collect 270,000 signatures statewide by the end of June to get this initiative on the ballot, and residents of the Olympic Peninsula must do our part. To help this signature-gathering campaign, contact:

Links for more information:

Climate/Energy bills in the State Leg

OCA’s Executive Committee just sent these messages to our 24th District state legislators; we suggest you contact them as well, on this and other issues still pending in the Legislature:

Rep. Mike Chapman: mike.chapman@leg.wa.gov 360-786-7916

Rep. Steve Tharinger: steve.tharinger@leg.wa.gov 360-786-7904

Sen. Kevin Van de Wege: kevin.vandewege@leg.wa.gov 360-786-7646

  • 3SHB 1144: OCA commends the State House for passing this bill which would revise the current state-mandated reduction limits to reflect current science concerning the level and rate of reduction that will be necessary to avoid catastrophic climate disruption.
  • SB 6203: OCA would support this carbon-tax bill if the tax were put back at $20/ton and exemptions were removed from the Transalta coal plant and other non-“Energy Intensive Trade-Exposed” (EITE) industries. We neither support nor oppose the current, watered-down version of this bill.
  • HB 2839:  OCA supported the original bill, which gives the Utilities and Transportation Commission authority to assess economic impacts associated with incremental increases in carbon dioxide emissions within a calendar year.
    • However, we do NOT support the added provision requiring that qualified biomass energy be considered a non-emitting resource. First, there is no question that burning material containing carbon will emit greenhouse gases, and even if in the long run the process were carbon neutral (which it is not), we face a climate crisis that is very much going to take place in the short run, and we need to reduce emissions as much as we can, as quickly as we can. Some argue that biofuel is carbon friendly because it displaces the burning of coal in power plants; this comparison is unfair because it compares to the most carbon-intensive energy source there is, rather than cleaner-energy sources. But even so, it is flawed to call biomass burning emissions-neutral. See the following links:

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/05/business/economy/next-renewable-energy-burning-forests-if-senators-get-their-way.html

Letter to the Senate on carbon neutrality of forest biomass | Woods Hole Research Center

EIA-biomass-effects-on-CPP-PFPI-Oct-2016.pdf

http://magazine.manomet.org/winter2012/biomass.htm

Legislators: enact a strong carbon tax

At our general membership meeting of 2/4/18, we agreed to send this letter to our state legislators urging action on a strong carbon tax. The time is now, and there is no time for half-measures or excuses. We urge individuals to write their own letters on this issue–your representatives need to hear from you!

Letter to 24th Dist. Leg. re carbon pricing 2018-02-04

Our legislators are facing many important issues, but frankly, none of these other issues will matter if we don’t get a handle on climate change. We need to change our current trajectory, strongly and swiftly, and with our federal government having abdicated responsibility for the future of human civilization, it’s up to the rest of us–states, Tribes, localities, businesses and individuals–to take matters into our own hands.
Please consider sending a letter of your own; your representatives need to hear from you!

Nature Conservancy considering carbon tax proposal for Washington State

“We’ve made a major financial commitment to do all the work that needs to be done,” she added, including gathering about 350,000 signatures to ensure the needed valid signatures.

http://www.thestate.com/news/business/national-business/article155921079.html

Legislators: Put a price on carbon now

By unanimous agreement at our meeting of 5/7/2017, we have sent this letter to our state legislators:

Senator Kevin Van de Wege

Representative Steve Tharinger

Representative Mike Chapman

Washington State Legislature

Dear State Legislative representatives from District 24:

Olympic Climate Action maintains a membership of more than 600 members from the Olympic Peninsula through email and other social media. Our membership promotes action by government at all levels to both mitigate climate change and prepare adaptation measures. We believe that the single most urgent thing we need to do as a society is to put a price on carbon that reflects its true costs and provides a disincentive for its use. Our membership has been happy to see a number of proposed carbon tax bills under consideration by the state legislature. Each has its pros and cons. In urging your own consideration, we would like to underscore the following concepts:

  • Urgency: Scientists tell us that we have precious little time to waste on converting to a clean-energy economy, and therefore we urge action on a carbon-pricing bill NOW. Economists seem to converge on an initial price at $25 per ton of CO2.
  • Efficacy: Scientists such as James Hansen, former NASA lead climate scientist, also tell us that to set a target that doesn’t risk the safety and well-being of the next generation, we need to aim for 350 ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere by the end of the century, and that to hit such a target, we need to reach a 91% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Our carbon pricing needs to aim for that target.
  • Support for mitigation: Use some of the proceeds to actively support the reduction of our carbon footprint through incentives, research, and infrastructure investment.  Explore the creation of a market for forest carbon sequestration.
  • Equity: Assure that those least able to deal with additional expenses in their budgets find relief; that poor communities least able to deal with cope with climate impacts are helped to achieve resiliency; and that workers in dislocated economic sectors are helped to find alternate employment.
  • Integrity: Construct the program in such a way that it does not lead to “leakage” of greenhouse-gas emissions to other states or countries.
  • Accountability and oversight: Ensure that taxpayers’ funds are spent both effectively and efficiently with broad benefits, including implementing the State’s Clean Air Rule.

In addition to carbon pricing, we also support these related initiatives:

  • Oil Transportation Safety (HB 1611) will help address a $3.6 million funding shortfall in state oil spill prevention programs, improve oil spill prevention for Puget Sound, and provide more public input on proposed oil pipeline projects. This is common-sense protection for our communities, and it comes under threat of vastly increased shipping in our waters.
  • The creation of an electric vehicle charging station loop around the Olympic Peninsula.  While such infrastructure will enhance our tourism business, it will also facilitate the conversion by local residents to electric vehicles.  We hope you will work with your colleagues to support General Fund investment in publicly-available electric vehicle charging stations, as well as the maximum allowable funding of EV chargers from the VW litigation settlement.

Please respond with your positions on these topics, or if you wish we’d be glad to meet with you to discuss these critical issues.

Sincerely,

The members of Olympic Climate Action, adopted unanimously at our general membership meeting of May 7, 2017

“Occupy” endorses I-732

Occupy.com has posted a story about “6 ballot initiatives to watch in 2016.” Author Matt Stannard calls I-732 “absolutely the most important initiative in the country.”

From the story: “At the top of the list is the first and only carbon tax and rebate initiative in the United States, an idea championed by a variety of advocates across a wide ideological spectrum. Over a two-year period, Initiative 732 would institute a $25 per metric ton of CO2 consumed in the state. The proposal also reduces state sales taxes across the board by 1 percent; this makes sense because sales taxes are regressive for no socially defensible reason, while the carbon tax at least has a purpose. Even better, the proposal provides up to $1,500 per year in the form of a tax rebate to 400,000 of the lowest-income Washingtonians – the people most likely to fear a post-carbon transition for legitimate economic reasons.”

http://www.occupy.com/article/climate-justice-ground-6-ballot-initiatives-watch-2016

I-732 will benefit Clallam County $$$

In a presentation to the Dungeness River Management Team, CarbonWA executive board member Mike Massa made the case for the I-732 revenue-neutral carbon tax and refuted the statements that the Clallam County PUD had made opposing the initiative at a previous DRMT meeting.  Here are his slides in Powerpoint and PDF format.

Note the projected economic impacts:

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