Tag Archives: State Legislature

Help the 350.org WA — Civic Action Team

Hello Climate Action Team!

1615: Climate calls made to legislators!
932: Climate comments left on bills!
2570: Climate emails sent to legislators!
5117: total legislator contacts made by the Civic Action Team in 2020!

9: Days left in the legislative session!

We’re now in the home stretch with a big cut-off looming on Friday at 5pm when bills must be voted off the floor. Ready to do some heavy lifting? Great!

House bills ready for a Senate floor vote

Here are two climate-related House bills ready for a floor vote in the Senate. Suction Dredge Mining protects salmon by regulating the awful practice of suction dredge mining, and Aircraft Noise Abatement provides mitigations for airport noise.

Please call these Senate Majority leaders and ask that these bills receive a floor vote:

Majority Leader, Sen. Andy Billig (D-03) — (360) 786-7604  — Andy.Billig@leg.wa.gov
Majority Floor Leader, Sen. Marko Liias (D-21) — (360) 786-7640 — Marko.Liias@leg.wa.gov

Script : “Hello, I’m calling Senator [Name] because of his role in Senate leadership and I have two bills that I would like to see receive a floor vote. May I give you the bill numbers?”

Next let’s make sure that four bills in the Senate Rules Committee get moved to the floor…

House bills that need to be “pulled” to the Senate floor

Several House bills that you’ve promoted during these last weeks need your attention one more time! Natural Gas Transmission incentivizes utilities to fix methane leaks (duh!), GHG Emission Limits aligns our state’s reduction targets with current science, Commercial Property Clean Energy encourages energy efficiency retrofits of existing commercial buildings, and Urban and Community Forestry benefits impacted communities.

Please call and write these members of the Senate Rules Committee and request that these bills be pulled for a floor vote:

Vice Chair, Sen. Karen Keiser (D-33) — (360) 786-7664 — Karen.Keiser@leg.wa.gov
Sen. John McCoy (D-38) — (360) 786-7674 — John.McCoy@leg.wa.gov
Sen. Patty Kuderer (D-48) — (360) 786-7694 — Patty.Kuderer@leg.wa.gov
Sen. Jamie Pedersen (D-43) — (360) 786-7628 — Jamie.Pedersen@leg.wa.gov

Script : “Hello, I’m calling Senator [Name] because they sit on the Rules Committee. There are several bills that haven’t been pulled to the House floor for a vote yet and it’s very important that they pass this session. May I give you the bill numbers?”

  • HB 2518, Natural Gas Transmission 
  • HB 2311, Greenhouse Gas Emission Limits
  • HB 2405, Commercial Property Clean Energy (C-PACER)
  • HB 2768, Urban and Community Forestry

Now, let your Senator know these bills need to pass before Friday’s cut-off. Click on each bill link below, verify your address (which can take two clicks on some devices), and ask your Senator to Please support this bill with your vote on the Senate floor . (Asking for a response gets a bit more attention.)

Suction Dredge Mining, HB 1261
Aircraft Noise Abatement, HB 1847 
Natural Gas Transmission, HB 2518
Greenhouse Gas Emission Limits, HB 2311
Commercial Property Clean Energy (C-PACER), HB 2405
Urban and Community Forestry, HB 2768

There, doesn’t that feel great? Now let’s do the bills in the other chamber…

Senate bills ready for a House floor vote

Here are three significant Senate bills that are ready for a vote on the House floor: Clean Car Standards makes more electric cars available, Sustainable Farms and Fields establishes a grant program for farmers sequestering carbon, and Accessory Dwelling Units increases affordable housing options.

Please call and write these House Majority leaders to ask that these three bills receive a floor vote:

Majority Leader, Rep. Pat Sullivan (D-47) — (360) 786-7858 — Pat.Sullivan@leg.wa.gov
Majority Floor Leader, Rep. Monica Jurado Stonier (D-49) — (360) 786-7872 — Monica.Stonier@leg.wa.gov

Script : “Hello, I’m calling Representative [Name] because of his/her role in House leadership and I have three bills that I would like to see receive a floor vote. May I give you the bill numbers?”

  • SB 5811, Clean Car Standards (Zero Emission Vehicles)
  • SB 5947, Sustainable Farms and Fields
  • SB 6617, Accessory Dwelling Units

Next, let’s make sure these two bills get moved to the floor…

Bills that need to be “pulled” to the House floor

Here are two bills ready to be pulled to the House floor calendar, one banning offshore drilling and a new version of the Clean Air Rule Authority bill, arguably the most impactful climate bill of the session. 

Please call and write these members of the House Rules Committee and request that these bills be pulled for a floor vote:

Rep. Noel Frame (D-36) — (360) 786-7814 — Noel.Frame@leg.wa.gov
Rep. Tina Orwall (D-33) — (360) 786-7834 — Tina.Orwall@leg.wa.gov

Script : “Hello, I’m calling Rep. [Name] because they sit on the Rules Committee. There are two bills that haven’t been pulled to the House floor for a vote yet, and it’s very important that they move forward. May I give you the bill numbers?”

  • SB 6432, Off-Shore Oil Extraction
  • HB 2957, Indirect Greenhouse Gases (Clean Air Authority)

Now let’s tell our Reps these five bills need to pass before Friday’s cut-off.

Click on the bill numbers below, verify your address, and ask both of your Representatives to Please support this bill with your vote on the House floor . (Asking for a response gets a bit more attention.)

Clean Car Standard (Zero Emission Vehicles), SB 5811
Sustainable Farms and Fields, SB 5947
Accessory Dwelling Units, SB 6617
Off-Shore Oil Extraction, SB 6432
Indirect Greenhouse Gases (Clean Air Authority), HB 2957

Last but not least, SB 5323 , Banning Single Use Plastic Bags , needs a final push. Click here , verify your address and ask both of your Representatives, Please support this bill and contact House Finance Chair Gael Tarleton to move the bill to the floor. (Asking for a response gets a bit more attention.)

Thanks for your hard work for these last weeks! And as always, please let us know what you did!

— Selden, David, and Katherine for the 350 WA Civic Action Team.

PS. So are we done?? Not quite! We expect some late-breaking opportunities next week to support bills exempt from this week’s cut-off. So don’t collapse from exhaustion just yet!

Climate-related Bills in the WA State Legislature

Climate- and energy-related bills in the WA State Legislature that the League of Women Voters supports:

SHB 1110 /  SB 5412   Reduces greenhouse gas emissions with transportation fuels. 

HB 1113 Aligns Washington State’s greenhouse gas reduction goals with the 2015 Paris Agreement and current climate change science assessments. 

HB 1597 Integrates the natural gas upstream emissions rate and global warming potential rule into other environmental and energy laws.

HB 1999  Reducing emissions by making changes to the clean car standards and clean car program.

HB 2311SB 6272 Amending GHG emissions limits for consistency with recent climate science.  

HB 2248SB 6223  Expanding equitable access to benefits of renewable energy through community solar projects.Provides needed resources to enhance participation, and provide benefits lower income communities in community solar projects UPDATE: HB 2248 had Hearing Jan. 16 in House Environment and Energy. SB 6223 will have Hearing Jan. 22, 8am in Senate Environment, Energy & Technology.

HB 2287 Rail Safety. A joint transportation committee shall oversee a consultant study on rail safety governance best practices for Washington state, both for passenger and freight, and consider the national transportation safety board’s recommendations following the 2017 accident report. Bill addresses significant problem of train derailments that jeopardizes lives, and can cause fires and water pollution. UPDATE: Had hearing Jan. 15 in House Transportation.

HB 2379  Sulfur hexafluoride emission reduction

HB 2405 / SB 6222 Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy and Resilience. 

HB 2427 / SB 6453 Tackling Climate Change as Part of Growth Management Act 

HB 2472  Incorporating GHG measurements from fossil fuels in state environmental laws

HB 2609 / SB 6335 Addressing Climate Change through Growth Management.

SB 5811 Zero Emission Vehicles. Reducing emissions by changing the clean car standards and program. Authorizes the Department of Ecology (DOE) to adopt California zero emission vehicle program regulations. Expands the types of vehicles required to meet California standards to include medium duty vehicles. Gasoline cars are the single biggest source of  carbon pollution in Washington. To make the big cuts in carbon we need, we must make the transition from fossil fuel cars to cleaner alternatives. UPDATE: Passed out of Senate Rules 26-23, referred to House Environment and Energy.

SB 5947 Establishing the sustainable farms and fields grant program.

SB 6135 System reliability under the Clean Energy Transformation Act (100%). Requires Department of Ecology submit a report regarding electrical grid reliability every four years. Good idea!

Bills the League opposes:

HB 1984 Designates food processing facilities as EIT for purposes of limiting GHG emissions

HB 1985 Regulatory relief from GHG rules for agriculture and food products.

Bills the League is watching:

HB 2415 Special district elections.

One more chance for WA’s “Green Wave”

…with inaction at the federal level, maybe a single state paving the way is our best hope for catalyzing broader action. Someone needs to lead. With lessons learned from this most recent failure, and more Democratic seats picked up in the state legislature — offering a firmer legislative route to passing a carbon tax — Inslee may yet be proved right in casting that leader as the state of Washington.

Column by Catherine Rampell, who covers the intersection between politics and economics for the Washington Post:


Support these climate-related bills now!

Consider sending a message SOON to our state legislators about these pending bills.

Sen. Kevin Van de Wege: kevin.vandewege@leg.wa.gov
Rep. Steve Tharinger: steve.tharinger@leg.wa.gov
Rep. Mike Chapman: mike.chapman@leg.wa.gov

Dear 24th District state legislators:

At today’s monthly general meeting, the members of Olympic Climate Action took a consensus position to support these bills, which will help to pave the way to a safer, more just, and more prosperous future:

HB 1144: Strengthening the carbon-reduction targets to match the Paris accord

HB 2995:Updating the Renewable Portfolio Standard

SB 6081: Solar Fairness Act, encouraging distributed generation

2SSB 6269: Oil Spill Prevention Act

We urge you to help secure the passage of these bills.


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:


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



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!

Climate Countdown in Olympia Jan. 8

Let’s send a strong message to our state legislators that it’s time for real climate action, now!

Join with statewide 350.org groups mobilizing in Olympia for Climate Countdown: Day 1 on the first day of the 2018 Legislative Session, to let our representatives know we expect them to pass bold and meaningful climate legislation that has a chance of saving our future before it’s too late. (Of course, we can also thank them for past efforts to make Washington and the world a better place!)

OCA is arranging carpools and a van from Port Angeles, Sequim, and Port Townsend. Please go to the carpool link below to sign up. Let’s show that we’re serious!

Car/vanpool signup:  https://www.groupcarpool.com/t/y5drtc.

For more information, see the following:

Web Site: http://350seattle.org/climatecountdown/

Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1969448093273005/

Click on “See More” at bottom of “Details” section for additional information. Also, check out the “Discussion” tab for comments.

Twitter: #ClimateCountdown

Continue reading

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.


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

Local climate presentations this Wednesday

Local climate study and other local/state climate actions to be discussed by DRMT

This Wednesday, at a meeting of the Dungeness River Management Team at the Dungeness River Audubon Center, climate change will be the central focus:

At 2:20: Climate Change on the Olympic Peninsula

Kate Dean and Cindy Jayne, North Olympic Peninsula Resource Conservation and Development Council

Kate and Cindy will discuss this climate adaptation planning grant project in which OCA is a partner.

At 3:20: Climate Change – Other Local/State Activities

Bob Lynette, Renewable Energy Consultant and Climate Change Educator

Bob is an OCA member, closely follows the political scene, and serves on our Speakers Bureau.


Governor Inslee proposes plan to limit carbon emissions

Declaring it “time for polluters to pay their fair share,” Gov. Jay Inslee just proposed a sweeping new cap-and-trade system that would cut carbon emissions while generating $1 billion a year for schools, transportation projects and low-income tax rebates. Our state is already feeling the impacts of global warming pollution including record-breaking forest fires, the acidification of our waters, and the loss of critical snow pack needed to ensure adequate water supplies to Olympic Peninsula communities.

Olympic Climate Action supports a carbon tax people’s initiative scheduled to begin gathering signatures early next year. But we also support Governor Inslee’s efforts to get us on the path towards meeting our legislative goals, while helping to support our schools, assist low income families, and update our infrastructure.

The Governor’s proposal requires action by our legislature, and we are asking you to take a minute and let them know that you support his proposal. The Washington Environmental Council has a convenient website for doing this quickly:

Contact your legislators and tell them to act on climate!

Election 2014:  Forward or backward on climate?

Probably the most important thing you can do right now to protect us from climate chaos is to get involved in this year’s elections; OCA does not have an endorsement policy, but here are some ideas for your consideration:

Comments to State Leg on proposed spill bills

OCA comments on proposed oil-spill bills to WA State Legislature

Here are the letters we sent; we urge you to write as well.  Both legislators responded positively to our letters, so we’re encouraged.

2014-02-03 Hargrove

2014-02-03 Tharinger