Tag Archives: State Legislature

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:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-evergreen-state-just-rejected-the-green-wave-will-it-ever-wash-ashore/2018/11/12/9f0dd9fc-e6bf-11e8-bbdb-72fdbf9d4fed_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.7862f741204c

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:

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!

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.

Sincerely,

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.