Act Now to Support Climate Action in Washington State!
Please take action! The Climate Legislative and Executive Workgroup set up to curb our state's carbon pollution is deadlocked and needs to hear a roar of insistence from Washington residents to act now on tackling climate pollution. Please go to http://org2.salsalabs.com/o/5168/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=15891 to support Gov. Inslee, Sen. Kevin Ranker, and Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon in their efforts to address climate change. See below for more info, (with thanks to John Stang at Crosscut.com)
The Situation: Gov. Inslee, two Democratic legislators (Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, and Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon, D-Burien) and two Republican legislators (Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale and Rep. Shelly Short, R-Addy), are members of a committee tasked with creating recommendations for dealing with climate change issues. For months, Inslee and the panel's Democrats have said that our state has a legal obligation to tackle carbon emissions quickly. And for months, the panel's Republicans have responded that the economic impacts must be studied before any carbon emissions-related legislation should be considered.
The panel was supposed to agree by Dec. 6 on some tentative recommendations that would be sent to a Dec. 13 public hearing and a Dec. 18 vote. Inslee does not have a vote on the final recommendations. Three of the four legislators must agree on any formal recommendations going forward. The deadline to finish the panel's work is Dec. 31.
All this was set into motion in 2008, when Washington's Legislature set a goal of reducing the state's greenhouse emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, with further trimming of emissions to 25% below Washington's 1990 level by 2035 and to 50% below by 2050. So far, nothing has happened. Early this year, the Legislature passed a bill to set up the task force with a Dec. 31 deadline. As a condition for that bill's passage, the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus converted Inslee into a non-voting member, setting up the current two-to-two deadlock among the four legislators.
On Dec. 6, Inslee submitted several proposed recommendations for discussion. One would have put a legal cap on all of Washington's carbon emissions, with a cap-and-trade program included to allow corporations to juggle emissions among themselves. Another suggested that coal imported to Washington power plants from out-of-state be counted as a source of carbon emissions to be kept within Inslee's proposed cap. Energy efficiency measures would be tackled. And legislating use of low-carbon fuels would be explored.
The panel deadlocked, with the task force's Republicans wanting any measures delayed until the economic impacts of those proposals could be studied. Finally, the five agreed to put all of their individual recommendations into one document, which the public can pick apart at the Dec. 13 hearing. The proposals are available for the public to view on the panel's website. Go to http://www.governor.wa.gov/issues/economy/climateWorkgroup/default.aspx
From Transition Fidalgo & Friends
Growing Community Resilience