This year we saw a major loss in the Washington Sate legislature when Washington Strong died in committee even under a strong Democratic Trifecta. It was the most promising bill to fight climate change ever seen in the history of Washington State. We had no filibuster in the way because we are at the state level. Our governor had positioned himself as the climate champion last year in the Presidential primary. The bill was cosponsored by the only Native American woman to ever serve in the Washington State legislature. We were going to give no money to big polluters from the proceeds or in exemptions, because it originated with Carbon Washington where we adamantly oppose such pork. We had successfully passed a biochar bill last year with a diverse coalition of people of color, farmers, and environmental activists and had the bill signed by Governor Inslee right when the epidemic began. Carbon sequestration in Washington State will be expanded this year as a result of work which I did.
The consequence of such a powerful bill is that it was mostly ignored. Even though we were going to be providing the state money to deal with the COVID epidemic, there is such a strong anti-tax sentiment in this state that our bill failed. Instead of paying taxes now we are going to have to pay significantly higher costs in the future to cover the consequences of global warming due to inaction.
Plus there is a very small probability that I will be in Washington State much longer, so that is going to mean my work in Washington is done and I will have to continue my work in California next year. California has one major advantage in how its legislature runs year long unlike Washington. Hopefully this will increase the odds of replacing their failing cap and trade with a functional carbon tax which will actually reduce emissions.
But not all is lost for climate action here in the United States. The Energy Innovation Act which is being led by our powerful allies at Citizens Climate Lobby along with a diverse coalition of partners is ready to be passed right now. Its text is complete, its impact has been analyzed by independent economists, and we know that it will reduce national emissions by 30% over the first 5 years if it is passed. No other bill in Congress is fully written to the point where we can say this with certainty.
It is being sponsored by the formidable Ted Deutch who is one of the most progressive members of congress. He might not grab the spotlight option, but his social values are far left and his dedication to science knows no boundaries.
We MUST pass the Energy Innovation Act through the House this year, nuke the filibuster, and pass it through the Senate so that we can cut carbon emissions, acquire our double dividend, and spend our double dividend on programs which will benefit America in countless ways.
I urge everyone to support the Energy Innovation Act which is currently America’s most promising shot to fight climate change.
See the details here: https://energyinnovationact.org/