Do whatever you can to support a historic climate and equity measure on the November ballot in Washington. This measure would put a fee on carbon emissions of $15 per metric ton of carbon, increasing by $2 annually. It would use the funds to
* benefit communities hardest hit by pollution and poverty
* invest in clean energy, including programs to help low-income people transition to a clean-energy economy
* support workers displaced from the fossil fuel industry by maintaining their incomes and helping them get training for new jobs
* ensure that tribal governments have a say in any decisions affecting them and have a share in investments
* creates some exemptions including public transportation, state and federal vehicles, and aviation, marine, and agricultural fuels
A public board made up of experts in science, business, health, and trusted community leaders will decide how to spend the money.
Measure 1631 is Washington’s second chance to do a carbon fee right, after its disastrous Measure I-732 in 2016. That measure, which resoundingly lost, was initiated by politicians and policy “experts” who ignored the ongoing efforts of coalition of environmental justice, mainstream environmental, and labor groups. These groups then opposed the measure. By contrast, I-1631 was created by organizations representing environmental and clean energy advocates, unions, communities of color, health professionals, scientists, businesses, faith leaders, and tribal nations
This is the first solid example we know about of what a real “just transition” strategy would look like, with funding for clean energy, impacted communities and workers.
Bill McKibben says the campaign for Measure 1631 is “the most important work that is being done on this planet.”
More details on how Measure 1631 would spend the money from the carbon fee:
* invest in clean energy (70% of funds), with 15% specifically going to reduce the impact of higher energy prices on low-income people.
* invest in clean water and healthy forests (25%)
* invest in communities most impacted by pollution and poverty (5%)
* require that specified percentages of these investments provide health and economic benefits to “pollution and health areas” and indigenous tribes
* set aside $50 million a year to provide income maintenance and job training to workers displaced from the fossil fuel industry