There’s no papering over November’s painful defeat of state Initiative 732, which would have put a price on carbon and had the effect of cleaning Washington’s air by asking polluters to pay. Hard to imagine a more fair policy, right? Yet for various reasons, voters weren’t quite on board.
The twin problems of climate change and ocean acidification that I-732 was designed to address, both undeniably caused by excess carbon dioxide, remain with us, and of course would have even if I-732 had passed. My group went all in for the initiative because states are great proving grounds for creative policies and our economy would have been improved by its passage, similar to how Alaska’s economy is boosted by its annual oil dividend checks. But we also realize that carbon dioxide, as a world-wide problem, is properly addressed on a national level.
Therefore we are resuming our work building political will for a national policy called “Fee & Dividend” in which Congress places a price on carbon and immediately returns that money to households in a monthly check. This would have effect similar to the 2002 stimulus checks sent by the Internal Revenue Service under George W. Bush, which stimulated our economy by getting cash into the hands of people who spent it. When combined with a border adjustment (a kind of carbon tariff) we know we can cut our emissions, save lives, and grow our economy while protecting domestic manufacturers. Visit citizensclimate.org for details.
Although the election seemed to bring climate-hostile forces to power, Ivanka Trump said last week that she intends to push for climate progress in the administration. We have always understood that Republican offices in Congress hold the keys to safe climate legislation, and so we applauded the establishment last year of Congress’s bipartisan Safe Climate Caucus. Our willingness to push decision makers hard on this topic will accelerate.
I invite everybody on Whidbey to reach out to me at 360-320-1594 and join the effort. Our next regular meeting will be Saturday the 10th. We’d love to have you join us working for a more livable world.
Citizens’ Climate Lobby, Whidbey Island