In August, smoke from distant wildfires led to unhealthy air throughout western Washington, including in Langley. (Photo by Patricia Guthrie/Whidbey News Group)

In August, smoke from distant wildfires led to unhealthy air throughout western Washington, including in Langley. (Photo by Patricia Guthrie/Whidbey News Group)

Public hearing focuses on climate change

Should Langley support Initiative 1631?

Climate change is coming to Langley.

A public hearing on whether the City of Langley should officially support statewide ballot Initiative 1631, which would charge carbon emission fees on sources of greenhouse gas pollutants, is scheduled Oct. 15.

The city council voted to schedule the public meeting after hearing from council member Peter Morton. He presented the idea of Langley officially taking a stand on the carbon emissions fee, which would apply statewide.

“I’d like the city of Langley to pass a resolution in support of initiative 1631,” Morton said. “A municipality cannot take a position on an item in an election without a public hearing.”

The resolution is supported by local members of the Citizen’s Climate Lobby that advocate in favor of the carbon emissions tax.

Initiative 1631, “The Carbon Emissions Fee Measure,” is on the Nov. 7 general election ballot.

Revenue gained from the pollution tax would promote clean energy and address climate impacts and pollution.

Mercer Island and Bainbridge Island have passed similar resolutions supporting the initiative, Morton said.

He said he wants to hear all opinions about climate change and what impact the initiative may have.

“Persons pro and con can choose to come to the meeting,” he said.

Morton noted that the City of Langley has consistently established policies associated with sustainability, environmental protection and the reduction of its carbon footprint.

In the proposed resolution, it states that all of Western Washington, specifically Langley, suffered severe smoke from summer wildfires.

“Clearly, climate change is affecting our city,” it states.

In the city’s comprehensive plan, it also recognizes that Langley should anticipate and deal with effects of global warming.

The location and time of the Oct. 15 public hearing are still being worked out. Meeting details will appear on the city’s website.

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