If you’re reading Climate Solutions' blog, I don’t have to convince you that it is absolutely imperative that we take ambitious and immediate action to cut carbon pollution and accelerate solutions to stop climate change. The good news is that Governor Inslee is a rare political leader who is there too.
As we look over at the other Washington, we know it’s going to be here that we lead.
In the budget he released this week, Governor Inslee included a $25/ton carbon tax on dangerous fossil fuel pollution from energy used in Washington State. His budget dedicates nearly half of that money to investments in clean energy, water security and forest health, as well as measures intended to help low-income communities across the state. If passed, the carbon tax will raise nearly $2 billion every year and help forge a path to a clean energy future.
Also noteworthy: The Governor’s budget dedicates the entirety of the state’s share of Volkswagen settlement funds ($103 million) to redress the company's attempt to fraudulently cheat vehicle emissions tests, and to invest in transportation electrification, instead of less transformative projects that continue reliance on fossil fuels. It also proposed $60 million into a Clean Energy Fund, which will promote research and development and transportation electrification projects.
As we look over at the other Washington, we know it’s going to be here that we lead. Our legislature has repeatedly failed to act despite the fact that our state has faced wildfires and drought in recent years, challenging our agriculture, shellfish and fishing sectors. But our Governor, along with many stakeholders—business leaders, the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy, faith communities—are moving forward. There is a lot of work to do and we continue to analyze the Governor's proposal to make sure it protects workers, communities of color, and the state’s long-term fiscal health, but Governor Inslee just started a necessary conversation. That’s a needed breath of fresh air.
So breathe deep and let’s go.