I don’t want to say, again, that “Washington’s Legislature is having a conversation about climate” and act like that’s good enough news. The reality is that the time for conversation is past—it has been for years or maybe even decades—and now is the time for action.
I don’t want to tell you to have hope just because the legislature, for at least the third year in a row, is talking about pricing carbon and investing the revenue in cleaning up our energy act. Three proposals have been made public—Governor Inslee’s opening from December, our preferred proposal from Representative Fitzgibbon and Senator Carlyle, and a new idea from Senator Steve Hobbs.
Let’s be clear—these proposals aren’t perfect but there is time to instill some principles of what strong climate policy should look like. We must make sure that as we invest in clean energy and put a price on pollution, we’re not doing it on the backs of those who can carry it least. We have to make sure any proposal that moves helps those that have suffered most from our fossil fuel economy and protects its workers. We must craft a policy that significantly cuts dangerous air pollution.
But something is different this year. The hour is growing later. Legislators see tens of thousands of people gathering in every city in Washington carrying signs that demand climate justice and saying, among other things that should be obvious, “Science is real” and “There is no Planet B”. Elected officials are hearing from you in their inboxes and on their phones in ways they never have before. Either the legislature must act or the people will.
So I’m not going to tell you that you should be hopeful. I’m going to tell you you should dogged. Determined. Tireless.
We won’t rest this session. And we won’t rest when it’s done either. We’re all in.