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Let's make 2019 a year for ambitious climate action in Washington

Election day took its time getting here, and finally came and went. While we are all recovering from a hard outcome with I-1631 and the oil industry buying an outcome on the ballot, we must also start looking ahead. We now have newly elected (or re-elected) officials at all levels who ran on commitments to act on climate and clean energy.

I’m not sure we’ve ever had such an enthusiastic class of newly-minted leaders, including Democrats and Republicans across the state that are replacing retiring incumbents, as well as those filling at least nine positions that are changing party hands in 2019. Many of these ran on strong commitments to act on climate and sustainability; others need to hear from their constituents—from you—that they must now commit to action.

Now, Climate Solutions is aligned with partners within and beyond the environmental community to call for ambitious action in Washington to end our reliance on fossil fuels to generate electricity, and to end the reign of oil in the transportation sector. With strong action from legislators, Washington can have 100% clean electricity, and offer consumers clean fuel choices at the pump, plus incentives for electric transportation that will benefit multiple communities. These solutions are politically possible—and scientifically necessary to address the climate crisis.

And while a shift in the Legislature is an opportunity to accelerate long-term commitments to energy transition, it’s also a challenge. With just two months to go until lawmakers gather in Olympia for their next legislative session, we need to remind them just how important acting on climate is. We can be confident in the overwhelming momentum of clean energy. But we’ve also just seen how desperate out of state oil companies and other fossil fuel interests are to hinder, slow or stop our progress toward a sustainable, prosperous and equitable transition. We will need to work together to demand this change. The opposition will keep showing up, and we all need to as well. Now is not the time to be shy in demanding a clean energy future for all.

Vlad Gutman-Britten's picture

Washington Director

, Climate Solutions

Vlad brings varied and deep experience in policy, advocacy, and campaign politics to his work at Climate Solutions. He is responsible for guiding policy development and building an integrated communications, advocacy, and government affairs strategy to foster a clean energy economy in Washington.

Before coming to Climate Solutions, Vlad was Senior Policy Director for the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition, where he successfully secured tens of millions of dollars in state investment in habitat and recreation lands. He was previously a key part of issue advocacy and communications efforts for large companies, including Microsoft and GE, and before that served as AIPAC's Deputy Midwest Political Director. A veteran campaign operative, he has run congressional and state legislative campaigns and worked on races ranging from mayoral to presidential.

Vlad is a graduate of Northwestern University, where he received a degree in political science. In his spare time, Vlad brews (and drinks) beer, listens to opera, and volunteers for the Washington Autism Alliance & Advocacy.