The context for climate action now
February 3, 2017

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.

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Author Bio

Vlad Gutman-Britten

former Washington Director, Climate Solutions

Vlad was Washington State Director until 12/1/21.  He brought varied and deep experience in policy, advocacy, and campaign politics to his work at Climate Solutions.

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 free time, Vlad bikes, listens to everything from opera to folk music, and smokes whatever fish or meat fits into his smoker.  He is soon off to New York City to start a new adventure as the Assistant Director for Policy and Markets at NYSERDA, New York State's energy agency.  

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