WA Legislature should stand up to pressure from Big Oil

Diverse voices ask WA legislature to stand up against oil industry pressure; protect health, safety, communities
Health, labor, environment, and social justice groups call for end to oil’s roadblock on key issues

Olympia, WA – A diverse coalition is calling on the State Legislature to stand up to the undue influence of the oil industry that is putting Washington’s health, climate, safety, and communities at risk.

“When progress on our health and environment is blocked, time and time again, you find the fingerprints of the oil industry,” said Becky Kelley, president, Washington Environmental Council. “The cynical maneuvering of Big Oil is holding up a needed transportation revenue package, where they have convinced the Senate to go along with a last ditch effort to block a Clean Fuel Standard. They gutted the oil transportation safety bill. They’re fighting the commonsense closure of the Big Oil Tax Loophole. And they killed any hope of climate action this year. At what point will our leaders say, enough is enough?”

This legislative session, in addition blocking the transportation revenue package with a “poison pill”, the oil industry lobbying has resulted in the Big Oil Tax Loophole remaining open in the latest budget draft, no progress on climate policy, and an oil transportation bill which failed to provide needed protection for Puget Sound and delivered unreliable funding for protecting communities. 

“When you look at the Senate’s proposal on transportation revenue, it’s pretty clear who is being prioritized: the oil industry,” said Rich Stolz, Executive Director, OneAmerica. “Communities of color and low income communities are disproportionally impacted by climate disruption and air pollution; they’re also disproportionally impacted by inadequate access to transit. Pitting clean air and transit against each other is a social and environmental injustice.”

 “Pollution from transportation is the largest source of climate emissions and a significant factor in lung disease, like asthma,” said Carrie Nyssen, Vice President of Advocacy and Air Quality, American Lung Association of the Mountain Pacific. “Legislators should put the health of their constituents ahead of the oil industry and move forward on needed policy solutions.”

“This is a chance for our legislators to put partisan ideology aside and stand up for clean air and transit,” said Shannon Murphy, president of Washington Conversation Voters. “Just this week, Oregon stood strong in the face of this pressure – we hope their example serves as a call to action to the Washington legislature.”

American Lung Association of the Mountain Pacific, Climate Solutions, OneAmerica, Puget Sound Sage, Union of Concerned Scientists, Washington Conservation Voters, and Washington Environmental Council all joined the call for the legislature to stand up for the interests of Washingtonians, not the oil industry.

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The article was written by Climate Solutions staff. Our individual bios can be found here.

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