But failure to act on climate change may push issue to 2018 ballot
The following story appears in the Washington State Labor Council’s 2017 Legislative Report published in August.
Despite having a federal government that refuses to acknowledge climate change, the coalition of unions, businesses, organizations and individuals that comprise the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy strongly believes that Washington state can—and must—step up as a leader for effective and equitable climate policy.
The Clean Energy Transition Act (HB 1646), sponsored by Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon (D-Burien), represents an innovative and comprehensive climate solution based on the principles of the Alliance. It would also position the Evergreen State as a global leader in cutting carbon pollution equitably and effectively. HB 1646 prices pollution and funds the solutions to climate change: investing in clean energy, clean water and healthy forests, and protecting disproportionately impacted communities and workers in the process.
“HB 1646 recognizes that we must tax carbon and that we must invest those revenues in providing equity, high-quality jobs, and the clean energy economy,” said WSLC President Jeff Johnson. “The economic transition away from fossil fuels must be intentional and done in such a way that workers and communities are not left behind, but have an opportunity to prosper in the new economy.”
The bill was heard in the House Environment Committee, but did not advance. This effort cannot wait and, amid reflexive opposition from polluting industries and their advocates in Olympia, it may have to be taken directly to voters in 2018.
“Climate change is real, it’s wreaking havoc on our economy and our environment, and must be dealt with, with urgency,” Johnson said.