Saturday, December 20, 2014

Governor Inslee’s Carbon Action Plan

From Don Steinke --
Vancouver WA Oil Campaign Action Plan mid-December 2014

In addition to stopping oil terminals from being built, we need to reduce the number of oil trains planned for existing terminals elsewhere. Ultimately we need to reduce demand.

In 2008, the Washington State legislature established the goals of reducing carbon pollution to 1990 levels by the year 2020, and 50% below 1990 levels by 2050. To meet that mandate, Governor Inslee is proposing to set a cap on carbon pollution of approximately 90 million tons for the 130 largest polluters and auction permits for that amount. Prices will probably begin near $12 per ton and gradually increase as the allowed limits decrease 2% per year.

 This fee would apply to polluters such as the Trans-Alta coal burning power plant in Centralia, and the oil refineries in Puget Sound. The refineries will have to pay both for the pollution that comes out of their smokestacks in the process of refining the oil, AND for the pollution that will come out of the tailpipes of cars and trucks that burn the fuel they sell.

This plan is a modified cap-and-trade strategy which avoids the early mistakes made in Europe and California. The plan creates an incentive for people to choose more efficient cars and for power companies to gradually replace fossil fuels with efficiency, wind and solar.

Normally, this proposal would not pass the Republican controlled Senate in Olympia . . . but our state faces a large budget shortfall. Inslee’s carbon action plan is estimated to raise $947 million in 2017. Education would get $380 million and transportation $400 million. Approximately $100 million would help low-income families through the Working Families Tax Rebate, and $55 million would be earmarked for low income housing, rural investment, and adjustments for vulnerable manufacturers. 

We currently send $14 billion out of our economy to fossil fuel bank accounts each year. We can use some of that money to put our own people to work installing conservation measures, wind and solar. 

Lobbyists for the fossil fuel industry have been heard to say, Bang the pots and pans; Wage guerilla warfare to defeat carbon emissions targets. Front groups for the oil industry, such as Washington Consumers for Sound Fuel Policy, have already sent me messages attacking Inslee’s plan. I assume they have also contacted your state representatives with the same message.

Will your representatives hear from anyone else?
Your state representatives need to hear from you! Ask them to support Governor Inslee’s Carbon Action Plan.       This link makes it easy.

For detailed information see Sightline Why the Carbon Pollution Accountability Act Is a Big, Awesome Deal

see also this editorial from The Olympian:

Inslee budget envisions a new world view

The critics of Gov. Jay Inslee’s budget, which he rolled out in stages over several days this week, have already begun picking it apart its minutiae. That’s typical. But this time, the critics are missing Inslee’s important vision for the 2015-2017 biennium and beyond.

Read more here:

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