SEATTLE, Wash., December 17, 2014 – Washington Climate Collaborative (@WAclimate)- a coalition of Washington workers, farmers and employers – has formed to advocate for proven solutions to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Washington. The organization will present Washington voters and legislators with a positive vision for accelerating the downward trend of GHG emissions, which have been reduced to near 1990 levels.
“There are few things farmers value more than the health and well-being of our environment,” said Mark Anderson, President of Anderson Hay & Grain Company in Ellensburg. “All of us have the responsibility to safeguard our environment for future generations. We have made tremendous progress in reducing GHG emissions and if we work together in a cooperative way we can do even more.”
The members of the Washington Climate Collaborative believe the best solutions are achieved when we collaborate on policies that encourage environmental leadership and innovation. Today, however, Governor Inslee proposed a complicated and costly government-run program that regulates carbon emissions by penalizing Washingtonians rather than collaborating with them.
“We support protecting the environment for future generations,” said Daren Konopaski, International V.P. and Business Manager for the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 302. “But Governor Inslee’s plan is to make Washington families pay more to keep the lights on at home, buy gas for their car, or put food on the table. It’ll also make it more expensive for contractors to purchase equipment, and there is little guarantee of environmental benefit. This isn’t the Washington way, and it’s especially harmful to our most vulnerable citizens and workers.”
When it comes to reducing GHG emissions and adopting clean energy, Washington is already one of the leading states in the country. We are among the top 10 states in virtually every important environmental category: cleanest economy, per capita carbon emissions, most energy efficient, highest number of green jobs, wind generation capacity, lowest vehicle miles driven, and highest public transit use. The policies Washington has adopted in the past are working, and Washington Climate Collaborative intends to strengthen and improve on those policies.
The governor’s own Carbon Emissions Task Force warned him that diverting carbon pricing taxes away from GHG emission reduction would negate the program’s full environmental benefit. Yet his proposal would divert substantial new taxes to other state programs unrelated to environmental protection.
“The governor is simply proposing a new tax using Washington citizen’s collective interest in improving our environment as a backdrop,” said Anderson. “It’s misleading and dishonors the shared history of collaboration on environmental protection.”
The members of the Washington Climate Collaborative are dedicated to extending and strengthening proven solutions to reducing GHG emissions in the 2015 Washington legislative session. We will oppose proposals that impose a top-down, government-run system that makes it more expensive to do everything from heating a home to buying groceries to keeping families employed.
Washington Climate Collaborative is a coalition of Washington State workers, farmers and employers advocating for a reduction in Greenhouse Gas emissions. Our mission is to keep Washington a great place to live, work, and play by protecting our environment and economy. Visit www.washingtonclimatecollaborative.org for more information and follow us on Twitter at @WAclimate.