Source: Washington Environmental Council
Description: Contact your legislators to ask them to support and strengthen SB 6203 to make it more effective and equitable and serve as a model for other states.
Background: SB 6203 (Reducing carbon pollution by moving to a clean energy economy) would price climate pollution and invest in solutions; it passed its first major hurdle, moving out of the Senate Environment Committee with bipartisan support, and had a hearing in the Ways and Means Committee on February 15th. An effective and equitable pollution pricing bill is a top priority this Legislative Session. WEC is working with legislative allies and community partners to strengthen SB 6203 to make it the most effective at reducing harmful pollution, creating clean energy jobs, and investing in communities most impacted by pollution. This bill would be groundbreaking not just for Washington State, but nationally, your help is needed to strengthen it. Specifically, an effective and equitable climatepollution policy should:
- Target 35% of overall investments to pollution reduction and climate resilience in the most impacted communities, rural and urban, around the state.
- Ensure we are incentivizing more sustainable, carbon-friendly forestry. The current forestry language misses the opportunity to capture the true potential of Washington’s working forests for carbon sequestration and benefit rural communities.
- Only exempt industries that require high-energy use and compete on the international market, so we can avoid off-shoring climate pollution and jobs.
Senator Doug Ericksen, (360) 786 – 7682, Doug.Ericksen@leg.wa.gov
Representative Luanne Van Werven, (360) 786 – 7980, Luanne.VanWerven@leg.wa.gov
Representative Vincent Buys, (360) 786 – 7854, Vincent.Buys@leg.wa.gov
Senator Kevin Ranker, (360) 786 – 7678, Kevin.Ranker@leg.wa.gov
Representative Kristine Lytton, (360) 786 – 7800, Kristine.Lytton@leg.wa.gov
Representative Jeff R. Morris, (360) 786 – 7970, Jeff.Morris@leg.wa.gov
With the lack of leadership at the federal level, our state can’t wait any longer for action on climate change. I’m writing today to urge you to support Senate Bill 6203 and work to strengthen it. By making corporate polluters finally pay their fair share, we can create a future that protects our families’ health, community safety, and economic security.
Specifically, an equitable and comprehensive climate policy should:
- Target 35% of overall investments to pollution reduction and climate resilience in the most impacted communities, rural and urban, around the state. 10% of investments should be made directly in the most-affected communities and another 25% should benefit them, ensuring that communities grappling with pollution and economic challenges are lifted up as we transition to clean energy.
- Ensure we are incentivizing more sustainable, carbon-friendly forestry. The current forestry language misses the opportunity to capture the true potential of Washington’s working forests for carbon sequestration and benefit rural communities. The working forest conservation funding program should be a grant program administered by the Recreation and Conservation Office that funds conservation easements and acquisitions that result in increased carbon sequestration through improved forestry.
- Limit exemptions for industries to those that require high-energy use and compete on the international market. Those businesses should be exempted, to avoid off-shoring climate emissions and jobs, but the current bill exempts many others who should be paying their fair share.
By building on SB 6203, we can pass an equitable and effective climate policy that reduces dirty climate pollution, attracts dynamic new investments in clean energy, forest, and clean water infrastructure, and centers the solutions to those hardest hit by pollution.
Our state can’t wait any longer for action on climate change. With your leadership, we can make progress towards a cleaner, safer, just, and vibrant Washington. I urge you to support SB 6203 with the above improvements.
Support Clean Energy: Comment/Attend Hearing on PSE’s 20-Year Plan
Source: Indivisible Vashon
Description: Comment on Puget Sound Energy’s Integrated Resource Plan by February 22. If you can, attend the February 21 meeting of the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission to discuss the plan.
Background: 59% of PSE’s fuel sources come from fossil fuels, including coal and liquid natural gas. PSE has a one-third ownership in Colstrip, Montana, a power-generating facility that is one of the largest CO2, SO@ and mercury-emitting coal plants in the US. Although PSE has committed to retiring its two most toxic boilers at Colstrip, their 20-year plan has only minimal commitment to conservation and renewables, while continuing a reliance on fossil fuels. Write a letter to the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission and let them know that you want a carbon-free future! Urge the UTC to ask PSE to retire the remaining two plants in Colstrip by 2025 and replace them with 100% renewable energy. If you can, attend the hearing on February 21 in Renton.
Contact Information: email@example.com (Subject: Docket #UE-160918, #UG-160919)
Suggested Script (see below for additional talking points): I am concerned about climate change and the pollution caused by burning fossil fuels. Please ask PSE to close all Colstrip plants by 2025 and replace them with 100% renewable energy.
Protect Washington’s Coast from Offshore Oil Drilling
Source: WA Wild/Surfrider Foundation
Description: Submit comment by March 9 to oppose the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s proposal to open nearly all waters off the nation’s coastlines to oil and gas drilling, including much of the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary.
Background: Last month, U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke proposed a sweeping plan to open nearly all waters off the nation’s coastlines to oil and gas drilling, including a major new lease sale off Oregon and Washington proposed for 2021. The proposal aims to expand offshore drilling on over 90% of the Outer Continental Shelf along America’s coastline, which includes Washington’s own wild and rugged coast. In northern Washington, the proposal includes much of the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, where the regulations currently prohibit “exploring for, developing or producing oil.” In addition, the coast of the Olympic Peninsula is home to the coastal strip of Olympic National Park, most of which is protected as Wilderness. Areas like Second Beach, Ruby Beach and Lake Ozette are a major source of tourism and economic benefit for local economies. Other conservation lands on the Washington coast include San Juan Islands National Monument, Quillayute Needles National Wildlife Refuge, Copalis National Wildlife Refuge and Willapa National Wildlife Refuge. Drilling just offshore of these national treasures is unacceptable and irresponsible.
Contact Information: Click here to submit comment online.
Suggested Script: I am strongly opposed to offshore oil drilling in new areas, especially off the Washington coast. From the dramatic headlands and lush forest of the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary to the sandy beaches of Ocean Shores, Washington’s Pacific coastal and offshore marine ecosystems are vital recreational, economic, and ecological resources.
I am very concerned about the substantial environmental impacts of offshore drilling to these resources. Seismic surveys associated with oil exploration damage or kill marine life and can disrupt migration patterns of marine mammals. Drilling and processing oil releases contaminants that pollute marine waters and sediments. Catstrophic oil spills devastate marine ecosystems and recreation- and fishing-based coastal economies and can take years to clean up. Massive onshore infrastructure associated with offshore drilling destroys coastal habitats and increases air, water, and land pollution to coastal communities. Finally, continued exploitation of fossil fuel reserves will only exacerbate the climate crisis.
Offshore oil drilling and oil spills have the potential to critically impact our vital marine resources and lead to the industrialization of our coastlines. Ultimately, America cannot drill our way out of an oil consumption problem. Rather than drill for fossil fuels off our coasts, we must instead invest in a sustainable “energy portfolio” that includes renewable sources and conservation.
· Regulations.gov: Draft Proposed Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Leasing Program