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Climate Policy

The Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy is a broad-based coalition of environmental, labor, social justice and communities of color organizations working to develop a shared solution on climate change.

The coalition is an effort to not only address the impacts of carbon emissions on climate change but also help foster just transitions toward cleaner sources of energy. To stay up to date, subscribe to the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy mailing list.

Carbon Washington successfully gathered signatures statewide to place I-732, a revenue neutral carbon tax on the 2016 ballot. This initiative aims to cut carbon emissions by taxing carbon polluters, while decreasing the burden on working families by lowering sales tax and funding the working families rebate. 

Key points of this plan:

  • Tax emissions at 25$ per ton of carbon, increasing by 5$ per year (cutting off at $100/ton). 
  • Decrease sales tax by 1%.
  • Fund the working families rebate aimed to refund sales tax to 350,000 low income households. 
  • Incentivize the purchase of renewable energy, construction of low energy buildings, and the coverall decrease of carbon emissions. 
Click here to learn more about CarbonWA's initiative. 

Legislative Priorities

Whatcom County Solar Industry

Washington state has emerged as a leader in clean energy technology. This means we're well-positioned to help transition toward a clean energy future, especially here in Whatcom County, which is home to the state's largest solar industry employer — Itek EnergyCritical work is needed to keep this local economic engine going. State policy investing in solar energy development has given Washington a lead in this emerging industry, but in order to maintain our lead, we need to continue to invest pro-actively in the future. New legislation is needed to ensure that the tax benefits and cost rebates that drive investment and job growth in the solar industry are maintained and extended. Tell your state legislators: Let's keep Washington state open for solar business. Renew the solar energy rebate!

Closing the Big Oil Tax Loophole

The state should close tax loopholes that give away millions to dirty, dangerous fuels. Currently, Washington state gives away tens of millions of state dollars each year — $41 million this biennium alone 
 to out-of-state oil companies via a little-known tax loophole. It’s time to hold polluters accountable for the pollution they put into our air and water, not support them with public funds that should be focused on education and other community investments. that support strong families here at home. We need to close the fossil fuel loophole. Closing the Big Oil Tax Loophole is part of the Governor's Supplemental Budget.

Making Washington Coal-Free (Approved in 2016 Legislative Session)

Whatcom and San Juan counties get about a third of their energy from coal. Currently our local utility, Puget Sound Energy, relies on a dirty coal power plant in Montana called the Colstrip Generating Facility. This coal power plant is among the dirtiest in the country, and in some years has emitted the most pollution of any facility west of the Mississippi. This 2016 legislative session, our state government passed HB 6248 to bring about the shutdown of this dirty power plant and help facilitate the transition away from coal. After years of negotiation, Washington moved forward this year with critical legislation that will lead to the closure of the Colstrip power plant after 2023. Click here to learn more about the Sierra Club's Coal-Free PSE initiative.

Reports and Materials

  • UW Climate Impacts Group - This page and others on the site detail the effects of climate change on the Pacific Northwest region.
  • IPCC Video - Overview of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report, specifically concerning impacts, adaption, and vulnerability related to climate change.
  • IPCC AR5 Report - This is the full report (some parts still being released) concerning all aspects of climate change and drawing conclusions from the most current climate science from around the world.
  • Washington State Legislature - Find your legislators and info about them.
  • Leidos Task 4 Final Report - View the full report being used by the CLEW to make their recommendations.
  • CLEW homepage - Get info, view reports, and find meeting times on Govornor Inslee's CLEW website.
  • Ocean Acidification Report - WA State's report and strategic plan concerning this issue.
  • CLEW Executive Summary - Very informative summary about the CLEW and its goals.
  • Economic Impact Analysis - Final report analyzing an emission reduction strategy centered around cap-and-trade in Washington State.
  • Gov. Inslee, Rep. Fitzgibbon, & Sen. Ranker- A house bill proposing a binding cap on carbon emissions and trading mechanism called cap-and-market used to eliminate our coal use as a state, improve the energy efficiency of new and retrofitted buildings, increase clean energy development, and other improvements to encourage less polluting systems of transportation and land use planning.