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Citizens taking the initiative(s)

Initiative 1631 – Climate Action

Environmental organizations, the Tribes, and the Washington State Labor Council, spent nearly $2 million to organize 2500 volunteers and paid signature gatherers to collect 370,000 signatures for Initiative 1631.

The initiative will be on the ballot in November.  The oil companies have spent $16 million to fight it.

Why do they oppose us?  Because Initiative 1631 will accelerate the transition to zero-emission cars and buses.

Our all-electric Nissan Leaf represents $60,000 that the oil companies will never get.  We’ll never need to buy gasoline again.  A conventional car is likely to use at least $60,000 in gasoline to drive 500,000 miles, which is the expected life of an electric car.

What the initiative does

Initiative 1631 will reduce air pollution by putting a fee on the largest polluters, and will use the funds to incentivize job-creating projects such as energy efficiency upgrades for schools, electric vehicles for city governments, shore-power for ships, solar panels for schools, and low carbon fuels.

Equity: Adequate funds will be set aside to make sure that the impact of the pollution fee on low income households will be mitigated.  Displaced workers in the fossil fuel industry will be protected with a transition package or early retirement with full pay and benefits for older workers.

Health:  According to the Department of Ecology, burning fossil fuels in the Puget Sound region produces approximately 3000 tons of health-harming pollution per day.  We all breath this stuff every day.  It washes into Puget Sound when it rains.  You can see it on old snow.  According the EPA, we’ll save $30 in health care costs for each $1 invested in clean air.

Economy: We currently send $20 billion out of our state every year to purchase fossil fuels.  Initiative 1631 will begin to keep that money here, to be invested in local jobs in energy conservation and renewable energy.  Energy efficiency projects and renewable energy create far more jobs than the fossil fuel industry.

Climate:  Initiative 1631 will inspire other states and Congress to follow our lead.  Remember, one state passed marriage equality, and within a few years, the Supreme Court of the United States made it national.

Be wary of the language used by the oil companies.  They are the masters of spin.

Alona and I have repeatedly listened to their lobbyists in the legislature. Regardless of what climate policy is proposed, they say 1) global warming is a serious issue, 2) but this proposal will do nothing to solve the problem, and 3) it will hurt families and the economy.

Or they will say, “Climate Change is too important to make mistakes with policy that can’t be changed.”  If you hear anything that makes you unsure of Initiative 1631, it likely will have come from the oil companies.

If we knock on enough doors, we will win.  We have volunteers leading two-hour canvasing events all over Clark County and the rest of the state.

If you want to volunteer, go to this website, enter your city and sign up.  Please take advantage of this opportunity to protect our children’s future.


I-1639. This initiative is titled “Safe Schools, Safe Communities,” reflecting…