1) I’m happy to report that CarbonWA has hired its first employee! Claire Meints has been a terrific volunteer activist and she’s going to spend this summer in Seattle focusing on the campaign. I’ve got a bunch of time to contribute to the campaign this summer also, so we should make great progress… and don’t be surprised if future updates to this list-serv come from Claire :)
2) On the policy front, I’m doing some research on regressivity and the state tax system and came across this recommendation to eliminate the $400m sales tax on construction labor from the 2002 Gates Commission report. The Gates report is a decade old so I don’t know the current status of this issue—if you know anything please let me know—but if it’s still an active issue then it might be a good element to include in our effort. Comments welcome!
3) Thanks to everyone on Lopez Island for coming out to my talk last week and for joining the list-serv! As with everyone else on this list, let me know if you’re ready to pledge 40 person-hours to collect 1000 signatures for the CarbonWA effort between February and June 2014, and ditto if you can contribute in other ways :)
4) In news from elsewhere, the Oregon legislature is still considering various bills (including a carbon pricing study bill) and yesterday about 100 people turned out for a lobby day led by Oregon CAN, which is pushing a BC-style revenue-neutral carbon tax for Oregon. (Claire is an Oregon native and so she was there and is touch with the folks at Oregon CAN.) More generally, the year ahead is looking like it will have so much carbon pricing action on different fronts in different states that I’ve started to think of it as the “let a hundred flowers bloom” period. All this ferment has led to the creation of a state-level action page at carbontax.org that currently focuses on OR, NY, and WA. And Tom Steyer’s keynote speech at the Climate Solutions breakfast on May 13 included an explicit call for the west coast states to “participate together in direct democracy” (i.e., ballot measures!) as a way of building towards federal action. All very exciting, so let’s keep pushing forward!