For more than a year, members of the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy have been working together to devise a policy that will reduce climate pollution and accelerate our move to clean energy, while aiding in an equitable, workable transition for communities, workers, and businesses.
Addressing climate change is an urgent need – and we recognize how important it is to get it right. Creating good policy is always hard, especially when integrating multiple viewpoints. Crafting inclusive climate policy that can go the distance and overcome fossil fuel industry opposition has required a deliberate process.
Today, we are excited to announce a policy proposal that reflects the diverse values of the many constituencies of the Alliance and makes major progress on carbon pollution and clean energy.
This is effective, equitable, and viable way to account for the devastating costs of carbon pollution and accelerate a just transition to a clean energy economy. This proposal reflects our commitment to passing policy in Washington State that:
- limits and prices carbon pollution;
- invests the money generated in clean energy solutions, resilient forests, and clean water infrastructure;
- provides a just transition for workers and highly impacted communities in the shift to cleaner sources of energy;
- provides flexibility for energy-intensive, trade-exposed businesses to help them meet carbon emission reduction goals and keep good, family-wage jobs in Washington.
This is the first time in the nation that a coalition this diverse has joined together to draft climate policy and move it forward. We are proud of what we have accomplished together.
However, we will not be bringing an initiative to the 2016 ballot. Polling confirms that with Initiative 732 on the 2016 ballot, putting another climate initiative on the ballot would not lead to success. Despite a great deal of work to bridge the two efforts, unfortunately backers of I-732 decided to move forward alone.
There’s still a great deal of work to do this year. This summer, we will be taking the Alliance’s policy proposal out on a listening tour across the state – to frontline communities, workers, and businesses that will be impacted in a variety of ways by climate change and the transition to a clean energy economy.
We plan to gather in places of worship, community centers, union halls, and businesses from Spokane to Yakima to Federal Way to gather input on the policy and we hope you join us. We think our policy is effective, equitable, and viable, but we know it is essential to take the time to listen to diverse communities – because getting this right is important.
We will hone our policy and strategy based on the feedback we receive and are committed to moving this policy forward – whether in the legislature or at the ballot. We’ll be ready with all the pieces required to achieve major climate progress against the most well-funded opposition on the planet – the oil industry.
The transition to a low-carbon future is a massive, multi-generational undertaking. We are proud to be part of a group that is figuring it out together. And in the long run, we know that it will take all of us joining forces to win and to make Washington the leader that we know it can be.
We are incredibly thankful to all of you for all that you have done to help build the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy. We look forward to working with you in the months ahead. We are excited about the future and building it together.