Sometimes a good solid failure paves the way for big success. Gov. Jay Inslee’s legislative attempt at carbon pricing will not pass in this legislative session, but it sets the stage for strong action toward cleaner air, a healthier future and an economy based on clean energy.
The proposed legislation, SSB 6203, aimed to reduce carbon pollution by investing in rural economic development and a clean-energy economy. It successfully made its way through the Senate Ways and Means Committee, out of the Senate and was in final negotiation in the House when it became clear that it was going to be one or two votes shy of finding its way to the governor’s desk this year. While it ultimately did not succeed, the momentum it achieved and the enthusiasm it garnered from diverse voices across the state is something to celebrate.
In recognition of the significance of how far the bill came, Gov. Inslee said, “I would consider this a sea change in the climate fight. It's come a long way from where we've been. We've basically shown that carbon policy is within reach."
The nation was watching this effort, and it will continue to look to Washington as a leader in taking action on climate.
The good news is we have consensus that climate change is real, and it is our collective responsibility to clean up the mess that changes to our climate are having to our quality of life, our health, our families and our resource-dependent economies.
Momentum is building for citizen-driven action on the most critical issue of our time. We are emboldened to continue to fight the good fight and make sure we look for ways to keep diverse perspectives engaged in this effort. Washington has the chance to lead the nation and the world. The only way progress will happen is if we continue to work together.