It wasn’t greeted with fanfare at the time, but one of the most encouraging developments in Washington State carbon pricing happened in early December. Even as Governor Inslee’s Climate Legislative and Executive Workgroup (CLEW) struggles to find an assertive, but consensus-based policy recommendation, local governments are starting to call for action. And it’s not just the usual suspects either.
On December 6, mayors from the cities of Mercer Island, Kirkland, Issaquah, Shoreline, Snoqualmie, Sammamish, Seattle, and Tukwila joined with King County to issue a joint letter calling for bold state climate action. Foremost among their asks:
Adopt a market-based approach to reducing GHG pollution: Market-based approaches—whether a cap-and-trade program as in California or a carbon tax as in British Columbia––should be at the heart of the state’s package of actions.
When suburban cities in Washington’s most economically productive region are calling for aggressively limiting and pricing carbon, you know the political ground is starting to shift. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if cities outside King County soon join the chorus.
King County Executive Dow Constantine said it well: “We are on the cusp of decisions that must be made now if we are to have a sustainable environment and economy for our future.. We can’t afford to wait.”