Governor’s Carbon Pollution Proposal Ensures All Washingtonians Would Prosper In Low-Carbon Future
Updated graphic as of Thursday, December 18, 2014.
This morning, Governor Inslee released a bold proposal that would lower carbon pollution and spur the creation of a new, low-carbon economy that works for all Washingtonians – including people with lower incomes and from communities of color who have been hardest hit by the impact of climate change.
By requiring polluters to purchase carbon allowances (permits), the Governor’s plan would catalyze an economic shift toward renewable energy technologies and investments in good-paying jobs needed to develop, deploy, and maintain those technologies. His proposal would also generate about $974 million per year from allowance sales beginning in July 2016, which would be reinvested in important priorities like schools and transportation infrastructure (see graph below).
It is important to note that a significant share of these investments will directly help people with lower incomes – a disproportionate share of whom are from rural communities and communities of color – transition to and prosper in the low-carbon economy of the future.
For example, the Governor’s proposal would invest:
- $400 million annually in transportation investments including public transit and low carbon transportation options;
- $380 million annually in education investments that target the opportunity gap, from early childhood to higher education;
- $15 million annually to provide affordable housing; and
- $108 million annually to fund the Working Families Tax Rebate (WFTR).
Two out of three families in Washington state struggle to make ends meet. These communities are the first and worst hit by the impacts of a changing climate and also the least equipped to adapt to climate disruption. That is what makes investments like those outlined in the governor’s proposal so essential; if we are going to address climate change in our state, we must do so in the most just way possible. The governor's proposal is a good start, and we look forward to working with policymakers and community members to strengthen it in the coming months.