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Statement on Recommendations to Reduce Carbon Emissions in Washington State

Posted by Lori Pfingst at Nov 17, 2014 10:25 AM |

Statement from Executive Director, Remy Trupin, on the Carbon Emissions Reduction Taskforce (CERT) recommendations submitted to Governor Inslee this morning.

As a member of the Carbon Emissions Reduction Taskforce, I am encouraged to see strong language in the final recommendations on crafting a carbon pricing policy in Washington state. We applaud Governor Inslee’s leadership on climate change.

Equally important to achieving our state’s long-term carbon reduction goals is addressing income inequality – and the two issues truly go hand-in-hand.

For the one in three Washingtonians with low incomes – a disproportionate share people of color – the increasing cost of energy will be especially difficult to absorb. Putting a price on carbon emissions is an essential step in addressing climate change in Washington state.  The impact of a carbon pricing policy, however, will not be felt equally. A carbon pricing policy that does not take into account inequality and racial justice would undermine our state’s long-term goals to address climate change.

This is a risk we cannot afford to take.    

In order for a carbon pricing policy to be effective, the needs of low-income Washingtonians and people of color must be paramount.  Investments aimed at offsetting – or better yet, reducing – the high levels of income inequality that make it challenging for lower income Washingtonians to reduce their carbon emissions will help Washington state achieve its climate change goals quicker.

The Washington Budget & Policy Center looks forward to continuing to work with Governor Inslee on a carbon pricing policy that works for all Washingtonians.

Remy Trupin
Executive Director, Washington State Budget and Policy Center

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