By now you’ve probably heard that I-1631, which would have been the country’s first carbon fee, did not pass. Big oil spent an unprecedented amount of money—over $31 million—to defeat us. It was a punch-in-the-gut reminder that we are up against the most profitable industry in the country, and they will do whatever it takes to protect their bottom line even if it threatens our health, communities and future.
While there are still many votes to count, initial returns are not as strong as we had hoped for Initiative 1631, the carbon fee ballot measure in Washington State. We will continue to watch closely as votes come in; currently only 64% of precincts are reporting, and we anticipate that strong youth support will be reflected in later returns.
Nicol is a rising Junior at Skidmore College where she studies Environmental Science and History and is the President of Skidmore’s Environmental Action Club. She has been volunteering with Our Climate since February and is excited to work on supporting carbon pricing, which she views as a real and tangible solution. Nicol is particularly interested in pursuing environmental health-related fields upon graduation and enjoys watching bad game shows, doing yoga, writing and taking photos of her cat, Pepper, in her spare time.
Allison is currently a senior at Binghamton University where she is double majoring in political science and environmental policy with a minor in immigration studies. She has long had a passion for environmental advocacy and spent her last two summers working at summer camps trying to instill the same passion in our youth. She spent a week this summer in Washington lobbying for carbon pricing and learning climate advocacy skills that she is excited to use during her fellowship. Her career goals include working with climate refugees either at a non-profit or in government. When she is not advocating for the environment, she directs the SA Advocates program on her campus (a program designed to assist students going through conduct violations) and is currently working on a congressional campaign in her home district.
Summer Dean is from Brush Prairie, Washington. She is entering her fourth and final year in the environmental studies program at Portland State University. Summer believes that climate change is the biggest problem our species will ever face. Our natural systems are unraveling, and many communities are already suffering around the world. She cares about climate change action because not only is it necessary for our survival, but it presents an opportunity for us all to unite on a common issue and transform our society into something better than we could ever imagine. She sees climate change action not just as a response to suffering but an opportunity to fix the broken, oppressive system that caused this crisis in the first place. She is working with Our Climate this fall because we need a rapid transformation of our energy system, one that requires effective climate policies like Washington’s Initiative 1631.
Jordan Stevenson is a Fall Fellow with Our Climate studying at Eastern Washington University. She is from Vancouver, WA.
Learn what our team's been up to this month—and how you can join us!
If done correctly, carbon pricing can help address a deeply unfair part climate change--it's outsized effects on the poor.
Anneliese is a 10th grader at Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, NH where she is co-head of the Environmental Action Club and a New England Our Climate Fellow. She was first inspired to advocate for environmental sustainability by her childhood outdoors in the foothills of northern California. She became involved in the New England Fellowship in 2018 after a former teacher encouraged to become more involved in Our Climate.
The final draft of the recent IPCC report is candidly grim. Even 1.5 degrees of warming will have devastating effects and we must turn to policy solutions including carbon pricing to prevent them.
This post was written by Cecelia Bolon and Zachary Gavel, New England Our Climate Fellows and second-year undergraduates at Northeastern University. Cecelia and Zack met the Executive Director of Climate XChange Mike Green, our close partner in the carbon pricing campaign, during a study abroad program at the United Nations in Geneva. They have maintained their passion for carbon pricing ever since and continue to collaborate with Climate XChange as fellows. They adapted this post from a Climate XChange report on the same subject that they helped to write found here.
We need your support to put a price on carbon in Washington.