Published May 10, 2017
TAHOLAH, WASHINGTON— Quinault Indian Nation President Fawn Sharp has published an op-ed in The Stranger calling on the Washington State Legislature to only pass a carbon tax if it creates large, new investments in environmental stewardship and climate change mitigation. The op-ed discusses ongoing, behind-the-scenes speculation that the legislature may use a carbon tax to close the K-12 education funding gap and meet legal obligations under the Washington Supreme Court’sMcCleary decision.
“Our state faces two urgent crises that will not be cheap or easy to address: the crisis in education funding and the statewide environmental crisis as the impacts of climate change grow,” says President Sharp. “Since a carbon tax is the most rational and politically viable tool available to fund the fight against climate change, it should not be taken off the table to fund non-environmental priorities. It is self-defeating to fund our children’s education with the revenue source that’s desperately needed to protect their future and the sustainability of our state and its already critically endangered ecosystems.”
The op-ed, co-authored by former state executive and current Quinault consultant Matthew Randazzo, calls for the state legislature to only pass a carbon tax if it will result in billions of dollars in new investments in forest restoration, aquatic ecosystem restoration, public safety protections from wildfire and sea level rise, and pollution mitigation and removal. If such a robust carbon tax is not viable in the Legislature, President Sharp calls for the legislature to leave the creation of a carbon tax to the people of Washington via a ballot initiative.
The op-ed can be read here: