State agencies are creating rules to govern the Climate Commitment Act, but the CCA is not all that it claims. It’s a surprise sandwich hiding a pollution trading scheme between needed investments in climate and a false promise of “capping” emissions. It even boasts of “environmental justice” provisions—provisions written by legislators without meaningful involvement of communities most impacted by pollution. This is not in line with the HEAL Act’s vision and is simply not environmental justice.
That’s not all. CCA provides a free lunch for some of the state’s largest polluters, includingthe oil companies that helped pass the bill and pulp and paper industries, some of Olympia’s most notoriously effective lobbyists. If our communities were asked to create policies to reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, they would not look anything like this.
Don’t just take it from us, either: Yesterday, state officials implementing the program agreed, telling the Seattle Times that leaving the rules as they are will endanger efforts to lower emissions.
We refused to bite on the CCA sandwich when the sausage was getting made in the legislature, and we will continue exposing the harmful impacts of carbon trading while advancing real solutions that reduce emissions at the source and make our communities healthier.
We highlight some of our concerns and solutions in a new report, Exposing False Solutions: How Washington’s Cap and Trade Program Gives Industrial Polluters a Free Pass. The report’s findings align with what we know: A free pass for industries at the expense of our communities is not climate justice. Only direct, facility-specific emission reductions will achieve the deep industrial emissions cuts our communities need.
Jeanne, check out our Exposing False Solutions webpage where you can read our full report, download a one-page summary, and watch a video recording of our virtual briefing. You can also read media coverage from KUOW and Real Change News, and help us spread the word by sharing our report webpage and any of these articles on social media!
As we work toward a Just Transition away from fossil fuels, we must go beyond what appears politically viable at the moment, and strive for the solutions our communities really need.