End of Session – State Legislature – Bills to Act on

April 23, 2021 by stephenshubert

Prepared by David Turnoy, Chair, San Juan County Democratic Party:  This will hopefully be my last email asking you to take action on pending legislation during the session, as the session ends this Sunday.  I hadn’t heard about the WA Strong Act in recent requests for action, so I contacted Senator Lovelett’s office to find out.  As you may know, Senator Lovelett has put in tremendous effort trying to move this bill along, and she is the main sponsor in the Senate.  It would be so disappointing if all that effort came to naught.  Here is the answer I received from her assistant:
“WA STRONG is sitting in the Environment, Energy and Technology Committee in the Senate and is still technically alive as it is a revenue bill and is thus not subject to cutoffs. However, unfortunately it does not seem that it will receive a vote.”  Certain powerful legislators have steered the conversation toward the Cap and Invest bill, about which you will see actions below.  In my comments sent in regard to the latter, I mentioned that WA Strong would be the preferable bill, and I encourage you to do the same.

From 350WA – Concerning the creation of the Washington state public bank; Low Carbon Fuel Standard; Climate Commitment Act (Cap and Invest).

1. Concerning the creation of the Washington state public bank – HB 5188

This bill would authorize a public financial cooperative as a membership organization to lend to local and tribal governmental entities. 

HB 5188 has passed the Senate and is on the floor of the House. 

Follow this link to provide written comment to your representatives on HB 5188.

For this bill, select your two Representatives, and for “Position” please select “Support”. The first sentence of the written comment should be: I support HB 5188 and urge you to vote Yes. 

Then choose 2-3 additional talking points from the options below or feel free to write your own:

  • We need a public financial cooperative that funds infrastructure projects and provides at least 35% of the funding to low income and working class neighborhoods.
  • State investment banks have helped to make Germany, Brazil and China global leaders in green energy technologies. Washington State needs a public financial cooperative that finances major green infrastructure projects.
  • The bill provides an equitable public lending tool for infrastructure that would serve the smaller counties that can’t bond on their own.
  • A public financial cooperative will help to stabilize communities during tough economic times.
  • “The new financial cooperative could fund investments in public broadband or other strategies to guarantee access to high-speed internet, and ensure that all students have computers or tablets equipped for interactive learning.” – Maria Batayola, environmental justice coordinator at El Centro de la Raza, Seattle.

2. Low Carbon Fuel Standard for Transportation – HB 1091

This bill would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the carbon intensity of transportation fuel. Transportation fuels are responsible for the largest portion of Washington’s GHG emissions.

The House has refused to accept the Senate’s amendments, which would have prevented the policy from being implemented successfully, so either the Senate “recedes” their amendments or the bill goes into the smoky back room with rubber walls inhabited by the Conference Committee.

Click here to send an email to Senate Leadership.

If the above link did not work, please address your emails to:

Majority Leader Andy Billig – (360) 786-7604 – andy.billig@leg.wa.gov
Majority Caucus Chair Bob Hasegawa – (360) 786-7616 – bob.hasegawa@leg.wa.gov
Majority Floor Leader Marko Liias – (360) 786-7640 – marko.liias@leg.wa.gov

Script: “I’m contacting you to urge the Senate to recede from their amendments on HB 1091 and work in good faith with the bill’s primary sponsor to pass a functional and effective Clean Fuels Standard. Washingtonians need cleaner air!”

3. Climate Commitment Act – SB 5126Tell the Whip you’re a NO vote 

For those who still have the stamina, there’s one more action we can take to oppose SB 5126. 

This bill has changed dramatically over the last week. Over 25 amendments were considered in the House Environment and Energy committee, and a similar number were considered in the House Appropriations committee on Tuesday morning. As you can imagine, not all legislators have been able to track all the changes. They simply may not know enough about this complex and controversial bill to vote with confidence.

In preparation for the floor vote for SB 5126 that will likely happen later this week, now is a good time to let your Representatives know what you think. 

Follow this link to provide written comment to your elected leaders on SB 5126.

For this bill, select your two Representatives, and for “Position” please select “Oppose”. The first sentence of the written comment should be: I oppose SB 5126.

Let your Representatives know that you recommend they tell the Majority Whip that they’re a NO vote. If leadership doesn’t have the votes, they will not bring the bill to the Floor for a vote.

4. Climate Commitment Act – SB 5126Sign me up to monitor the rulemaking process! 

There’s no guarantee what will happen with this bill. In the event that it passes, it will need a great team of civically engaged folks from around the state to monitor the state agency rulemaking process. Want to track how the bill gets turned into actual regulation? If so, please sign up here, and we’ll be in touch.

Yes, sign me up!
No thanks! From Emily Knudsen of South Seattle Climate Action Network regarding the Cap and Invest Act (aka Climate Commitment Act, SB 5126) –  There are several changes that are being considered that would vastly improve the bill and we should push for getting them integrated. Ideally, legislators would vote “No”, but if they are going to pass it, the least they can do is withhold their vote until these critical changes are made:

1. Remove all regulatory preemptions from the bill.
2.  Require EITEs reduce their pollution after 4 years, instead of providing endless giveaways.
3. Prohibit the import of previously banked allowances.
4. Give all pollution allowances an expiration date of no more than 8 years.
👉Please call and email key legislators **ASAP** to ask them to support these crucial amendments. More information, scripts and legislator contact information here.

Hello Climate Advocates!

The Cap and Trade bill is still moving though the legislature despite the outpouring of opposition. We must keep the pressure on legislators to not rubberstamp this harmful bill masquerading as climate policy. A floor vote could be scheduled any minute. Don’t let this happen without legislators hearing from you.

👉Click here, select “Oppose” and leave a comment for your legislators to ask them to vote “No” on this bill. Suggested script:

I oppose SB 5126. SB 5126 creates a system designed to be exploited by and to benefit large corporations who can afford to purchase pollution “allowances” either from the state or other polluters. This, along with many other loopholes, allows the most powerful polluters to escape accountability and largely lets emissions go unchecked. It should not surprise us, then, that BP America (operator of Blaine’s Cherry Point Refinery) is a vocal proponent of this measure and bankrolling lobbying efforts.

In other words, this policy may look like climate policy, but it is really just a smoke and mirrors show that will increase harm in low-income communities of color and do little to reduce our state’s emissions. Please stand up to big polluters and vote “NO”. Thank you.

👉Bonus Action:

If the bill passes the House, it will immediately go back to the Senate for concurrence. Please call the following Senators and leave a voicemail to ask them to vote “NO” on SB5126.

Sen. Nobles – 360-786-7654

Sen. Van De Wege – 360-786-7646

Sen. Mullet – 360-786-7608
Sen. Hobbs – 360-786-7686
Sen. Hasegawa – 360-786-7616There are only a couple days left of the legislative session, so this is the time to make your voice heard. Thank you so much for your advocacy!In solidarity,Emily

Earth Day – it is never too late!

 Earth Day – Happy Earth Day, everyone.  I still remember the first Earth Day 51 years ago.  While we have made some environmental progress since then, in too many areas we are going the wrong way.  Local Democrat Alexandra Gayek has compiled some excellent helpful environmental resources for us,. and here is her list:
We invite you to celebrate Earth Day this year by both spending time in nature and increasing both your delight and your awareness of ways you can really make a difference. In that spirit, we offer this list of books, DVDs, and digital resources recommended by fellow lovers of our beautiful planet.

Online Films and recorded webinars:
If you can only do two things, watch the first two!

“Kiss the Ground” – an inspiring documentary about a simple, nature-based solution to climate change. The film is currently available on Netflix, Vimeo, and is free for showings at schools. Go here to learn more including how to access it: https://kissthegroundmovie.com/

“Nature’s Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation that Starts in your Yard” – a webinar by Douglas Tallamy, delightful author of the wonderful book by the same name, was sponsored by the Orcas Island Garden Club in January 2021. Scroll down this page for the link to the webinar: https://www.orcasislandgardenclub.org/meetings-310859-510055.html You’ll also find other interesting webinars on the same page.

“Frogs of the San Juan Islands” by Christian Oldham. This is a recording presented in March 2021 at the Orcas Island Senior Center. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ymDzoUFm2g

“David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet” – This autobiographical story features the legendary environmental filmmaker, with his usual gorgeous videography. It’s the most recent of his works. Also recommended is his 2019 limted series, “Our Planet.” Both are available on Netflix; go to https://www.ourplanet.com/en/what-can-i-do/ to learn more about what you can do.

“Seaspiracy” – a powerful documentary that dramatically shows the impact on climate change by the disruption of the marine ecosystem by current global commercial fishing practices. Available on Netflix; for more info go to https://www.seaspiracy.org/

“Cowspiracy” – this documentary preceded, and was apparently a model for “Seaspiracy.” You’ll note interviews with some of the same people as in “Kiss the Ground,” but with very different perspectives!

“The People vs. Agent Orange” – this documentary gives a powerful background to understand current issues with continuing use of toxic herbicides right here in Washington. If you need a reason to oppose their use by our local, state, federal governments, this film will provide it.

“Planet Earth” – narrated by David Attenborough.

“Blue Planet II” – narrated by David Attenborough.

“The Life of Birds” – written and narrated by David Attenborough.

“Fabulous Frogs” – narrated by David Attenborough.

“ The Life of Mammals” – by David Attenborough.

“Life in the Undergrowth” – by David Attenborough.

Nature’s Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation that Starts in your Yard, by Douglas Tallamy. A joyful, inspiring book to give to all your friends and neighbors.

Abundant Earth: Toward an Ecological Civilization, by Eileen Crist. This well-referenced, throughly eye-opening, perspective-shifting book makes an excellent and thorough case for the underlying attitude interfering with solutions to climate change and mass extinction.

Eating Locally and Seasonally, by Elizabeth Simpson and Henning Sehmsdorf. This is a wonderful online resource explaining organic, regenerative farming based on 50+ years of experience right here on Lopez Island. https://sshomestead.org/wp-content/uploads/Eating-Locally-and-Seasonally-for-Web.pdf

All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis, edited by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Katherine K. Wilkinson. An anthology of essays spotlighting the work of dozens of women leading on climate solutions.

The Seed Keeper, by Diane Wilson. A novel about a Dakota family that invokes the strength that women, land, and plants have shared with one another through the generations.

Barkskins, by Annie Proulx. A mindblowing historical novel about 400 years of generations of mixed race families involved in logging North America and around the world.

Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer. This beautiful nonfiction book powerfully braids together indigenous wisdom, scientific knowledge, and the teachings of plants. Also available as an audiobook on CD and online, read by the author.

The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate – Discoveries from a Secret World, by Peter Wolleben. Full of amazing and little-known science, the author shares his deep love of woods and forests and explains the processes of life, death, and regeneration behind the scenes.

Floating Coast: An Enviromental History of the Bering Strait, by Bathsheba Demuth. This fascinating nonfiction is the first ever comprehensive history of exploitation of the animals, people, and minerals in the Arctic land and waters stretching from Canada to Russia.

The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt’s New World, by Andrea Wulf. This award-winning nonfiction reveals the life of the visionary German naturalist whose ideas changed the way we see the natural world—and in the process created modern environmentalism.

The Overstory: a novel, by Richard Powers. Pulitzer prize winning novel of activism and resistance that weaves the secrets of nature and lives of people.

The Soul of an Octopus: a Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness, by Sy Montgomery. The emotional and physical world of this surprisingly complex, intelligent, and spirited creature, and the remarkable connections it makes with humans are revealed in this delightful nonfiction.

Tides: the Spirit and Science of the Ocean, by Jonathan White. A local writer, sailor, and surfer takes us across the globe through lyrical prose, colorful adventure travel, and provocative scientific inquiry into all that keeps our planet’s waters in constant motion.

Talking on the Water: Conversations About Nature and Creativity,by Jonathan White. (nonfiction)

The Animal Dialogues: Uncommon Encounters in the Wild, by Craig Childs. (nonfiction)

The Inner Life of Animals: Love, Grief, and Compassion: Surprising Observations of a Hidden World,  by Peter Wohleben. (nonfiction)

Blue Hope: Exploring and Caring for the Earth’s Magnificent Ocean,  by Sylvia Earle. (nonfiction)

Erosion: Essays of Undoing, by Terry Tempest Williams. (nonfiction)

Half-Earth: Our Planet’s Fight for Life, by E. O. Wilson. (nonfiction)

Salmon: A Fish, the Earth, and Their Common Fate, by Mark Kurlansky. (nonfiction)

Tales of Two Planets,Stories of Climate Change and Inequality in a Divided World, ed. by John Freeman. (nonfiction)

Heaven’s Breath: a Natural History of the Wind, by Lyall Watson. (nonfiction)

The Man Who Planted Trees, by Jean Giono. (nonfiction)

Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming, by Paul Hawkin. The author is interviewed here in 2017: https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2017/5/10/15589038/top-100-solutions-climate-change-ranked

Better, Not Bigger: How to Take Control of Urban Growth and Improve Your Community, by Eben Fodor. Contrary to accepted wisdom, rapid urban growth can leave communities permanently scarred, deeply in debt, with unaffordable housing, a lost sense of community, and sacrificed enviromental quality. This book is a practical guide to how to prevent this in your own community.

And here is a separate list for children:
Child nonfiction – J 582.16 WOHLLEB – Can you hear the trees talking?: discover the hidden life of the forest, by Peter Wohlleben #
Child Picture Book – JBE SEUSS – The Lorax Juvenile DVD – JDVD LORAX – The Lorax #
Child Picture Book – JBE SAYRE – A Love Letter to the Earth, by April Pulley Sayre #
Child Picture Book – JBE ZOLOTOW – When the Wind Stops, by Charlotte Zolotow #
Child nonfiction – J 811.54 DAVIES – Outside your window: a first book of nature, by Nicola Davies #
Child nonfiction – J 591.76 FREDERIC – In one tidepool, crabs, snails, and salty tails, by Anthony Fredericks #
Child nonfiction – J 634.95 MATHESO – The forest man: the true story of Jadev Payeng, by Anne Matheson #
Child nonfiction – J 333.95 HOWELL – Biodiversity Eco facts, by Izzi Howell #
Child nonfiction – J 577.7 GAYDOS – Explore the Salish Sea: a nature guide for kids, by Joseph Gaydos #
Child Picture Book – JBE PRINGLE – Come to the ocean’s edge: a nature cycle book, by Laurence Pringle #

  Yesterday’s Code Pink session dealt with the military and the environment, timely as Earth Day is today.  You may already know that the US military is the biggest polluter on the earth.  The military protects big oil and is the largest user of fossil fuels.  The military leaves a toxic legacy, including depleted uranium, and its warfare destroys the environment.  Climate change makes dangerous political situations even worse, and mass migration is fueled by climate change and military action.  Climate change has become a national security issue, especially in Central America.  The US is responding to climate change by militarization, whereas our guest speaker (a native of Central America) said that we need mutual global cooperation and a global humanitarian framework.
    Our other guest is a leader of Veterans for Peace, and he told us that the military always follows natural resources, that it reinforces extractive industries and fossil fuel production.  He said that for environmentalists to be successful, they need to also be peace activists and anticapitalists, as all these topics are related.
    Our actions involved writing to our people in Congress.  Here is the letter I sent to our senators:
As we approach Earth Day, I ask you to publicly oppose and commit to voting against President Biden’s $753-billion military budget, a near 2% increase over Trump’s Pentagon spending. The Pentagon is the largest consumer of oil and largest emitter of fossil fuels warming the earth with greenhouse gases.  For this reason and others, Congress should follow the recommendations of the Poor Peoples’ Campaign and CODEPINK to dramatically reduce the military budget. 
    Here is the letter I sent to our Congressman:  As we approach Earth Day, I ask you to publicly oppose and commit to voting against President Biden’s $753-billion military budget, a near 2% increase over Trump’s Pentagon spending. The Pentagon is the largest consumer of oil and largest emitter of fossil fuels warming the earth with greenhouse gases.  Please also co-sponsor  H.R.2102, which eliminates fossil fuel subsidies.
    Veterans for Peace has a petition you can sign to Climate Envoy John Kerry asking him to include the military’s impact on the environment in any climate talks.  Go to https://veteransforpeace.salsalabs.org/climatekerry/index.html

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