Sierra Club Position on Carbon Washington Ballot Initiative 732

September 2016

Sierra Club has adopted a Do Not Support position concerning Initiative 732, rather than Support, Neutral, or Oppose.  Given the urgency of the climate crisis, this was not a decision reached lightly. Members of the Club expressed deep concerns that the initiative does not include all that is needed for an equitable climate policy and just transition to a clean energy economy, while at same time, other members of the Club worked tirelessly in support of the initiative.  Sierra Club is taking a Do Not Support position because:

  • Communities of color and low-income people are almost always the ones most impacted by pollution and climate change, and as a result they need to be at the front and center of discussions for how to address the problem and mitigate the impacts of both climate change and environmental policy. That wasn't the approach taken by I-732. As a result, the initiative fails to affirmatively address any of the stated needs of those communities: more investment in green jobs, energy efficiency, transit, housing, and renewable energy infrastructure.
  • There remains justifiable concern about I-732's revenue projections. While I-732 was intended to be revenue neutral, the State Department of Revenue predicts I-732 will result in about $200 million of lost revenue per year in its first four years. A subsequent analysis by Sightline Institute, a respected environmental think tank, found flaws in the state forecast but still estimated a nearly $80 million annual revenue loss over the same time period. At a time when our state needs additional revenue to fund education, parks, environmental programs, and social services, we are concerned about any projected revenue cuts.

Whether I-732 passes or not, the Sierra Club is committed to working together as a movement after the election with our allies in the labor, social justice, immigrant, and Tribal communities to support efforts to stop climate change and preserve a clean, healthy environment for future generations.