Cities Call for Carbon Pricing in Washington

Suburban cities warn of failure, tell state to "be bold."
This post is part of the research project: Putting a Price on Carbon

It wasn’t greeted with fanfare at the time, but one of the most encouraging developments in Washington State carbon pricing happened in early December. Even as Governor Inslee’s Climate Legislative and Executive Workgroup (CLEW) struggles to find an assertive, but consensus-based policy recommendation, local governments are starting to call for action. And it’s not just the usual suspects either.

On December 6, mayors from the cities of Mercer Island, Kirkland, Issaquah, Shoreline, Snoqualmie, Sammamish, Seattle, and Tukwila joined with King County to issue a joint letter calling for bold state climate action. Foremost among their asks:

Adopt a market-based approach to reducing GHG pollution: Market-based approaches—whether a cap-and-trade program as in California or a carbon tax as in British Columbia––should be at the heart of the state’s package of actions.

When suburban cities in Washington’s most economically productive region are calling for  aggressively limiting and pricing carbon, you know the political ground is starting to shift. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if cities outside King County soon join the chorus.

King County Executive Dow Constantine said it well: “We are on the cusp of decisions that must be made now if we are to have a sustainable environment and economy for our future.. We can’t afford to wait.”

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  1. Harve says:


    What a good sign!

    Down here in SW Washington the climate change debate is taking on global significance. Coal exports will have a big effect on our climate. If we can stop the coal exports from happening down here in Longview, the rest of the state will climb aboard that fast freight to a sustaiable economy.

    Thanks to the leadship throughout Washington.

  2. Jim says:

    I could become proud if this continues.

  3. Joseph M. HIss says:

    I fully support the idea of cities and counties petitioning the State for stronger control of carbon emissions. We need all the support we can get from such forward-looking folks! The northwest may become the leaderss the nation and the world!

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