I hope your fall is colorful. I am sure it’s very busy with full speed ahead on various campaigns. The Lands Council is a 501©3. We cannot endorse candidates but we can work on legislation and initiatives. I have been spending some of my time on Initiative 1631. That is the carbon fee (not a tax) on fossil fuel polluters. A fee is designed to go to a specific resource and cannot be used generally, like a tax can.
The opposition to I-1631, almost 26 million dollars (the most ever spent in Washington State) comes from the Western States Petroleum Association and the big oil companies. See the press release at the end of this newsletter for more information on that. I bet we can all come up with ways for big oil to better spend that 26 million!
YOU CAN CANVASS FOR 1631!! I know it’s the season of Halloween, but canvassing is only a little bit scary! You won’t be alone, and you will be trained. Your fellow citizens are often happily surprised to learn more about I-1631 when you show up on their doorsteps. It’s an impressive act of civics to canvass! And Vote. Vote Yes on 1631 and ask your friends to Vote Yes on it, as well. A very easy way to do this is with the privacy protected Voter Circle.
Some of you have no doubt read or heard the criticisms of I-1631. At the bottom of the newsletter is a response to those criticisms. And this is a great read on that as well: Next Tuesday at noon, tune into Earth Matters Now on KYRS, 88.1 and 92.3 FM. Or live stream at www.kyrs.org to listen to Spokane Yes on 1631 organizer, Jennyfer Mesa, talk about the benefits to residents of 1631. Also, today at 1 pm on KYRS’ SOS show, Dr. Lamont Worden of 350 Spokane will be talking with Paul Potocky about I-1631. You can go listen to the podcast if you can’t listen live. Go to the show title, SOS on kyrs.org And listen to Nick Abraham, Communications Director for Yes On 1631 podcast on KBOO’s recent Locus Focus report on 1631 HERE
Other information you should be aware of is below:
Scoping comments on the proposed Newport Smelter are due this Friday, Oct. 26. Go here to submit them, and learn more here and here (scroll down to the Oct. 9 post).
Six members of the Spokane City Council support 1631. Read their letter which you can find on The Lands Council Blog.
One of The Lands Council’s Fellows, Dimitar Dimtrov of Sofia, Bulgaria is having a Bulgarian Culture Night on August 12. You are invited. You can get more information on Facebook. Our other Fellow, Khusniddin Alikulov from Shirin Town, Uzbekistan is scheduling one soon so please keep checking the TLC Facebook page. We share Khusniddin with the City of Spokane. They have been most generous in doing most of the hosting.
Want to read more on 1631? Read the posts at the bottom of this newsletter and go to Yes on 1631 and Sightline And climate change is a health issue.
Yes, you can still register to vote:
1: Make sure your registration is up to date– enter your information here to check. You can still register to vote in person by Monday, October 29th at a local county elections office if you are a new Washington state voter.
2: Registered at an old address or didn’t receive your ballot? Contact your local county elections department immediately.
3: Get your vote counted – make sure your ballot is postmarked by Tuesday, Nov. 6th or returned to an official ballot dropbox by 8pm on Nov. 6th. Remember, no stamp is required to vote by mail OR dropbox this year!
We have all fought over the years to stop more fossil fuel facilities being built for many, many reasons. But a fee on carbon is crucial and we can do that by voting Yes on 1631. Recently a lottery has had a pot of over 1 billion dollars. Someone has won. But millions were spent buying lottery tickets. It’s hard not to. Did you buy one or a few? Why can people spend a few dollars on a lottery ticket (and most often for a lot less money than the mega-pot) but not vote yes on an initiative like 1631? Buying lottery tickets regardless of pot size is not exactly the perfect way to put some money in your wallet, yet people do it consistently. If 1631 passes, we are ALL winners in Washington State, even those who don’t think they are. We will benefit, and mostly our young people will benefit. In part, 1631 is like the proverbial tree that is planted by a person who will not live to sit in its shade.
Email me or call me if you want to talk more about 1631. email@example.com or 509 209.2404. To unsubscribe or talk about anything else, please email me or call me.
Energy Program Director
WA State PDC Confirms: Out-of-State Oil Money Against I-1631 Officially Most in State Election History
Campaign has raised nearly $26 million, 99% coming from oil companies including BP, Valero, Koch Industries, Phillips 66, Chevron, Andeavor (Tesoro)
OLYMPIA 10/22/18 — Today, ‘No on 1631 (Sponsored by Western State Petroleum Assn)’ broke the record for most money ever raised in a Washington state election. State Public Disclosure Commissions records confirm it has surpassed the previously record holder ‘No on I-522’ that opposed the labeling of genetically modified food in 2013.
To date, No on 1631 has raised $25,827,179.90, 99.5% from out-of-state oil companies. Top 5 contributors to No on 1631 are BP, Phillips 66, Andeavor (formerly Tesoro), American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, and Valero Energy Corporation. (Top of the list – BP $9,556,000).
“Big Oil thinks they can buy this election by flooding our airwaves with misleading ads that lie to voters,” said Abigail Doerr Campaign Manager for Yes on 1631. “But Washingtonians know better. Out-of-state oil companies are just trying to protect their billion-dollar profits at the expensive of our health and our kids’ future. The truth is, 1631 is a sensible step to protect our air and water and improve our children’s health. I-1631 will hold the state’s largest polluters accountable and invest in proven strategies to reduce pollution. It will expand clean energy while reducing energy costs and creating tens of thousands of jobs across our state.”
Oil companies are also investing consultant and lobbyist staff time directly into the opposition campaign. Expenditure records show 310 BP employees have expensed staff time against the initiative. Phillips 66 added additional staff time for “outreach, banner install, and envelope labeling.”
No on 1631 small donations (under $200) from individual Washingtonians have come from just 9 residents.
In total the Yes on 1631 campaign has raised $12,527,964 with over 2,500 individual small donors. To date, over 5,000 Washington residents have volunteered for the campaign’s field outreach program.
Yes on 1631 is endorsed by over 350 organizations representing labor unions, communities of color, environmental and clean energy advocates, health professionals, tribal nations, and faith organizations as well as over 200 local businesses including industry leaders like Microsoft, REI, Virginia Mason, and Vigor Industrial, making it the largest and most diverse initiative coalition in state history.
I-1631 would charge a fee on our state’s largest polluters and invest in reducing pollution, cleaning up our air and water, and making clean energy more affordable for more people.
To learn more about the initiative please go to https://yeson1631.org/learn/
See a comprehensive list of all endorsements at https://yeson1631.org/endorsements/
We always knew this election was going to be close. All indications say every vote is going to matter.
Now that we’ve been inundated by Oil Industry ads for months many of you are having near constant conversations with your friends, family and colleagues about I-1631.
I’ve put together some tools and facts that I think you’ll find helpful in this email. We’ve also put together 1631Facts.org to respond to these lies.
Remember the #1 thing that moves voters is reminding them that our coalition involves groups like the American Lung Associaton and Nature Conservancy who care about reducing pollution, whereas our opponents are multinational oil companies spending $25 Million to avoid accountability for their pollution.
As always, the best way to help win this election is to knock on as many doors as you possibly can!
- Our response to the Seattle Times Editorial:
The Seattle Times wrote a very disappointing editorial against I-1631 which reads like an oil industry commercial. Here is our response
“The Seattle Times ed board does not believe that Washington can be a leader on tackling the problem of climate pollution. We believe that Washington can and must be a leader on this issue. I-1631 is a smart, practical first step to addressing pollution, written by the largest and most diverse coalition in state history. I-1631 is endorsed by over 400 organizations, and by papers including The Olympian, The Tacoma News Tribune, The Everett Herald, The Lewiston Tribune and the Stranger. We are confident that voters agree it’s time for Washington to lead.”
Hot Tip: Send your friends and family the Olympian’s excellent endorsement of I-1631.
- Responding to Cliff Mass’s weather blog
Local blogger Cliff Mass has allied himself firmly with the oil industry against I-1631. Cliff’s criticism of I-1631 is unfounded and seems largely based in bitterness from 2016’s debate over I-732. There are two great responses to friends and family concerned about his opposition.First, nearly every one of Cliff’s colleagues at the UW, as well as Nobel Prize Winners and UN IPCC Authors from Washington have signed an open letter supporting I-1631. Remind your friends and family that Cliff is FAR outside of the consensus of the scientific community and speaking about matters FAR outside his expertise.
Second, his old allies at CarbonWA have written a point by point rebuttal to his spurious claims. and reiterated their support for I-1631.
- The Biggest Polluters in the world are fighting I-1631 because they ARE NOT exempt
It’s somewhat ironic that the Fossil Fuel companies responsible for about 71% of the world’s climate pollution are trying to point fingers to avoid accountability. I-1631 is a smart, balanced policy about reducing pollution, but $25 Million of ads talking about “exemptions” have planted doubts with some voters. When responding to this spurious argument be sure to point out:
– I-1631 was written by groups that care about reducing pollution like the American Lung Association and the Nature Conservancy. The biggest polluters in the state, and in the world are spending record amounts ($25.8 Million) to lie to voters about I-1631 because they don’t want to be held accountable for their pollution. They certainly are not exempt.
– I-1631 covers 80% of Washington’s Climate Pollution and ENSURES that Washinton’s only coal plant will stop burning coal by 2025.
– I-1631 is a smart plan that ensures that when we need steel, aluminum, and concrete to build new clean energy we are using Washington companies and Washington workers to do it. That means we are allowing more people in Washington to share in the clean energy economy.
- No On 1631 Commissioned a study by the same firm the Tobacco companies used to cast doubt on the health impacts of smoking.
No on 1631 is sending out millions of mailers citing a “NERA Institute” study they paid for. The NERA Institute gained infamy when the Tobacco industry paid them to put together reports downplaying the health impacts of smoking. They have also gone on record saying that sometimes the air can be “too clean for optimal health”.
NERA is a discredited, unreputable firm that cannot be trusted. The NO Campaign’s other ally “The Washington Policy Center” is a right-wing think tank funded by the Koch Brothers. The Koch Brothers have contributed $550,000 to the NO campaign so far.
- I-1631 has strong accountability mechanisms.
The No campaign tries to scaremonger by saying that an “unelected board” will be spending I-1631’s revenue with no oversight. That’s a direct lie.
The Washington Constitution gives the exclusive power of the purse to the legislature. I-1631 sets up a board of experts and community leaders appointed by the Governor who will evaluate proposals and put together recommendations for the legislature to vote on. The board will work with the Departments of Commerce and Ecology to regularly conduct public evaluations on the effectiveness of the program.
Experts and community leaders making recommendations to our elected representatives and evaluating their progress? That’s reasonable good governance. Good governance groups like the League of Women Voters and the Washington Budget and Policy Center, as well as our Attorney General Bob Ferguson have proudly endorsed I-1631.
The Union of Concerned Scientists has a good explainer on this and other arguments here.
The campaign’s communications team put together this great FAQ that’s on every canvasser’s clipboard. Check it out here.
Puget Sound Sage does a great job breaking down exactly how I-1631 works in this blog post.
Focus on people who are genuinely confused or undecided, not folks who outright oppose
This is going to be a close election and we won’t be able to persuade everyone. Pick your battles, don’t worry about persuading every person you talk to. Focus on the folks who are actually confused or undecided not folks who are leaning against us. I know it can be hard, but it’s how we’re going to win!
Remember if you need specific help you can always email our Deputy Communication DirectorJack@yeson1631.org
We have 12 days left. Let’s win this thing!
Field Director, Yes On 1631
4347 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105