SSCAN 2017 Legislative Priorities

Carbon Tax

We must reduce greenhouse gas emissions to address the harmful effects of climate change and protect our health, communities, and economy. Because of this, a “price on carbon” has long been a priority for SSCAN. A well designed carbon tax will help us to transition to clean, efficient energy which will grow our economy and create a new wave of jobs and prosperity. We ask our legislators to voice strong support for a carbon tax, and to negotiate as high a carbon tax as possible in our divided legislature. We also support policy that will 1) drive investment in clean energy, healthy forests, and water infrastructure and 2) invest in vulnerable communities that have been hit hardest by fossil fuel pollution and climate change. We recognize that we must fund education AND essential state services. Putting a price on carbon can help us do this. We ask that our legislators strongly advocate for, and lead the effort, to try and implement a carbon tax.

Oil Transportation Safety Bill: HB 1611 & SB 5462

With the approval of the Kinder Morgan pipeline, we expect an increase in tanker traffic by 700% through the Salish Sea, meaning more oil moving through pipelines and more export terminals, making Washington State a target for dangerous spills and explosions.

We support the Oil Transportation Safety Bill because it will:
• Ensure that the oil industry pays in the case of a spill or other disaster
• Update funding for prevention, preparedness and response
• Protect Puget Sound from increased oil barges and other vessels from the Kinder Morgan Pipeline
• Protect against refineries turning into transshipment terminals
• Strengthen oversight of pipeline safety
We support this legislation to ensure common sense safety measures that will provide funding for oil spill prevention and response.

Fund the Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA): HB 1663 & SB 5501

The Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA) has been a successful law dedicated to cleaning up of toxic waste sites, preventing the use of harmful chemicals in products, and controlling pollution to protect water quality. The law relies on one of the most volatile revenue sources in the state budget–the hazardous substance tax. Because oil prices have plummeted and the MTCA fund has been raided repeatedly for other programs, there is a $75 million shortfall in its funding. This priority will impose a tax surcharge on imported toxics to ensure the money is secure and stable to solve the $75 million shortfall. The MTCA is dedicated to the cleanup of toxic sites which often happen in the poorest of our communities. We must care for the most vulnerable and insure that all communities have access to clean water, a stable environment, and good health. Fully funding the MTCA is one important way that we can do so.

Solar Tax Credits: HB 1048 & SB 5499

This bill promotes a sustainable, local renewable energy industry through modifying renewable energy system tax incentives and providing guidance for renewable energy system component recycling. We support this legislation because it will promote solar power by reducing the per-kilowatt-hour incentive rate to reflect the improving market and costs of solar systems, while maintaining an in-state manufacturing incentive.