On Wednesday, May 23, five members of the SSCAN Leadership Team met with Mr. Reed Schuler, a senior policy advisor (with specialization in climate change policy) to Governor Jay Inslee, at the home of one of our members in South Seattle. The meeting lasted for about 75 minutes, and consisted of a PowerPoint presentation by SSCAN, in which we explained our views on climate change policy in Washington State; and a discussion with Reed, during which he offered his perspectives and on the complexities associated with actually passing climate change legislation.

SSCAN acknowledged its appreciation of Governor Inslee’s many efforts on climate change, but we also expressed our deep disappointment with the lack of legislative progress during the 2018 Washington State Legislative Session. A number of major climate change bills were introduced (including Governor Inslee’s Proposed Price on Carbon – SB 6203), but none passed, and most did not even receive a floor vote. And this is in a State with a Democratic Trifecta – a Democratic Governor, and Democratic control of both legislative chambers. Indeed, the Atlantic magazine observed: ““What happened in the Evergreen State is startling: A Democratic governor, presiding over a Democratic legislature in a West Coast state, could not pass a substantial climate policy out of the statehouse…Democrats, the party of climate change, will pay for this missed opportunity” (Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic, March 2, 2018).

We are thankful for the opportunity to meet with Reed Schuler, and for the opportunity to begin a constructive relationship, through which we hope to effect momentous climate change legislation in Washington State in the near future.

  • John Stafford, SSCAN Steering Committee