Polluters Win, You Lose: A sign opposing Initiative 2117
Leaders from Climate Solutions and the Northwest Progressive Institute hold signs opposing Initiative 2117 at the Secretary of State's Elections Annex in Olympia (Photo: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)

The sec­ond of two six sub­mit­ted ini­tia­tives to the 2024 Wash­ing­ton State Leg­is­la­ture spon­sored by Repub­li­can State Par­ty Chair Jim Walsh and fund­ed by right wing mul­ti­mil­lion­aire Bri­an Hey­wood was cer­ti­fied today, which means it is des­tined for the Novem­ber 2024 bal­lot for approval or rejec­tion by voters.

Ini­tia­tive 2117 would repeal the land­mark Cli­mate Com­mit­ment Act, passed and signed into law in the 2021 ses­sion. The CCA is one of the most impor­tant envi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion laws ever adopt­ed by Wash­ing­ton’s elect­ed rep­re­sen­ta­tives. Also known as cap and invest, it is rais­ing bil­lions of dol­lars to secure a just and respon­si­ble tran­si­tion to the clean ener­gy future we need.

Accord­ing to the Sec­re­tary of State’s Elec­tions Divi­sion, 27,175 pages of sig­na­tures were received for I‑2117, con­tain­ing 466,072 lines.

324,516 valid sig­na­tures are cur­rent­ly required to qual­i­fy a statewide initiative.

Ini­tia­tive 2117 had a suf­fi­cient cush­ion of extra sig­na­tures to qual­i­fy for a ran­dom sam­ple check as allowed by state law, which con­sist­ed of 13,983 signatures.

Of those, 10,863 were accept­ed and 3,120 were reviewed. 3,120 sig­na­tures were deter­mined to be invalid, and fif­teen were deter­mined to be duplicate.

Sec­re­tary Hobbs today trans­mit­ted a cer­ti­fi­ca­tion mes­sage to the Leg­is­la­ture affixed with the state seal, advis­ing of I‑2117’s qualification.

Leg­isla­tive staff have giv­en I‑2117 its own bill-style page on leg.wa.gov.

The bal­lot title for I‑2117 is as follows:

Ini­tia­tive Mea­sure No. 2117 con­cerns car­bon tax cred­it trading.

This mea­sure would pro­hib­it state agen­cies from impos­ing any type of car­bon tax cred­it trad­ing, and repeal leg­is­la­tion estab­lish­ing a cap and invest pro­gram to reduce green­house gas emissions.

Should this mea­sure be enact­ed into law? Yes [ ] No [ ]

The sum­ma­ry is as follows:

This mea­sure would pro­hib­it state agen­cies from impos­ing any type of car­bon tax cred­it trad­ing, includ­ing “cap and trade” or “cap and tax” pro­grams, regard­less of whether the result­ing increased costs are imposed on fuel recip­i­ents or fuel sup­pli­ers. It would repeal sec­tions of the 2021 Wash­ing­ton Cli­mate Com­mit­ment Act as amend­ed, includ­ing repeal­ing the cre­ation and mod­i­fi­ca­tion of a “cap and invest” pro­gram to reduce green­house gas emis­sions by spe­cif­ic entities.

Leg­is­la­tors have three choic­es as to how to respond to I‑2117:

  • Do noth­ing, in which case it goes to voters
  • Adopt the mea­sure into law
  • Send it to the Novem­ber 2024 bal­lot with an alternative

NPI oppos­es Ini­tia­tive 2117 and is work­ing for the mea­sure’s defeat. Because the chances of the Demo­c­ra­t­ic-con­trolled Leg­is­la­ture approv­ing this mea­sure are pret­ty much nonex­is­tent, it will be get­ting for­ward­ed auto­mat­i­cal­ly to the bal­lot, as men­tioned above. NPI’s Stop Greed project is urg­ing a no vote on I‑2117; if you’d like to sup­port this effort, you can donate to Stop Greed here using Act­Blue.

“We have the strongest pol­i­cy in the coun­try to reduce pol­lu­tion and pro­tect our air and water qual­i­ty. A coali­tion of fam­i­lies, busi­ness­es, Trib­al Nations, and envi­ron­men­tal orga­ni­za­tions came togeth­er to pass this law, and we are con­fi­dent that Wash­ing­ton vot­ers will oppose this right-wing attack. Vote No on I‑2117,” said Lennon Bron­se­ma, Wash­ing­ton Con­ser­va­tion Action’s VP of Campaigns.

We agree and we invite you to join us in reject­ing I‑2117 lat­er this year.

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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