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Pacific Coast region eyes new carbon policy

Oregon, Washington and British Columbia all support carbon pricing

New carbon policies on the West Coast could help push the rest of the country toward a more realistic stance on carbon pricing. Photo courtesy NASA.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — The U.S. as a whole may still be a few years away from being ready to enact a carbon tax, but that isn’t stopping the Pacific Coast Collaborative from moving ahead with new ways of addressing the true cost of fossil fuels and accounting for the environmental impacts associated with using fossil fuels that are detrimental to the health and well-being of our communities — and future generations. 

For the first time, the Governors of California, Oregon and Washington, and the Premier of British Columbia, have collectively voiced support for pricing carbon, with a joint announcement coming just as California holds the first auction of its cap and trade program.

The statement also reflects a shared commitment to protect the West Coast region against increasing extreme weather threats associated with climate change. The governors and premier have agreed to ensure that new public infrastructure is built in a way that accounts for the growing risks brought on by climate change.

Along with the meetings that the Governors and Premier are holding in San Francisco this week, the statement can be seen as part of a growing effort to position the West Coast as a strong model of climate action.

Joint Statement by Leaders of the Pacific Coast Collaborative

Acting on the Pacific Coast Collaborative’s 2012 West Coast Action Plan on Jobs, signed on March 13, 2012, by the Premier of British Columbia and the Governors of California, Oregon and Washington, policy leaders from the four jurisdictions are gathering in San Francisco this week at the GreenBuild 2012 Conference to accelerate actions and outcomes agreed to by the Action Plan.

In association with these meetings, the four PCC leaders (BC Premier Christy Clark, California Governor Jerry Brown, Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber, and Washington Governor Chris Gregoire) issued the following joint statement:

“Confronting climate change requires concerted effort within each jurisdiction and across the region on several, interconnected fronts.

First, we need to move forward together on policies that will drive investment in home-grown renewable energy and energy efficiency projects – jobs we can’t outsource.   

Second, we must better account for the environmental impacts associated with using fossil fuels that are detrimental to the health and well-being of our communities – and future generations.  

Third, we need to protect our taxpayers’ investment in infrastructure by making sure these investments are resilient and account for climate risk.  

And we must also look at how best to consider and then account for the cost of carbon and our costly reliance on carbon-intensive energy sources.   California’s cap and trade program , which launches today, and British Columbia’s carbon tax are two examples of tools that help more accurately price energy resources and continue the transition to a 21st century energy infrastructure.”

2 Responses

  1. I’m waiting for an explanation of how this will reduce pollution and climate change when even the California Air Resources Board admitted it will have zero effect on pollutants.

    The end result is that pollutant credits get shifted around from company to company, but exactly the same quantity of pollutants exists. It is nothing but a way for government to get their hands deeper in the pockets of business.

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