Senator Rolfes, Climate Change, the Northwest, and Initiative 1631

In the News: Washington State Senator Christine Rolfes’s interview with Christopher Dunagan

Senator Christine Rolfes told Christopher Dunagan (Watching our Water Ways blogger and guest columnist to the Kitsap Sun newspaper) that climate change was not going away and that the Washington Legislature and the Governor’s Office will likely be addressing it with a package of climate-change bills.

Rolfes said that though voters had rejected the climate-change initiative (Initiative 1631) on the November 6, 2018 ballot, many voters related to her than they had not rejected the need to address climate change, rather, they were rejecting the way that I-1631 did it—with some people being concerned their taxes would increase and, others—as the interview reports—being “concerned about the huge amounts of money involved, the so-called ‘loopholes’ regarding who would pay the tax, or the uncertainties over how the money would be spent.” It was noted that oil companies had spent millions of dollars to defeat I-1631, but even those corporations realized climate change needed to be addressed.

The two discussed how people’s “insurance rates will go up as a result of increasing fires, floods, and hurricanes; how food prices will rise as droughts become more common.” They talked about how “climate change is already affecting the ecosystem in the Puget Sound region and across the state as winter snowpack declines, glaciers melt and salmon struggle to survive warmer waters.”

Rolfes said that, “‘If you are in elective office and you are aware of threats to the climate and the future of the state, there is a moral imperative to do something.’”

— Christopher Dunagan, “Rolfes says lawmakers will pursue climate bill,” Kitsap Sun 18 Nov 2018, 1A and 4A. Print. Web (accessed 23 Nov 2018)

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