Public Resource
What Washington, Dc, Can Learn from the Other Washington About Climate Policy
Kristin Eberhard. Sightline Institute

Just a few years after multiple climate policy failures, Washington State enacted what some have termed the nation’s most ambitious carbon pricing law. Federal Democrats should learn a few lessons from Washington State’s experience. First, businesses are supporting market-based climate policies: A key piece of the Washington story was business support for the cap-and-invest program. Second, legislators can legislate: Another feature of Washington’s experience was the success of legislative leadership. Third, a climate bill can solve longstanding needs: For climate hawks, a carbon price is all about climate, but a bill could be about much more. Fourth, focus on the investments, not the price: The upfront costs associated with a cap-and-invest bill can strike fear into constituents’ hearts, and often toll the death knell for such legislation. Fifth, Republicans might come to the table for the chance to “pay for” their priorities. Sixth, build momentum first. An economy-wide carbon price is a big lift. Legislators must first warm up by tackling particular sectors as they did in Washington.