Imagine if all of the tens of millions of dollars spent fighting Initiative 1631 were invested in renewable energy. In a state with billionaires and titans of technology, we should not let the failure of what would have been the first carbon tax in the nation block the path for a clean-energy future.
Most Washingtonians would like a future where our grandchildren can harvest salmon, breathe smoke-free air, eat local cherries and watch orcas swimming in the Salish Sea. The status quo of our current energy portfolio puts all of these Washington treasures in jeopardy.
Last week, I was at a workshop in southwest Washington with foresters, farmers, scientists and environmentalists where we had shared values on our vision for a future with vibrant natural resources and communities. We differed in how to reach that vision.
A similar problem existed with 1631. To build our renewable energy revolution, we need to focus on our shared values. A homegrown energy revolution can benefit the entire state and be a model for the rest of the nation. In a state with corporations that have changed the way the world travels, works, shops and drinks coffee, we can and should lead in revolutionizing our energy portfolio.