Strategies for regional, state and local governments
In last week’s message to the list serve, Margaret indicated that “we at TCM are beginning to shift our organizing and policy focus towards implementing local- and state-level climate mobilizations until there’s a federal government that implements the Victory Plan. The end goal remains a federal and global WWII-scale mobilization to restore a safe climate”.
I’m interested in exploring these opportunities through this discussion.
Two months ago, I posted the following as a general comments on Ezra’s Victory Plan:
“I’m interested in whether and how effective mobilization could proceed at a state or regional level if federal action proves too slow in the short term. The US is not the same nation as 1940. The population and economic power of many US states rival or surpass many nations of the world. While not a complete victory plan, I’d like to look at a 50-state mobilization or regionalized plan that then could exert pressure on national and international actors. Any thoughts?”
No replies have been offered yet, so I’m initiating the topic as a new discussion.
I’ll offer one comment to begin, that is, we may want to begin by recognizing extreme regional differences within the nation, and leverage the available power centers within regions most amenable to a CM agenda (i.e. west coast and northeast). Regional partnerships may prove to be critical, and certainly are at a scale that exceeds many nation states worldwide.
Looking forward to comments.
@MBurke The need and potential for an act of Congress to put an effective price on carbon has not been ruled out by the election or proposals for Cabinet posts. It looks bad, but we won’t know until they roll out their agenda. It seems important to stay alert and poised for the possibility that the administration will ask Congress to trade the CPP for a carbon tax. We need to already be demanding and amp up the demand that it reach $100 per ton of CO2e by 2026 or whatever the TCM think tank now suggests.
If enough states appear to have the political will to aim for aim ambitious goal and target date, we must keep reminding the climate-conscious Republicans in Congress that it would be better to have a uniform federal policy that has bargaining power with China and India rather than a wide array of varied policies among the states with no bargaining power internationally.
Even if a federal price on carbon has to be revenue neutral to pass Congress, it will stimulate the economy broadly and may soften barriers to the many subsequent goals for investments in renewables and environmental justice. The shift to the states makes sense as a political strategy toward the essential prize of effective federal price policy as well as a practical strategy to reduce emissions.
State level initiatives rock! Things done at the state level liberate counties tremendously. Local jurisdictions can then elaborate and implement ideas in a fractal, capillary-type flow. After all, actions must take place on the ground in the real world. For example, causing erosion by over-grazing pasture could be outlawed, riparian reforestation could be required, building permits in flood zones refused, regional local food hubs could be subsidized, and the like.
Here is an example:
Last week, we sent you a note announcing the kickoff of The Clean Energy Jobs campaign which will create good paying jobs for Oregonians by putting a price on pollution. This will make Oregon a leader in the clean energy economy and the fight against climate change.
I’ve heard from a lot of people excited about Oregon taking the lead. One of the most frequent questions I hear is, “has a price on pollution worked before?”
It has! And it was a bipartisan effort. History can be our guide.
Will you sign our petition for clean air and good-paying, clean energy jobs in Oregon?
In the 1970s and 80s, pollutants released from burning fossil fuels began falling back to Earth as acid rain. Acid rain ruined streams and lakes, killed fish and trees and even corroded bridges.
In response, President George H.W. Bush and Democrats in the House and Senate worked together to place limits on certain pollutants. They created a cap on the pollution emitted and charged the polluters a price for the pollutants they were putting in our air. The results were dramatic, dropping pollution by millions of tons and effectively ending the acid rain crisis we faced.
By 2003, an audit found the Acid Rain Program was 75% cheaper to implement than predicted, and returned 40-times the benefits versus the cost – $70 billion per year in human health benefits.
Because of the price on the pollutants, large emitters found cleaner, more efficient ways to power their operations and for the least cost. Decades ago we solved an environmental crisis by putting a price on pollution.
Just over 1,000 Oregonians have signed our petition to put a price on climate pollution. Let’s double that! Will you sign? And if you already have, will you send this to two people you know?
Oregon can be a leader by limiting and pricing climate pollution. Join Renew Oregon to lead the charge to limit pollution from dirty fuels and accelerate investment in our communities across Oregon. Will you join us? It’s our next big step in a march from pollution to prosperity!