Hunger Fast Grows Outside Governor's Office
Olympia, Washington - A group of 19 parents and grandparents that have been fasting outside of Governor Inlee’s office since Tuesday morning will be joined by up to 15 supporters today. They are fasting in support of a stronger and more ambitious Clean Air Rule, a rule which is due to be discussed at a public hearing tomorrow night.
“It is no wonder we are here. There is nothing stronger than a parent’s love for their child and, right now, with this weak draft rule, both our Governor and the Dept. of Ecology are failing our children in an unforgivable manner,’ said great-grandparent Judy Bea-Wilson, who joined the fasting parents today.
The fast is being supported by WA green groups 350-Seattle, CoolMom, Climate Change for Families and the faith group, Faith Action Network.
“We support what these brave parents and grandparents are doing. We commend the Governor for the creation of what will be Washington's first Clean Air Rule; however, the proposed rule falls well short of the rapid carbon reductions that we need in our state to help prevent catastrophic climate change,” said Paul Benz, co- director of Faith Action Network.
The controversy around the Clean Air Rule has waged on for months now. In November 2015, following a lawsuit filed by eight young plaintiffs against the WA. Dept. of Ecology, a WA Superior Court Judge found that the state has a “mandatory duty” to “preserve, protect, and enhance the air quality for the current and future generations.”
“That’s what this rule should be all about,” said Gabe Mandell, a fourteen year old who was involved in the court case. “It’s about protecting the constitutional right to clean air that all generations deserve. Yet this Rule, as it stands, comes nowhere close. The science states we need emissions cuts of about 8% per year. This rule will only give us cuts of 1.7% of 2-3rds of the state’s emissions. In reality, that means total cuts of less than 1%. And that means this Rule is failing to protect our constitutional right to clean air and a stable climate.”
The concerns of the fasting parents and grandparents are shared by many WA environmental groups, including Climate Solutions, the Washington Environmental Council and The Sierra Club, all of whom have voiced their concerns over the proposed rule’s lack of ambition and, particularly, a flawed mechanism within the Rule that allows for the double counting of offsets.
The fasting parents have been invited to meet with the Governor's office this morning to discuss their concerns.
The fast will continue until after the public hearing at the Red Lion Hotel on Thursday, when the fasting parents will give comment on the draft rule to representatives of the Dept. of Ecology.