Virginia Mason CEO, Dr. Gary Kaplan, delivers a speech in support of I-1631. (Photo: Virginia Mason Health System)
Virginia Mason Health System has joined a growing list of hundreds of businesses, labor unions, faith groups, health care organizations, and climate justice advocates in announcing support for Initiative 1631 (I1631), Washington’s Clean Air and Clean Energy initiative. The initiative would put a fee on the state’s largest polluters and invest in protecting air and water and building a new clean energy infrastructure.
“The health effects of a changing climate are already being felt in Washington. Smoke from wildfires these past two summers, which worsen respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses, are just the most visible recent impacts. Medical studies estimate the global health burden of air pollution to be 6.5 million premature deaths per year. That is more than the deaths caused by HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria combined. We need to reduce fossil fuel use now to keep air pollution and an unstable climate from becoming increasingly worse for our children and grandchildren,” said Dr. Gary S. Kaplan, Virginia Mason chairman and CEO.
Because it can improve health outcomes, build new good-paying jobs, and ensure a cleaner and cooler future for the next generation, Health Care Without Harm has also endorsed this initiative. And it’s not just for one state; I1631 can be a model for addressing this critical issue to the nation and the world.
Even if you are not in Washington, you can play an important role in helping to pass the nation’s first fee on carbon. Volunteers like you can educate thousands of voters about Initiative 1631 and help make history.
Sign up today to educate Washington voters on I1631. This initiative will be on their Nov. 6 ballot.