04. April 2024 · Comments Off on Ag and Rural Caucus for April 2024 · Categories: Committee News, Recent Events

Ag and Rural Caucus for April

Better Practices

6:30 pm Thursday 4 April
Ranked Choice Voting

Katie Haven, Okanogan County/LD 7
Kari Bull, FairVote Washington


Policy Briefing

6:30 pm Thursday 18 April
Wood Pellet Production in Longview
Jessica Marcus, Head of Public Affairs, DRAX

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When Democrats do not want to be democratic

CD 4 primary results in 2022

Dan Newhouse37,880GOP
Doug White37,339Democrat
Loren Culp32,163GOP
Jerrod Sessler18,226GOP
Brad Klippert15,232GOP
Corey Gibson5,018GOP
Benny Garcia2,122GOP
Jacek Kobiesa480GOP
Better Practices: How about Ranked Choice Voting?

RCV has earned currency in blue jurisdictions in the Puget Sound; Seattle voted in 2022 to use RCV. It has earned a reputation as a “good government” Democratic idea, both a capital “D” and small “d” democratic.

Reality is not quite that simple. Early adopters are Alaska and Maine, with Oregon and Nevada voting in the next year or so…joining Cambridge, San Francisco, Berkeley, Oakland, Minneapolis and St Paul.

The concept is that you as the voter may use your ballot to mark your and second and third choices as well as your first choice. If your first-choice candidate falters your vote is transferred to your second choice and so forth.

Think through some of the RCV implications and bring them for Katie this Thursday.
Policy Briefing: Wood Pellet Processing – Sustainable?

Southwest Washington is debating an economic development project, again. This time it is a wood pellet production facility. Before that was NW Innovation Works which was to convert fracked natural gas to produce methanol and ship it to China for plastics. The governor vetoed it. Actually, it was Ecology who denied the permits. Before that it was Millennium Bulk Terminals trying to ship coal out of Longview. It, too, failed to get Ecology approval.

Will this time go better for the workers and economies of Cowlitz County?

Wood pellets as a fuel has its own challenges. Skeptics pose whether burning wood pellets is really carbon neutral as advertised. There are questions, too, about whether there is enough waste wood to supply the proposed plant without harvesting standing timber.

DRAX is the proposer. DRAX is rooted in the UK’s coal industry but DRAX is also a leader in the phase out of coal. “In 2003, the UK’s biggest coal power station took its first steps away from the fossil fuel which defined electricity generation for more than a century. It was in that year that Drax Power Station began co-firing biomass as a renewable alternative to coal.”

DRAX is an international pioneer in substituting biomass for coal.

Cowlitz County is in good company, even if it is not really comfortable. Europe is tied up in knots about biomass. Listen to EU’s green energy spokesperson: “[Franz] Timmermans himself has said that without biomass the EU will be unable to achieve its clean energy goals. ‘We need biomass in the mix, but we need the right biomass . . .’” Sweden, Finland, and Estonia are less conflicted. They lobby that biomass combustion is “sustainable”.

Jessica Marcus has generously offered to talk with us about her company’s proposal. There is no question that the DRAX proposal is controversial. This is an opportunity to talk with an advocate.

31 March 2024

Washington’s first-two-past-the-post system allowed Doug White to contest the 2022 General Election in CD 4. 

Join Katie and Kari Bull of FairVote Washington this Thursday to talk through RCV and how it operates.

2 April 2024

Our Better Practices roundtable is on the first Thursday of each month at 6:30 pm.. Use the link above for 2024.

Our Policy Series is on the third Thursday of each month at 6:30 pm. Use the link above for 2024

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Ag and Rural Caucus of State Democratic Central Committee
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Ag and Rural Caucus
2921 Mud Creek Rd
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