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Wire Insider: Rep. Mary Dye

Representative Mary Dye represents Washington’s 9th legislative district in the State House of Representatives. She joins us as a “Wire Insider” to discuss becoming more holistic in the legislature’s approach to policy.

“I would say if a policy that’s being proposed, that’s on the table, has the potential to hurt people then we need to rethink the policy because in reality a lot of the proposals that we lock in on have significant negative impacts on large groups of people in this state. And I think that we need to be more multidisciplinary and more holistic in our approach to policy so that we consider all of the unintended consequences and the externalities of those choices and really be thoughtful about policies that help everyone instead of having policies that divide the state into winners and losers.

The carbon policies focus on very specific proposals that cause cost increases. Increasing costs of energy hurt people on the margins of most [areas]. For example, I’ve been doorbelling and I’ve run across women obviously widowed, in their homes during the cooler parts of the year with coats, hats, gloves, and cannot afford to heat their homes appropriately. And that impacts their ability to age in place, it impacts, you know, just the community as a whole that you would think at the end of life you would be struggling to meet your basic needs of a warm home and food. And the impacts that those policies will also have on food affordability — that’s a big deal because transportation is a major portion of the food system.

So, I think we need to look at those externalities of those policy choices when it comes to energy and really focus on trying to keep energy costs affordable and maybe find other ways to sequester carbon through agricultural production, permaculture, enhancing our forest products industries, so that we can really get healthier forest landscapes across the state.”