Opposition to Environmental Protections and Healthy Communities

The people of Washington strongly support taking action to reduce global warming pollution. Our state led the nation by passing a strong clean energy law with a 52 percent vote of the people in 2006. A recent Elway poll showed 70 percent of voters support a carbon tax on polluters to pay for transportation improvements. Contrary to this strong public support, the Freedom Foundation denies the science behind man-made global warming and has been a leading opponent of environmental protections in Washington.


Filed Suit to Block Action on Global Warming:

In 2010, the Freedom Foundation sued then Gov. Christine Gregoire over her actions to fight global warming. The suit came in response to the Governor’s Executive Order in 2009 that directed state agencies to work with companies, landowners, and leaders from neighboring regions to reduce global warming pollution. A Thurston County Superior Court judge threw out the case and the Freedom Foundation dropped their case.

Opposes Light Rail and Transit Options:

Our rapidly growing population wants and needs a variety of transportation options to get to work, school, and local events. In 2011, the voters reaffirmed our state’s commitment to light rail in particular by opposing Initiative 1125 with more than 53 percent of the vote. Yet the Freedom Foundation continues to cling to an outdated, anti-light rail ideology. In 2013, they wrote a blog post lamenting the fact that Washington is “living the light rail disaster.” They seem baffled why the majority of Washingtonians would support a form of transportation that is “more environmentally sensitive - less pollution, less noise.”

Promoted Infamous Climate Science Deniers:

In January of 2015, Republican Senator Doug Ericksen invited Dr. Jey Lehr to testify about global warming issues. Lehr works for the Heartland Institute, a Koch Brothers funded think-tank devoted to denying climate science, the dangers of second-hand smoke, and other inconvenient “facts” that oil and tobacco corporations don’t want you to support. The Freedom Foundation’s Jeff Rhodes devoted an entire fawning blog post to promoting and repeating Lehr’s misleading claims. Rhodes backed up Lehr’s ridiculous claims that actions to fight dangerous global warming pollution are “based on a combination of political agendas and junk science” when in fact 97 percent of scientists agree global warming is real. However, it’s not shocking that the Freedom Foundation would join the opposition to climate science given that they also receive hundreds of thousands of dollars from big corporate backers.

Opposes Protections for Family Farms and Parks:

The Freedom Foundation has been a leading– and sometimes the only – advocate of repealing the entire Growth Management Act (GMA). The GMA was created to protect Washington’s farmland and natural spaces from being taken over by developers for endless sprawl. The measure has strong support from many farmers and rural landowners who want to protect their way of life. Unfortunately, the Freedom Foundation is doing the dirty work for big developers who simply want to pave over our farmlands for more strip malls.