The Clean Air Rule is one (but not the only) solution worth protecting
December 20, 2017
Last Friday, a Thurston County Superior Court judge ruled that the Clean Air Rule exceeded Washington state’s authority to regulate carbon emissions. While there will be further arguments in front of this judge, we think he got it wrong. Climate Solutions, Natural Resources Defense Council and Washington Environmental Council will join the state in its appeal of this ruling and ultimately the decision will be decided in a higher court.
Nothing about this ruling changes a simple fact—the Clean Air Rule was always a first step, not a last step. The imperative to transition rapidly to clean energy increases every single day. The Clean Air Rule will contribute to pollution reduction, but it wasn’t sufficient to prevent our electric utilities from doubling down on new fossil fuel power plants and it won’t lead to a rapid enough reduction in reliance on gasoline and diesel. 
The rule is firmly within the state’s authority to act, but no matter what happens in this case we know it’s the legislature that needs to get to work. We need to place our electricity sector on a path to 100% clean power, we need to electrify our transportation system, and we need to boost energy efficiency.
And if the legislature fails again, then the people of Washington will take advantage of the powers reserved to us in our state constitution, and we will vote for climate action at the ballot.

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Author Bio

Vlad Gutman-Britten

former Washington Director, Climate Solutions

Vlad was Washington State Director until 12/1/21.  He brought varied and deep experience in policy, advocacy, and campaign politics to his work at Climate Solutions.

Before coming to Climate Solutions, Vlad was Senior Policy Director for the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition, where he successfully secured tens of millions of dollars in state investment in habitat and recreation lands. He was previously a key part of issue advocacy and communications efforts for large companies, including Microsoft and GE, and before that served as AIPAC's Deputy Midwest Political Director. A veteran campaign operative, he has run congressional and state legislative campaigns and worked on races ranging from mayoral to presidential.

Vlad is a graduate of Northwestern University, where he received a degree in political science. In his free time, Vlad bikes, listens to everything from opera to folk music, and smokes whatever fish or meat fits into his smoker.  He is soon off to New York City to start a new adventure as the Assistant Director for Policy and Markets at NYSERDA, New York State's energy agency.  

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