Washington State Government

With the climate crisis escalating, no state is better positioned than Washington to demonstrate that the transition to fossil fuel-free electricity powering zero-emission vehicles is technically possible, economically viable, and a key driver for new jobs and economic growth. 

The Washington Legislature adopted greenhouse gas emission limits in 2008, yet the strongest climate policy on the books is the Energy Independence Act passed by the people in 2006. For our entire state’s economy to reach reductions of 80% below 1990 levels by 2050, as recommended by the University of Washington’s Climate Impacts Group, our electricity sector must achieve even deeper reductions, even as we electrify other sectors that currently rely on fossil fuels.

We actively supported three carbon pollution reduction policies in the 2018 Washington Legislature (details here):

  1. Accelerating 100% Fossil-Free Electricity (SB 6253): Clean energy investments have contributed to over 100,000 jobs, avoided carbon emissions of nearly one million automobiles, and conserved 1.2 billion gallons of water. We should replace power from coal and fossil gas with fossil-free sources of electricity, and prioritize energy efficiency, storage, and other means of reducing emissions in our power sector. We can and should achieve a 100% carbon reduction for electricity by 2045, creating a fossil-free grid for electrifying our transportation sector.
  2. Putting a Price on Carbon Pollution: By accounting for the price of carbon pollution in our economy, we can encourage investment in clean energy like solar and wind, grow middle class jobs, improve public health, and move away from polluting fossil fuels. A successful policy will (a) put an escalating price on pollution, starting at a minimum of $15/ton; (b) address the needs of impacted communities; (c) invest in clean air and energy, healthy forests, and clean water, creating tens of thousands of jobs and stimulating a vibrant clean energy economy; and (d) provide protection for workers and for energy-intensive and trade-exposed businesses, ensuring that we do not transfer jobs and emissions to other states. 
  3. Advancing Clean Fuels (HB 2338): Transportation fuels are responsible for nearly half of our climate and air pollution in Washington, and are major sources of pollutants linked to respiratory disease. Washington is the only West Coast jurisdiction lacking a clean fuels standard requiring refineries to reduce emissions. A clean fuels standard will also help grow our regional economy by supporting local job creation in rural Washington and provide new economic opportunities for the agricultural, dairy and forestry sectors. Read more about a clean fuels standard.