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2024 Legislative Session

Washington is among a few unique states with commitments and strong laws to address the major sources of pollution including the grid, transportation fuels, and economy wide sectors. Our work now and in the future, will continue to focus on how we reduce emissions and who will benefit in the transition to clean energy.

Notably this session begins against the backdrop of 2023’s headlines that the Climate Commitment Act program generated a total revenue of $2.2 billion. Having the CCA actively working to make polluters pay and help fund clean energy in Washington is an extraordinary win for climate and our communities, but we will still need to ensure these dollars are invested wisely. Ultimately we may need to defend this law from detractors and opponents of climate action. 

We're nearly through this short session! Below is the latest on what we've been tracking in 2024. 

You can stay updated on all our legislative work by signing up for Washington emails and take action today by clicking here.

Download a copy of our 2024 Washington Legislative Climate Priorities.

CLEAN TRANSPORTATION 

100% Clean School Buses (HB 1368) + Budget ($80 M in CCA funding) 

*Environmental Priorities Coalition Priority 

Research shows that switching to zero-emission school buses improves kids’ health and performance in school by cutting diesel pollution. In tandem with the budget ask ($80 million of Climate Commitment Act revenue), this bill would set Washington on a pathway to 100% clean school buses and would accelerate the process by requiring new bus purchases to be zero-emission starting when the cost to own and operate a zero-emission bus is the same or less than a polluting bus (cost parity expected within five years or sooner).

The bill passed the House and Senate, After a final House concurrence vote, the bill is expected to head to the Governor's desk for his signature. 

2024 BUDGET PRIORITIES

Continuing to invest the Climate Commitment Act revenue wisely: 100% Clean School Buses and Clean Multi-family Housing 

Typically, a short session means less budget-focused work, as the biennial budget is set in long (odd-year) sessions. Ongoing revenue from the Climate Commitment Act revenue means there are additional funds to invest in climate priorities in the supplemental 2024 budget.

Multifamily Housing Decarbonization Program ($100M Operating Budget):

Low-income residents are the least able to transition off of gas, and for tenants of affordable, multi-family housing (MFH) it is largely up to building owners to transition to electric and efficient homes and appliances. Climate and clean building advocates are asking the Legislature to invest $100 million in affordable MFH housing incentives for energy efficiency upgrades and electrification retrofits (also currently in the Governor’s budget). This funding should be flexible and include outreach, planning, and technical assistance.

100% Clean School Buses ($80M Capital or Operating Budget):

We can fund the transition to zero-emission buses, help our schools, and improve our kids' health. Almost all of our 12,000+ school buses in Washington currently run on diesel, and diesel pollution causes cancer, contributes to lung and other chronic diseases, and triggers asthma attacks. Rep. Senn is leading the ask for $80 million to meet the need and growing demand for clean buses and ensure all kids can get a healthy and safe ride to school. This budget ask, as well as the accompanying legislation to mandate the transition, are a 2024 Environmental Priorities Coalition Priority.

NAVIGATING BUILDING ELECTRIFICATION BENEFITS & UTILITY PLANNING

Gas Utility Decarbonization (HB 1589)

This bill will ensure that PSE (our largest gas and electric utility) plans for the transition to clean energy, makes significant new programs available to help folks transition off of fossil gas, and creates opportunities for low-income people to access the clean energy transition. HB 1589 will require PSE to proactively plan to meet statutory requirements to decarbonize its system. Without this bill, PSE may continue planning its gas system to be reliant on fossil fuels indefinitely, resulting in stranded assets and higher costs for customers. 

Legislators in both houses passed this bill and reached concurrence. The bill is headed to Gov. Inslee for his signature.

Clean Buildings Navigator Bill (HB 1391)

With significant new clean energy incentives coming to Washingtonians from federal investments and the Climate Commitment Act, it is critical that the incentives are accessible and understandable, and that there is significant community outreach and input. This bill would create a one-stop shop and outreach campaign to do just that. 

This bill passed the House 58-39 but died in the Senate; its key provisions may be incorporated as a budget proviso. 

Thermal energy networks (HB 2131)

This bill would allow gas and electric utilities to explore the option to establish and operate thermal energy networks (also called TENS or networked geothermal), which are systems that can operate at a neighborhood scale to link together the energy systems for different buildings, distributing waste heat and energy throughout them using ground-source heat pumps. Thermal energy networks would allow customers to access the benefits of ground-source heat pumps (which are more efficient than air-source, and also can be more stable in colder climates) at lower cost, and also provide a way for gas utilities and their workforce to decarbonize, since TENS involve a system of water pipes that are fairly similar to gas pipelines. The bill would also establish a program for gas utilities to apply for Commerce grants to develop a pilot in their existing service territory.

The bill has passed both the House and Senate. 

Washington State Government

Big news for Northwest climate action

by Gregg Small on

Broad coalitions for climate action took bold steps this week in Oregon and Washington, announcing plans to put climate and clean energy…

Cleaner air and climate action coming into view

by Ross Macfarlane and Caleb Smith on

Washington's new Clean Air Rule will help protect our land, air, water, public health, and economy from the urgent threats…

Final Clean Power rules tougher, less friendly to gas

by Seth Zuckerman on

Second-largest U.S. coal company files for bankruptcy, small businesses can finance solar arrays on their property tax bills, UPS aims for 12 percent…

Solutions ho!

by KC Golden on

Climate policy question 1 is simple: Do we have the will to do what is necessary? Not what’s easy. Not what Big Oil will allow. What’s necessary.

Now we’re in business! Washington takes action on climate

by Alex Epstein on

Thank Governor Inslee for responding to the threat of global warming—and ask him to continue working for just and equitable climate action that works…

Governor’s bold move puts Washington on track for meaningful climate action

by Climate Solutions on

This week Governor Inslee announced bold action to address global warming, directing his administration to use its full authority under the Clean Air…

Big oil didn’t want this to happen (but it did)

by Joëlle Robinson on

Thanks to public pressure, there's a new opportunity for the people of Washington State to stand in the way of what would be the nation's largest…

Oil versus Optimism

by Gregg Small on

Tough legislative sessions in Washington and Oregon are over. But we, together with an inspiring coalition, are just getting started.

Green investment surging; rethinking weatherization

by Seth Zuckerman on

Oil drilling suspended in Canadian Arctic, clean fuel rule survives challenge in Oregon, New York State sets higher climate targets, and…

A last chance for clean fuels and public transit

by Alex Epstein on

Yesterday's agreement on Washington's transportation budget allowed a "poison pill" to stand, pitting transit funding against a clean fuels standard…

WA Legislature must stand up to pressure from Big Oil

by Climate Solutions on

Undue influence from the oil industry is putting Washington’s health, climate, safety, and communities at risk. A diverse coalition is asking the…

WA Legislature should stand up to pressure from Big Oil

by Climate Solutions on

A diverse coalition is calling on the State Legislature to stand up to the undue influence of the oil industry that is putting Washington’s health,…

Clean fuels or better transit? A false choice for Washington

by Ross Macfarlane on

The oil industry doesn't like competition. That's why their lobbyists are working around the clock to stop Governor Inslee from adopting a…

Clean fuels help kids breathe easier, who’s opposed to that?

by Ben Serrurier on

Washington prides itself on our dense forests, clean water, and sweet air. But dirty petroleum fuels are fouling our future; our asthma…

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2017: The highlights were pretty bright

Submitted by Gregg Small on

Yes, 2017 was an awful year in many ways. But it was also a year of transition for climate action. We and many others affirmed our ability to make progress at the speed and scale our climate crisis demands.

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