Washington State Government

With the climate crisis escalating, no state is better positioned than Washington to demonstrate that the transition to a fossil fuel-free electric power system 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. We also need to account for the cost of carbon pollution, and to accelerate the transition to clean fuels to power our transportation, the leading source of carbon emissions in our state.

We are actively supporting three carbon pollution reduction policies under consideration 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 coal power 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 alternative energies 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 $15/ton (minimum), while addressing the needs of impacted communities and workers and stimulating a vibrant clean energy economy; (b) invest in clean air and energy, healthy forests, and clean water, creating tens of thousands of jobs and a more sustainable economy; and (c) 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 job creation in rural Wasihngton and provide new economic opportunities for the agricultural, dairy and forestry sectors.

 

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