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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 over halfway through this short session! Below is the latest on what's still at play 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 58-39 on 2/9. It is now in the Senate and was hear in the Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee on 2/19. 

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. 

This bill passed out of the House and passed out of the Senate Environment, Energy & Technology Committee on 2/16.

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 and is scheduled for a executive session in the Senate Environment, Energy & Technology Committee on 2/21. 

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 passed the House 97-0 on 2/9 and has been scheduled for executive session in the Senate Environment, Energy & Technology Committee on 2/20. 

Washington State Government

Third time's a charm for clean fuels in Washington

by Climate Solutions on

A Clean Fuel Standard is one step closer to Gov. Inslee's desk, as the WA Senate passed this critical climate policy.

Suddenly the street itself was on fire

by Joëlle Robinson on

Tell our Washington legislators it's time we moved past fossil gas.

We're Past the Halfway Point

by Vlad Gutman-Britten on

We’ve passed the halfway mark in Washington’s Legislative session. Check out our update on Climate Solutions’ top climate priorities, and where we…

Washington House accelerates clean fuels

by Climate Solutions on

The heat in Olympia is now on the Senate, as the House passes a Clean Fuel Standard for the third year in a row.

New Moves for Climate Progress

by Jonathan Lawson on

This webinar focused on opportunities at the national, tribal and state levels in 2021. With Don Sampson (Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians),…

Transition 2021 off to a good start

by Jonathan Lawson on

"Federal climate action:" no longer an oxymoron

Why cap-and-invest? One strategy for carbon reduction

by Vlad Gutman-Britten on

Climate Solutions' approach to the Climate Commitment Act, Governor Inslee’s proposed cap-and-invest system, and other systems like it

Washington's long-term growth planning must consider climate change

by Climate Solutions on

Prepared testimony supporting HB 1099, revising Washington's Growth Management Act to consider climate response in long-term regional planning

High hopes and great expectations: a political shift on climate

by Jonathan Lawson on

Washington's legislative session begins. So does the Biden administration.

Cutting pollution with clean fuels: a top climate priority for Washington

by Leah Missik on

Right now, Washington is a lonely outlier on the West coast: the only state that is not benefiting from a Clean Fuel Standard.

2021: Action time for climate in the Washington Legislature

by Vlad Gutman-Britten on

Naysayers will claim that this is not the time for climate action in Washington, not with COVID, racial injustice, and economic recovery on the…

Here's your clean energy team for 2021

by Jonathan Lawson on

Biden's climate picks bring experience, grit and a focus on environmental justice. Plus: Who the gas industry is targeting now, and climate book…

The surprising economics behind going all-electric (hint, the numbers are pretty good)

by Deepa Sivarajan on

So far our blog series on clean, all-electric buildings has shown how we can reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and improve our health and safety,…

Climate Leaders Live: What's next for WA in 2021?

by Stephanie Noren on

After you vote... join our conversation with Transportation Choices Coalition and Front & Centered to talk about what's next for climate action…

A Win for transit riders, disability community, clean air and less congestion 

by Climate Solutions on

WA's Supreme Court strikes down controversial initiative that threatened transportation improvements and investments across the state 

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Mid-session climate updates from Olympia

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