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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

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

by Stephanie Noren on

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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 

Take the Climate Voter Pledge!

by Jonathan Lee on

One of the strongest ways to address the climate crisis head-on is with your vote.

It doesn't have to feel like Life on Mars

by Gregg Small on

Our climate movement is more unified than ever, but we're reaching a critical point where we must change a lot of things all at once. Let's do this…

3 ways to cope with the smoke

by Jonathan Lee on

If you live west of the Cascades in the Pacific Northwest, you likely woke up yesterday to an awful late-summer surprise (if you weren't under…

Roads ahead for clean transportation in Washington

by Leah Missik on

Washington must address the climate pollution that comes from our largest source of it—transportation. 

What happened to our climate leadership?

by Vlad Gutman-Britten on

Washington Senate Democrats allowed the most significant climate policy proposal this year—the Clean Fuel Standard—to languish and die.

2020 Washington State legislative session ends in climate failure

by Climate Solutions on

Washington Senate Democrats handed veto power to a small minority of its caucus, and failed to take action to cut transportation pollution—ignoring a…

Senate Transportation Committee next to consider WA Clean Fuels bill

by Climate Solutions on

Efforts to make available cleaner transportation fuels in Washington State move forward as bill passes out of a key Senate committee

Climate wins still possible in Washington Legislature

by Vlad Gutman-Britten on

For climate progress and clean energy, here's where things stand with less than three weeks remaining in Washington’s legislative session.

Climate Leaders Live: Building a Clean Energy Future Together

by Teresa Myers on

Our first-ever online fundraising event! Special guests include Microsoft's Chief Environmental Officer Lucas Joppa and WA House Speaker Laurie…

Why doesn't Washington have a Clean Fuel Standard (yet)?

by Climate Solutions on

Tailpipe exhaust is responsible for nearly half of Washington state’s climate and air pollution--call it a sin of emission. We can reverse the trend…

Our plan for 2020: more climate progress in WA

by Kelly Hall on

Over the course of a quick eight weeks, Washington lawmakers will consider hundreds of proposals. Here are five climate bills we need…

Maintaining hope in the age of climate change

by Devon Downeysmith on

What it's like to read climate news every day: some days, it’s inspiring. Other days, it weighs heavy on the heart.

Oregon and California lead on climate with clean fuels. What about Washington?

by Joëlle Robinson on

Washington has a great responsibility to lead on climate...and a great opportunity to do so right now—by taking action on transporation…

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