Quest for climate legislation continues

Following the defeat of Washington’s Initiative 1631, which would have created a carbon emissions fee, you may be wondering what’s being done on the legislative front to act on climate change.

A coalition of 23 environmental groups, including Audubon Washington, is continuing to seek solutions that would reduce carbon pollution fairly and equitably. The Environmental Priorities Coalition has launched a grassroots campaign to pass several climate policies in the 2019 legislative session: a 100 percent clean electricity standard, a clean fuel standard, and enhanced building efficiency standards.

These policies are part of Governor Inslee’s comprehensive proposal to accelerate the transition to a cleaner, carbon-free future. Recent polling reveals strong popular support for climate action, and specific support for these policies.

Here’s some more information about the three policy priorities:

The 100 percent clean electricity standard
This standard would phase out coal-generated electricity by 2025, leading to a carbon neutral electricity sector by 2030. It would phase in electricity generated from solar, wind, hydro, and other clean and renewable resources, reaching 100 percent clean by 2045.

Washington is in a strong position 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. California, Hawaii, numerous cities and municipalities, and a growing list of private sector entities have committed to this clean energy transition.

Clean fuel standard
Transportation fuels are responsible for nearly half of the climate pollution in Washington. The clean fuel standard would require oil refiners and importers to reduce the carbon intensity of fuels over time, supporting expanded transportation electrification, lower carbon fuels, and more jobs in homegrown energy production.

Enhanced building efficiency standards
The residential, commercial and industrial sector accounts for a fifth of our state’s greenhouse gas emissions. Enhanced building efficiency standards would catalyze investments in energy efficiency. With an aggressive new energy efficiency policy, our region could potentially meet 100 percent of its electricity load growth over the next 20 years with energy efficiency.

Vashon Audubon will go to Olympia
Audubon Washington typically hosts an advocacy day in Olympia early in the legislative session. Members from many of the 25 Audubon chapters across the state participate.

This year, Audubon will increase its impact by joining forces with the Environmental Priorities Coalition at a lobby day on Tuesday, Jan. 29.

If you would like to participate and show your support for conservation and climate action, please send an email to info@vashonaudubon.org.

Photo above: Aus Tex Solar.

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