Washington State's private forests and wood products sector sequesters 12 pct of the state's carbon emissions, and working forests play a significant role in reducing greenhouse gases, according to the Washington Forest Protection Association. (Source: Washington Forest Protection Assoc., PR, 25 Mar., 2020)
Contact: Washington Forest Protection Association, www.wfpa.org; American Forest Resource Council, www.amforest.org;
Office of Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee, Communications Office, Tara Lee, (360) 902-4136, www.governor.wa.gov
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Under the proposed low-carbon fuel standard, biofuel suppliers could meet their low-carbon obligations by paying an "alternative assessment" that could add between $48 million and $193 million to the state's coffers in its first year.
(Source: Chinook Observer, Capital Press, Jan., 2019)
Contact: Office of Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee, Communications Office, Tara Lee, (360) 902-4136, www.governor.wa.gov
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To that end, Inslee's plan calls for nothing short of the death of Old King Coal and the complete retirement of the country's 852 coal-ired power plants, which currently accounts for about 27 pct of America's electricity mix, within a decade.
The plan also calls for utilities to go 100 pct carbon neutral by 2030 and transition to running on zero emissions energy sources, like renewable or nuclear power, by 2035, and the elimination of all fossil fuel use in federal buildings by 2023.
(Source: Jay Inslee, Earther, 3 May, 2019)Contact: Office of Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee, Communications Office, Tara Lee, (360) 902-4136, www.governor.wa.gov
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Washington is the fourth state to pursue carbon-free electricity. California, Hawaii and New Mexico have already passed similar plans, while Nevada and New York are considering similar bills.
Washington, under Dem, Governor Jay Inslee's direction, is pursuing specific measures focused on slashing emissions from specific sectors rather then imposing a an all encompassing carbon tax to meet its carbon reduction goals. Inslee, a recently announced 2020 Presidential hopeful, has pushed the state's power companies to obtain 80 pct of their energy from carbon-free sources by 2030 and to offset emissions for the remaining 20 pct with renewable energy credits. Come 2045, all retail electricity sales must come from carbon-free sources.
State legislation calls for a 25 pct emissions reduction of 1990 levels by 2035, and 50 pct by 2050. (Source: Various Media, 16 April, 2019)
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The two-term governor stressed
"I'm running for president because I am the only candidate who will make defeating climate change our nation's number one priority." (Source: Various Media, Mar., 2019)Contact: Office of Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee, Communications Office, Tara Lee, (360) 902-4136, www.governor.wa.gov
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Inslee's proposal is designed to accelerate the innovation and efforts already underway across the economy to transition to 100 pct clean energy, construct ultra-energy efficient buildings, establish a clean fuel standard, electrify the state's transportation system and phase down super-pollutants in certain products -- all of which would reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Washington state to 25 pct below 1990 levels by 2035. To achieve that goal, the state needs to further reduce emissions by nearly 16 million metric tpy, according to a release. The transition to 100 pct clean energy would place Washington among the first states to end all coal-fired electric power consumption by 2025, transition toward carbon neutral electricity in 2030, and lay the groundwork to eliminate all fossil fuels in electricity generation by 2045.
Inslee is also calling for a 40 pct increase in the state's Clean Energy Fund, a comprehensive clean energy and energy efficiency building package; a clean fuel standard; support for electric vehicles and EV charging infrastructure; and a reduction in the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) -- a super-pollutant that is thousands of times more damaging than carbon.
(Source: Office of Washington State Governor Jay Inslee, PR, The Hill, 10 Dec., 2018) Contact:
US Climate Alliance, www.usclimatealliance.org; Office of Washington Sate Gov. Jay Inslee, Communications Office, Tara Lee, (360) 902-4136, www.governor.wa.gov
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I 1631 aimed to charge oil companies and other significant emitters $15 per ton of carbon released -- increasing by $2 per year until 2035. The approximately $1 billion per year it was expected to raise was earmarked for clean energy projects, public transportation, environmental conservation, and green jobs programs.
In 2016, another initiative, 732, proposed a tax on carbon in exchange for reduced sales and manufacturing taxes and creating a fund for low-income families–an approach intended to appeal to conservatives. The strategy missed the marked with only 40.7 pct of the vote. Earlier this year, too, the state legislature attempted to pass a carbon tax measure, but that died when it failed to collect enough votes in the Senate to advance.
Organized opposition to I 1631 campaign was sponsored by the Western States Petroleum Association -- an umbrella organization for BP, Chevron, Shell,Exxon) and others. In Washington, 54.5 pct of Washington State's carbon emissions reportedly come from gas and diesel used in transportation. In most states, the power generation sector is credited with the bulk of the state's carbon emissions. (Source: Various Media, 9 Nov., 2018) Contact: Office of Washington Sate Gov. Jay Inslee, Communications Office, Tara Lee, (360) 902-4136, www.governor.wa.gov; Western States Petroleum Association, www.wspa.org
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The broadly supported Clean Power Plan is a cost-effective and flexible approach to reduce power plant emissions and would have helped reduce carbon pollution by approximately 350 million tonnes (M) by 2030.
According to the EPA, the Trump administration's Affordable Clean Energy Rule is 90 to 97 pct weaker than Obama's Clean Power Plan and will do little to curb emissions -- less than the closing of a single large coal power plant -- by 2030.
(Source: Washington State Governor Jay Inslee Website, Access Washington, 1 Oct., 2018) Contact: Office of Washington Sate Gov. Jay Inslee,
Communications Office, Tara Lee,
(360) 902-4136, www.governor.wa.gov
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Front and Centered, an organization that represents communities of color fighting climate change, notes the disproportionate effects, such as higher asthma rates for children of color, in these communities. According to Front and Centered, "(Initiative) 1631 represents an opportunity to put the cost burden back onto the polluters and holds the largest corporate polluters accountable, because our communities, you know, we've been paying our fair share. And now it's time to make it more equitable, in that sense."
Thirty-five pct of the fee would be earmarked for communities of color. Fifteen-percent of the carbon tax collected would address the oversized energy burden for low-income households, 10 pct would go to Native American tribes affected by climate change, and a $50-million reserve from the fee would assist displaced fossil-fuel workers. Opponents of the measure say companies could pass the cost of the fee onto Washingtonians.
Initiative 1631 is supported by Washington Governor Jay Inslee.
(Source: Washington Public News Service, 29 May, 2018)
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If passed, the bill would come into force on July 1, 2019 and increase annually by 3.5 pct over inflation. The tax would raise about $1.5 billion over the first two years and an estimated $3.3 billion over the next four years.
Half of the revenue from the tax -- which would be paid by power plants and fuel importers but would ultimately come down on consumers -- would be used to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, such as programs to expand opportunities for renewable energy at both homes and utilities, and research of clean energy technology. An additional 35 pct would go into flood management and storm water infrastructure, and would also be used to reduce risks of wildfires.
It's estimated the tax could result in a residential electricity price increase of about 5 percent, a residential gas price increase of about 10 percent; gasoline prices could rise between 6 to 9 percent by 2035, according to policy officials briefing. (Source: Office of Washington State Governor Jay Inslee, K5 News, Others, 9 Jan., 2018) Contact: Wash. State Gov. Jay Inslee, (360) 902-4111, www.governor.wa.gov
More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Tax, Washington State,