In promoting his cap-and-trade proposal around Washington state and in the Legislature, Gov. Jay Inslee has frequently relied on a “make polluters pay” mantra – charging the state’s top sources of carbon emissions to get about $1 billion annually to pay for schools, bridges, affordable housing and tax rebates for the poor. But who has
Republican-backed legislation in the Senate meant to require the state’s utilities to reduce carbon emissions is worthy of praise. The House should amend the bill to allow credit for technologies yet to be developed. And while they’re at it, they can be clearer about why carbon reduction is necessary.
If the house of origin deadline, which eclipsed Wednesday at 5 p.m., is the unofficial starting point for the legislative session’s second act, there’s no better curtain raiser than a hearing in House Appropriations on Thursday afternoon for Gov. Jay Inslee’s cap-and-trade proposal. It’s a surefire bet for political drama if it moves forward. The
SB 5735 introduces a new concept called Carbon Reduction Investments. It would give utilities the flexibility to invest in a more diverse set of technologies than currently allowed under I-937. These technologies include electric vehicle charging infrastructure, energy storage, smart grid, the electrification and alternative fuel conversion of transportation, such as public and private fleets.
With the house of origin deadline looming on Wednesday, both the House and the Senate should have marathon days ahead of them this week. The House Democrats made noise like they were in for a long night Friday, and a session Saturday, but they ended up adjourning for the weekend early in the afternoon on Friday.
The Legislatures of Washington and Oregon have been polarized in recent weeks by debate over low-carbon fuels standards, which is either a key means of cutting greenhouse gas emissions to combat global warming, or a boondoggle-in-waiting that will jack up fuel prices for marginal environmental benefit. There’s very little middle ground in between the two sides.
A look at what’s alive and what’s dead (or, at least flat-lining) in the Legislature after policy committee cutoff Friday: The Big Bills: HB 1314, Gov. Jay Inslee’s cap-and-trade proposal: Alive, as it passed out of the House Environment Committee the week before cutoff. It now awaits a hearing in the House Appropriations Committee. SB