The State Board of Education decided Wednesday to set a score below the college-ready level as the Washington state graduation standard on the new Common Core tests. During the meeting and at a news conference afterward, board members and staff repeatedly referred to the new graduation scores as transitional.
How the EPA rules handle and value renewable generation, natural gas, nuclear and efficiency all changed in the final rule, as well as the timeline for implementation. All those revisions, however, may end up being less important than the federal implementation plan the agency released alongside the final rule. Here’s what you need to know about each.
Senate Bill 6183, which took effect Aug. 1, increases the penalty from 5 percent to 9 percent for business taxpayers who file up to one month late. The penalty for up to two months increases from 15 percent to 19 percent, and a delay of three months or more leads to a penalty of 29 percent, up from 25 percent.
Gates focused on the need to stimulate clean-energy innovation, both by priming the idea pump through a big boost in government investments in basic research and building demand through some means of raising the cost of dirty energy — so that “the energy market accurately reflects the full impact of emitting carbon.”
As a proud leader of the Washington State Building & Construction Trades Council, I was pleased our statewide representatives passed a resolution supporting the Gateway Pacific Terminal expansion project (GPT) at our state convention. No other projects on the horizon hold such promise long-term for thousands of Washington families as the proposed terminal expansions in Bellingham and Longview.
A plan to build the nation’s largest oil-by-rail terminal in Vancouver does not comply with the federal Clean Water Act, and should not be granted a key permit until its impacts are fully addressed, according to a letter the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sent to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers last week. Tesoro and Savage, for their part, believe EPA’s concerns will be addressed during the ongoing state review.
In the final rule, the Obama administration will allow for two extra years for utilities to hit their interim targets of achieving a 25 percent reduction in greenhouse gases, with a deadline of 2022 instead of 2020. The EPA also offered up a “reliability safety valve.” But it won’t be all smooth sailing for solar and wind. As an increasing volume of solar and wind come online, they will depress peak power prices.
The president unveiled the plan at the White House Monday, calling it the “single most important step” the U.S. has taken to combat a major global threat. The Obama administration itself estimated the emissions limits will cost $8.4 billion annually by 2030, though the actual price won’t be clear until states decide how they would reach their targets. Republicans cast the measure requiring states to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 32 percent by 2030 as unnecessary and costly White House overreach that will raise energy costs for Americans.