Hello, CarbonWA friends: The legislative session has begun! See below for the first round of bills we are supporting and ways you can help! Plus, we are hiring an advocacy coordinator.
Here’s our first round of endorsements of climate legislation!
HB1110 – Low carbon fuel standard
What it would do: Require petroleum refiners to reduce the carbon intensity of gasoline (through biofuels, electrification, or other credits) by 10%, and later 20%.
Our take: Stay tuned for a more thorough discussion about this bill.
HB 1113 – Increases State targets for emissions reductions to match Paris Accords
Our take: We endorsed this bill last year as well.
SB5116 – 100% clean energy
What it would do: Require utilities to eliminate coal by 2025, achieve 80% carbon-free energy by 2030, and 100% carbon-free by 2045.
Our take: Last year, we had some concerns about this bill. However, we are excited about this year’s version. The bill relies on a “carbon adder” (a carbon tax internalized in utility planning) to drive emission reductions, in addition to 80%, and then 100% carbon-free targets. The legislature should strike a balance between getting the last few percentages of our power supply carbon-free without overly burdening electricity ratepayers.
HB1112 – Phased-in ban on hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)
Our take: HFCs are a serious source of greenhouse gases used in air conditioning and refrigerants that are thousands of times more potent per unit than CO2. The EPA attempted to regulate HFCs under the Obama Administration but a federal court opinion (authored by beer enthusiast and new Supreme Court judge Brett Kavanaugh) blocked their effort. Some say it will be expensive to replace HFCs, but HFCs are also among the most noxious climate pollutants. It’s worth it.
SB5293 – Increasing energy efficiency of buildings
What it does: Sets a new energy efficiency standard for large commercial buildings (Energy Use Intensity BTU/sq.ft.) and provides financial incentives. Requires all local jurisdictions to use the State energy code at a minimum and authorizes them to pass more stringent building codes. Regulates improvements on natural gas providers and pipelines to reduce fugitive methane emissions.
Carbon Pricing – Stay tuned.
Our take: We expect to see a cap-and-trade bill emerge in the senate. While we prefer a straight carbon tax, a well-designed cap -and-trade system is worth supporting. We also expect to see various forms of a carbon tax introduced in the coming weeks, including a fee and dividend and a carbon tax to fund transportation projects.
We’ll be actively supporting these bills in Olympia by mobilizing our grassroots supporters and providing testimony (as CarbonWA’s Greg Rock did in favor of a low carbon fuel standard in the photo above).
The best way we can push our lawmakers to make climate their top priority is to open the session with a sustained grassroots focus on climate action. We are also discussing a late-session climate lobby day (so stay tuned), but our first task is to ensure climate is among the top priorities this session – so SIGN UP HERE to take action!
Step 1: Choose your action(s)
– Write a letter to the editor
– Post on social media & tag your legislators
– Attend a legislative town hall and speak up for climate action
– Join an organized lobby day (the Environmental Priorities Coalition is holding one on January 29th – more info here).
– Create your own lobby day: find a time that you can make it to Olympia and we’ll help you schedule meetings. We can even send a CarbonWA expert with you. Find instructions to get started here.
– Attend a local climate event (the best calendar for climate events is the Cascadia Climate Action Calendar)
Step 2: Use our sign-up form to choose your action(s) – SIGN UP HERE
By signing up, you will receive specific help from us on your action(s) and we can connect you with other activists in your area to amplify your efforts.
Step 3: Stay tuned for more updates from CarbonWA
We are hiring a part-time advocacy coordinator to assist with the legislative session. To learn more and apply, visit our website here.
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— The CarbonWA Team
Let them know you want action on clean energy and climate change.