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2012 WA Legislative session

Now more than ever we need smart policies to grow Washington’s clean-energy economy.

Strengthening our clean energy policy framework allows people to save money at the gas pump and on their electricity bills while reducing pollution and creating new employment opportunities for all Washingtonians. But just like in Washington DC, polluters and their allies want to use the recession as an opportunity to weaken critical environmental protections.

Climate Solutions will be working on a number of issues to remove barriers to common sense clean-energy opportunities while ensuring Washington maintains its position as a leader in the clean energy economy.

Our priorities for the 2012 legislative session include:

  • Removing barriers to mileage based insurance so that people can purchase automobile insurance by the mile rather than the current “all you can drive” method used today. If done right mileage based insurance policies can provide strong incentives to drive less and can greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Read more about mileage based insurance here.
  • Fulfilling our clean-energy initiative: Initiative 937, the Clean Energy Initiative, has generated about $7 billion in renewable energy investments in Washington, especially in struggling rural communities, and all-time record efficiency savings for energy consumers. The initiative created an efficiency standard and renewable electricity standard for the largest utilities in the state and has done more than any other statewide policy to meet the state’s global warming pollution standard. Any changes to the initiative must be focused on helping utilities implement the law while preserving its intent to reduce pollution, diversify our energy supply, direct clean energy investment to Washington and save consumers money through increased energy efficiency.
  • Working for a pollution-free prosperity: Powerful interests are seeking to use this unprecedented national recession as an excuse to roll back clean energy policies and other environmental regulations, under the pretense that these basic public protections harm the economy. Washingtonians know better. We have always valued clean air, clean water and healthy communities. 

    Although our economic situation has changed, our values have not. We don’t want attacks on our environment disguised as job creation – we want real leadership toward an economic recovery. Eliminating or delaying clean energy policies will neither solve the state’s deficit nor create jobs. There are already proposals to eliminate the state’s important greenhouse gas reporting program and to close the state’s Energy Policy Office. We will oppose these and other similar proposals while working to promote real economic recovery.

 

Climate Solutions will also be supporting a bill to remove barriers to Peer to Peer Car Sharing to encourage people to shift from personal to shared transport. We will support an emerging Jobs Package to put people to work increasing energy efficiency in public buildings and we will work to ensure adequate funding for the State Energy Office and the Department of Ecology’s climate change program.

Feel free to contact Jessica Finn Coven, Jessica@climatesolutions.org, with questions, comments or suggestions about our work in Olympia. 

 

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