The future is closer than we think. Those who track such things report that George Jetson was born in 2022. (Thanks to WA State Senator Marko Liias for bringing this to our attention.) Though flying cars may yet be years away, other innovations are coming fast. And the federal government is making big investments to accelerate the pace of innovation in clean energy and transportation. We heard quite a bit about this during last week’s Future of Carbon Policy Forum at Climate Pledge Arena.
U.S. Representative Kim Schrier, M.D. (WA-8) shared her enthusiasm for our state’s public-private partnership bid to win a Hydrogen Hub. We recently wrote about the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that was signed into law by President Joe Biden and included $8 billion towards the development of at least four regional clean hydrogen hubs, aka “H2Hubs”. Schrier believes that Washington is well-positioned to lead in development of cost-effective “green hydrogen”.
Clare Magee, with the U.S. Department of Energy, called attention to the hunt for strong projects in clean energy and advanced transportation, proven commercially viable and ready for DoE loans to achieve market-ready scale. She underscored what Jigar Shah, Director of the DoE’s Loan Programs Office, says about how DoE funding serves as a catalyst for further investment by the private sector.
Washington State Senator Reuven Carlyle moderated the panel on federal perspectives, and asked about “projects that punch above their weight”. Magee cited virtual power plants – a collection of distributed energy resources tied to the grid and connected by advanced technology – and she noted that they ”increase the capacity of the grid, keep rates low, and meet Biden’s ‘Justice40’ standard”.
Moderated by Isaac Kastama, lobbyist at Clean & Prosperous Washington, the bipartisan, bicameral panel on state perspectives included Senator Rolfes, Senator Marko Liias, and Representative Matt Boehnke. Rolfes shared highlights from the recently passed state operating budget that includes funding for mapping and installation of EV chargers, EV incentives, installation of solar panels on community buildings, climate-solutions training at community colleges, clean energy testbeds at the University of Washington, and so much more.
Washington State Senator Christine Rolfes opened her remarks at last week’s Future of Carbon Policy Forum with her earliest recollection of learning about climate change as a curious 7th grader. She went on to tell us about many of the things that she and other leaders in Olympia are doing now about climate change.
Senator Liias observed that with a 16 year scope, the new Move Ahead Washington transportation plan gives investors and businesses a strong signal of the state’s long-term strategic direction. Rolfes noted that the “greenest transportation plan ever” includes a substantial investment in electrification of the ferry fleet.
Representative Matt Boehnke, a college professor and former combat commander, challenged all of us to think about what each of us can do to “inspire the possible”. In that vein, the state is promoting research and development as well as commercialization with institutions like Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the university system.
Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz addressed the Forum saying that “forests play both offense and defense” when it comes to the climate, and celebrated Washington’s first-in-the-nation use of carbon credits to preserve forests that would otherwise have been harvested. The carbon to be sequestered by the recent purchase of forest land is equivalent to more than 2 billion miles driven by gas-powered vehicles.
Senator Rolfes closed her remarks – and we’ll close this edition of our newsletter – with this quote from Pierre Teilhard de Chardin:
“The future belongs to those who give the next generation reason for hope.”
We thank all of you who participated in our Future of Carbon Policy Forum as speakers, panelists or guests, and all of you who stay engaged in climate action, giving the next generation reason for hope.
And the winner is…
Kenworth Truck Company won the inaugural David & Patricia Giuliani Clean Energy Entrepreneur Award yesterday at our Future of Carbon Policy Forum.
The award recognizes Kenworth for meaningful advances in clean energy innovation, and is named after the Clean & Prosperous Institute’s founder and his wife. David and Patricia’s son Dan continues the family’s legacy of Washington entrepreneurship and was on hand to participate in the ceremony.
Also on hand was Washington Governor Jay Inslee who said, “As we work to create clean energy jobs here in Washington, I’m proud to help honor David Giuliani’s lifetime commitment to bettering this world and helping us reach our critically important goal of being net zero by 2050.”
Charles Knutson, Senior Manager Public Policy, Amazon; Governor Jay Inslee; Genevieve Bekkerus, Director of Marketing, Kenworth Truck Co.; Erik Johnson, General Sales Manager, Kenworth Truck Co.; Dan Giuliani; Regan Spencer
Kenworth was one of three finalists that included Promus Energy and All American Marine. Promus Energy helps eastern Washington dairies benefit from the clean energy economy by converting farm waste to low-carbon energy. Bellingham-based All American Marine is the builder of the Sea Change, North America’s first and only commercial vessel powered wholly by zero-emission hydrogen fuel cells.
“We began our search with over two dozen Washington companies that epitomized the entrepreneurial spirit of David Giuliani” noted Clean & Prosperous board chair Alan Crain. “The finalists and our winner demonstrate that decarbonizing our state will be an economic engine and our state’s competitive advantage in the years and decades ahead.”
In choosing Kenworth, Clean & Prosperous noted the company’s drive to zero emissions is making true progress including the debut of their T68OE battery electric semi-truck and their T680FCEV hydrogen fuel cell truck. These zero emission class 8 trucks can significantly reduce carbon and air pollution along congested commercial routes, often located in overburdened communities.
“Kenworth is leading the way in zero emissions solutions,” noted Kevin Baney, Kenworth general manager and PACCAR vice president. “The Kenworth T680E builds upon Kenworth’s excellent heritage of providing fleets and truck operators with outstanding and productive trucks driven by quality, innovation and technology.”
A division of PACCAR Inc. and a global technology leader in the design and manufacture of premium light-, medium- and heavy-duty trucks, Kenworth is celebrating its 100th year of building trucks in the state of Washington.
It looks like the award winners got VIP parking at Climate Pledge Arena. Did they carpool to the Future of Carbon Policy Forum in this T680E battery electric truck?
To learn more about Kenworth’s zero emissions technology, go to https://kenworth.com/innovation/zero-emissions/