New policies to power a cleaner WA

May 8, 2023

The Washington state legislature wrapped up its 2023 session with an historic $2 billion in clean energy investments. This includes unprecedented support for accelerating medium- and heavy-duty vehicle decarbonization, investments in dairy digesters, off-road equipment, cargo handling equipment, EV infrastructure and more. There was impressive policy action as well.

Last week, the governor signed seven climate-related policy bills at an event at Horn Rapids Solar Farm in Richland, a solar energy production and storage facility. Of particular note are HB 1216 concerning clean energy siting, and SB 5447 promoting the alternative jet fuel industry in Washington.

Per the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators, HB 1216 will work to ensure the state’s energy transition happens more efficiently, while minimizing environmental impacts and improving the quality of life for all residents through streamlined clean energy authority, an expedited environmental review process, and a new program for the designation of Clean Energy Projects of Statewide Significance.

SB 5447 will help make sustainable aviation fuels less expensive and more available, enabling Washington to enhance its position as a world leader in aviation decarbonization. Hear Representative Mary Dye voice her support in this one-minute video.

Michael Mann, executive director of Clean & Prosperous Washington says, two years ago “a broad coalition came together to pass the Climate Commitment Act, and we have been working every one of the 730 days since to implement it. 

Over the next 730 days, we have an even greater challenge — turning this funding into results on the ground in communities throughout Washington.

That’s why Clean & Prosperous will continue to do the critical groundwork necessary to implement the Climate Commitment Act while leveraging opportunities from the Bi-partisan Infrastructure Bill and the Inflation Reduction Act, ensuring that businesses in Washington state remain on the leading edge of the transition to a clean energy economy.”

Our lobbyist Isaac Kastama was in attendance at Horn Rapids Solar Farm in Richland along with other partners, including Amazon:

Bill signing ceremony for HB 1216, concerning clean energy siting, sponsored by Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon. Elected officials pictured: Governor Jay Inslee, Rep. Beth Doglio, Rep. David Hackney, Sen. Joe Nguyễn, Sen. Matt Boehnke, Sen. Andy Billig, Seattle Port Commissioner Hamdi Mohamed.

Bill signing ceremony for SB 5447, promoting the alternative jet fuel industry in Washington, sponsored by Senator Andy Billig. Elected officials pictured: Governor Jay Inslee, Rep. Vandana Slatter, Rep. David Hackney, Sen. Joe Nguyễn, Sen. Matt Boehnke, Sen. Andy Billig, Seattle Port Commissioner Hamdi Mohamed.

Governor Inslee’s office reports:

Building on landmark climate laws like the emissions-slashing Climate Commitment Act and the requirements of the Clean Energy Transformation Act to get to 100% clean energy by 2045, legislators passed more than half a dozen bills this session that put the state closer to achieving its energy needs and create more jobs while ebbing the tide of climate change.

With laws on the books requiring the state to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, policymakers are now implementing the strategies to get there. During the next two years they will be aided by more than $2 billion for state investments in clean energy, transportation, and natural habitat management and restoration, thanks to revenue generated by the state’s new cap-and-invest program.

“This funding will be used to make homes more energy efficient, electrify transportation, invest in renewable energy, aid farmers in reducing their greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality in communities overburdened by pollution, and more,” said Gov. Jay Inslee.

Read the rest of the story on the governor’s Medium page.

Clean & Prosperous Washington is a project of the Washington Business Alliance.
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