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LANDMARK CLIMATE INVESTMENTS PASS LEGISLATURE
$2B of CCA Funds to Pay for Clean Energy Projects Statewide
(Seattle, WA) April 24, 2023 On the heels of Earth Day, the Washington state legislature wrapped up its 2023 session Sunday night with historic investments in clean energy projects, including over $2 billion of funds from the Climate Commitment Act, passed by the Legislature exactly two years ago. These funds will be used statewide to accelerate medium and heavy-duty vehicle decarbonization, reduce pollution in overburdened communities, enhance clean agriculture incentives and build the charging and fueling network to electrify our state’s transportation system.
“The Climate Commitment Act has given us the resources to make critical investments to address climate change,” said Rep. Jake Fey, House Transportation Chair. “We have taken money raised from carbon emissions and invested it in every community across the state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality.”
Gathered at Ballard’s Town & Country Market in front of two fully-electric commercial vehicles, representatives from government, the trucking and dairy industries, Washington Build Back Black Alliance and Clean & Prosperous Washington described how this budget will support Washington businesses and community members.
“We congratulate our state legislature for passing this historic budget that is the largest climate investment in Washington state history,” said Clean & Prosperous Washington’s Executive Director, Michael Mann. “This is an investment in our future and unlocks access to cleaner, healthier and more robust technology that will ultimately reduce energy and transportation costs.”
“Town and Country Markets is a leader in electrifying our food delivery fleet,” said Marina Heppenstall, Town & Country’s Sustainability Director. “Incentives like this support our ability to expand this program bringing climate and air quality improvements to the neighborhoods we serve, including our coming EV charging stations.”
Clean & Prosperous Washington launched two working groups last year to examine what level of funding was needed to help the state realize its mandate for net zero carbon emissions. Recognizing that trucks and buses represent 10% of vehicles on Washington’s roads and highways but are responsible for 30% of the state’s transportation emissions, Clean & Prosperous Washington convened a medium- and heavy-duty (MHD)/Zero Emission Vehicles Working Group which, along with other partners, urged the Legislature to create a new program to transition to zero emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.
The final budgets did just that with highlights including:
- MHD zero emission vehicle purchase and infrastructure incentives: $120 million
- Zero emissions transit buses and equipment: $51.4 million
- Electric ferries: $88 million
- Zero-emission drayage demonstration (NWSA): $6.3 million
- Cargo handling and other off-road ZEV equipment: $7.5 million
- EV charging and hydrogen fueling stations: $207 million
- Low-income EV purchase incentives: $50 million
“Most of the zero emission trucks Kenworth builds in Renton are purchased by customers with access to clean energy incentives,” said Kevin Baney, Kenworth general manager and PACCAR vice president. “Access to new incentives in Washington state will help our local customers adopt zero emission technology now.”
Small businesses and independent owner-operators of MHD vehicles will realize significant fuel savings and lower maintenance costs by replacing diesel trucks with zero emission vehicles (ZEVs), according to an analysis by Clean & Prosperous Institute.
“Our members literally ‘drive’ our regional economy,” said Sheri Call, Executive Director of the Washington Trucking Associations. “Giving these businesses incentives to switch to lower emissions vehicles is critical to meeting our economic and environmental goals.”
The second working group focused on dairy farms. During two study missions to California, Clean & Prosperous Institute learned that one of the most cost-effective greenhouse gas reduction initiatives is their program to capture methane emissions from dairies and turn that potent greenhouse gas into usable energy. Washington is now following that lead by directing $22 million to a dairy digester program in the Evergreen state.
“We saw how effective this program has been in California,” said Jay Gordon, policy director of the Washington Dairy Association. “The Sustainable Farms and Fields program will reduce emissions while increasing revenues for our state’s dairies.”
“This investment will allow us to move energy from cows to cars,” Promus Energy’s Dan Evans described. “It’s a win for the environment, a win for dairy farmers and a win for squeezing the carbon out of our transportation system.”
The over $2 billion appropriated in the Operating, Capital and Transportation budgets is made possible through allowance auctions of the Climate Commitment Act, enacted in 2021. The first of ten quarterly auctions during this biennial budget took place on February 28th. At that auction, the state sold just over 6 million allowances and raised $299,983,267. The next auction is scheduled for May 31st.
Additional information and other updates can be found at Clean & Prosperous Washington as well as this DropBox Link. Media, please contact Lee Keller for interviews at 206.799.3805 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
More About Clean & Prosperous Washington
Clean & Prosperous Washington is a team of business leaders working with labor, tribes, environmental organizations, and social justice advocates to enact smart climate policies in Washington state. Together we are driving down greenhouse gas emissions while working to improve health and job outcomes, propel a stronger, more globally-competitive economy, and serve as a beacon of best-in-the-nation climate action for other states to emulate. The CaPWA coalition proved effective in helping the cap-and-invest Climate Commitment Act (CCA) win passage in Olympia, and is now actively helping to implement the CCA as the cornerstone of an entire suite of environmental laws including the Clean Fuel Standard and the HEAL Act – Healthy Environment for All. CaPWA brings an action-oriented, data-driven, strategic business approach to moving public- and private-sector climate work forward with urgency.