“Probably the largest infrastructure and environmental package that the state has ever seen.”
At Friday’s legislative work session, State Senate Transportation Committee Chair, Senator Steve Hobbs described the Climate Commitment Act (CCA) — together with the Forward Washington transportation package that would be funded by the CCA — as “probably the largest infrastructure and environmental package in state history”.
By capping carbon pollution and investing in low-carbon, high-efficiency solutions to our transportation, energy, and manufacturing needs, Washington will unleash billions into our clean energy economy so that we can build back better than ever before and boost job growth across the state.
Here’s how the investment works in SSB 5126:
The Climate Commitment Act (CCA) sets a limit on carbon from Washington’s biggest emitters. That limit decreases over time, so businesses must either find new ways to emit less and save money, or buy carbon allowances from the state. The state invests the money it collects into projects that also reduce emissions — like energy efficiency, renewable power, ecosystem restoration, wildfire prevention and green transportation. And those projects need people to make them a reality, which in turn, supports and creates local jobs.
During the first 15 years of the program, the first $650 million per biennium is directed to a transportation account which will fund, among other projects, our state’s transition to a low-carbon transportation system.
The remaining funds go into a Climate Investment Account. This account will be allocated to various programs, including:
- Natural climate resilience solutions that increase carbon sequestration in agricultural and marine ecosystems.
- Emissions reduction projects like renewable energy, energy efficiency, low-carbon architecture, and decarbonizing the building sector.
- The Working Families Tax Rebate program to ensure economic equity.
- Projects that mitigate impacts of greenhouse gas pollutants in overburdened communities, like the reduction of diesel emissions on adjacent roadways.
The Climate Commitment Act is a comprehensive, data-driven plan, modeled on successful programs from other states. It not only caps greenhouse gas emissions with certainty, but also generates significant investments in projects that will reduce carbon pollution and increase jobs, bringing benefits to all Washingtonians, from Westport to Northport, and Birch Bay to Walla Walla.
Please read our Climate Commitment Act Declaration of Support, then sign and share. Thank you!