“Washington state now has the nation’s most ambitious climate policy”

May 5, 2021

Nationally-respected writer David Roberts publishes the Volts newsletter: “Clean energy and politics, electrified”.

Today’s edition is electric indeed. Read (or listen) here: Volts Blog & Podcast.
He covers Washington state’s new “cap & invest” Climate Commitment Act (CCA), which “would push state carbon emissions down 95% by 2050, while plowing money into transportation decarbonization & vulnerable communities”.

Roberts delivers a comprehensive yet clear, balanced yet bullish description of the CCA, and importantly he reminds all of us about the larger context of complementary regulations and policies — a system — in which the CCA will operate:

There’s lots to say about this, but the first thing to note is that this is not carbon pricing instead of SIJ (standards, investments, and justice) — note all the sector-specific policies passed before and alongside it. It is carbon pricing as a complement, part of a comprehensive suite of carbon policies.

Roberts addresses the primary objections to the CCA that have been voiced, and summarizes:

All of these objections are worth taking seriously, but in my judgment, on balance, Washington’s new bill — or more broadly, the comprehensive suite of policies the state has constructed — is overwhelmingly worth celebrating. Among other things, the CCA will bring billions in investment and new economic growth to the state, along with hundreds of thousands of new jobs.

Roberts drives home the point that our state will now reduce emissions with certainty:

Once Inslee signs the CFS and the CCA and a transportation package passes, both of which most observers expect in relatively short order, Washington will have the full suite: legally enforceable programs and standards in place to decarbonize electricity, transportation, and buildings, and in addition to that — as a complement, not an alternative — a declining cap that ensures the rapid emission reductions the state needs to meet its targets.

Roberts closes with this challenge:

Now it’s up to Washington to show other states that reducing carbon emissions is good for the economy and good for the health and welfare of state residents.

Join us in reading (or listening) and sharing the Volts Pocast & Blog. And in celebrating passage of the Climate Commitment Act while working to implement it here in Washington, and bragging about it to our friends in other states.

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