Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

State's environmental movement announces its priorities for 2010 legislative session

This evening the Washington Environmental Priorities Coalition - a combined effort of more than two dozen leading environmental groups based in the Evergreen State - announced its agenda for the 2010 legislative session.

The agenda, made public in advance at the end of every year, typically consists of three or four specific priorities which focus on tackling the climate crisis, reducing pollution, conserving our precious natural resources, or a combination of those overarching policy directions.

Here are the 2010 priorities, as described by the coalition:
  • Safe Baby Bottle Act: More and more evidence shows that the chemical bisphenol A (BPA) is harmful to children’s health. Laboratory studies have linked BPA to cancer, miscarriage, obesity, reproductive problems, and hyperactivity. Yet manufacturers can still legally use BPA in products such as baby bottles, infant formula cans, and other food containers. The Safe Baby Bottle Act would address this problem by phasing out BPA in baby bottles, food and beverage cans, and other consumer products.
  • Working for Clean Water: [It's] about creating jobs, rebuilding our local economy, and cleaning up polluted waterways like Puget Sound and the Spokane River. Each year millions of gallons of petroleum pollute our water through storm runoff, a serious threat to our health and environment. This bill is a fee on polluters that will fund shovel-ready, local projects all over the state to stop this contamination. Now is the time to put Washington back to work by building storm water infrastructure that we’ll be proud of for generations.
  • Sustain Environmental Protections in the Budget: Our state is in the midst of an economic recession that threatens safeguards we all depend on, including core environmental protections. Washingtonians rely on protections that keep our families healthy: clean water to drink, unpolluted air to breathe, and the clean-up of toxic contaminations. Maintaining Washington’s clean environment also attracts business and qualified workers to our state, making us a driver in the new green economy.
The priorities are more modest and defensive in nature then they've been in past years, owing to the impact of the Great Recession, which has stretched our state's common wealth to the breaking point.

Let's not forget that environmental protection is a public service. It costs money to keep our air and water free of pollution, to research alternatives to fossil fuels, to maintain our parks, and clean up toxic waste spills, for instance.

Readers who'd like to support the 2010 Environmental Priorities are urged to attend the coalition's 2010 Legislative Workshop on January 9th and the Lobby Day on January 26th. Follow the links for more details.


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