Protestor at a rally in Utah
Tim DeChristopher Demands Clean Energy (Photo: Spring Allen/Rainforest Action Network, reproduced under a Creative Commons license)

Land­mark leg­is­la­tion that would com­mit Wash­ing­ton State to a renew­able ener­gy future is one step clos­er to reach­ing Gov­er­nor Jay Inslee’s desk.

The Wash­ing­ton State House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives vot­ed most­ly along par­ty lines today to advance E2SSB 5116, prime spon­sored by Sen­a­tor Reuven Car­lyle and request­ed by Inslee. E2SSB 5116 pre­vi­ous­ly passed the Sen­ate on March 1st, but it now heads back there because it was changed by the House.

This ground­break­ing leg­is­la­tion, cham­pi­oned by NPI’s Gael Tar­leton, requires util­i­ties to obtain one hun­dred per­cent of their elec­tric­i­ty from non-pol­lut­ing ener­gy sources by 2045 and phase out the use of coal from the elec­tric grid by 2025. Util­i­ties would also need to eighty per­cent pol­lu­tion-free by 2030.

The roll call was as follows:

Roll Call
SB 5116
Clean energy
Final Pas­sage as Amend­ed by the House

Yeas: 56; Nays: 42

Vot­ing Yea: Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Apple­ton, Bergquist, Callan, Chap­man, Cody, Davis, Doglio, Dolan, Enten­man, Fey, Fitzgib­bon, Frame, Good­man, Gregerson, Hansen, Hud­gins, Jink­ins, Kil­duff, Kir­by, Klo­ba, Leav­itt, Lekanoff, Lovick, Macri, Mead, Mor­gan, Mor­ris, Orms­by, Ortiz-Self, Orwall, Paul, Pel­lic­ciot­ti, Peter­son, Pet­ti­grew, Pol­let, Ramos, Reeves, Ric­cel­li, Robin­son, Ryu, San­tos, Sells, Senn, Shew­make, Slat­ter, Springer, Stan­ford, Stonier, Sul­li­van, Tar­leton, Thai, Tharinger, Valdez, Walen, Wylie, Chopp

Vot­ing Nay: Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Barkis, Blake, Boehnke, Caldier, Cham­bers, Chan­dler, Cor­ry, DeBolt, Dent, Dufault, Dye, Eslick, Gildon, Goehn­er, Gra­ham, Grif­fey, Har­ris, Hoff, Irwin, Jenkin, Klip­pert, Kraft, Kretz, MacEwen, May­cum­ber, McCaslin, Mos­bruck­er, Orcutt, Rude, Schmick, Shea, Smith, Steele, Stokes­bary, Suther­land, Van Wer­ven, Vick, Volz, Walsh, Wilcox, Ybar­ra, Young

Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Bri­an Blake vot­ed with all forty-one Repub­li­cans to oppose the bill, break­ing with his fel­low fifty-six Democrats.

“It’s time to move past the era of car­bon into the next gen­er­a­tion with mod­ern, twen­ty-first cen­tu­ry ener­gy sys­tems using inte­grat­ed wind, hydro and solar pow­er,” said Car­lyle, Chair of the Sen­ate Envi­ron­ment, Ener­gy & Tech­nol­o­gy Com­mit­tee. “At a time when the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment has func­tion­al­ly implod­ed on address­ing cli­mate change, the states are now tak­ing the lead and mov­ing forward.”

“Mov­ing away from fos­sil fuels has to start some­where, so why not here?” asked NPI’s Gael Tar­leton, Chair of the House Finance Com­mit­tee. “Wash­ing­ton has the courage to build a twen­ty-first cen­tu­ry econ­o­my beyond coal, beyond fos­sil fuels, to main­tain and build a qual­i­ty of life for gen­er­a­tions to come. Thank you to Sen­a­tor Car­lyle and my col­leagues for hav­ing the courage to make this choice.”

“Wash­ing­ton’s future will be a lot brighter with the pas­sage of the one hun­dred per­cent clean elec­tric­i­ty bill,” said Bruce Speight of Envi­ron­ment Wash­ing­ton. “Every day, we see more evi­dence that a soci­ety pow­ered by renew­able ener­gy is with­in our reach. The pas­sage of this bill puts us one step clos­er to that real­i­ty while mak­ing the Ever­green State a clean­er and health­i­er place to live.”

“Unlike the Sen­ate ver­sion, the House requires util­i­ties to tran­si­tion to one hun­dred per­cent clean elec­tric­i­ty rather than just set­ting a goal,” Speight not­ed. “We are also grate­ful it removes an exemp­tion for a fos­sil nat­ur­al gas plant in Clark County.”

NPI con­grat­u­lates our found­ing board­mem­ber Gael Tar­leton, Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Joe Fitzgib­bon, and House Democ­rats on today’s pas­sage of E2SSB 5116. It’s delight­ful to see a good bill like this get stronger as it moves through the leg­isla­tive process instead of weak­er. This is tru­ly a bill that rec­og­nizes that we do not inher­it the Earth from our ances­tors, but rather bor­row it from our children.

We can’t con­tin­ue to ignore cli­mate sci­ence and allow our air and water to become more pol­lut­ed. We’ve got to act to safe­guard our future. Every­one ben­e­fits from clean ener­gy… every­one. We’ll con­tin­ue to sup­port E2SSB 5116 as it returns to the Sen­ate on the final stage of its jour­ney to Gov­er­nor Inslee’s desk.

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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