NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Tuesday, May 7th, 2019

Five landmark pollution fighting bills signed into law by Washington Governor Jay Inslee

“This is a great day for the State of Wash­ing­ton!”

Lis­ten to Gov­er­nor Jay Inslee long enough, and you’re bound to hear that line at some point, because the Ever­green State’s chief exec­u­tive — known for his opti­mism and can-do spir­it — nev­er miss­es an oppor­tu­ni­ty to cel­e­brate when Wash­ing­ton takes a step towards more free­dom and pros­per­i­ty for its peo­ple.

Today was such a day.

Governor Jay Inslee signs landmark environmental protection legislation

Gov­er­nor Jay Inslee signs land­mark envi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion leg­is­la­tion (Pho­to: Andrew Villeneuve/Northwest Pro­gres­sive Insti­tute)

With a few pen strokes, Gov­er­nor Jay Inslee signed into law five land­mark bills to com­bat pol­lu­tion and pro­tect our envi­ron­ment in Cas­ca­di­a’s most pop­u­lous state in front of a large crowd of activists, leg­is­la­tors, labor lead­ers, busi­ness exec­u­tives, and envi­ron­men­tal advo­cates. All were made pos­si­ble by the new­ly enlarged Demo­c­ra­t­ic majori­ties vot­ers elect­ed to the Leg­is­la­ture last autumn.

These are the five bills that became laws today:

  • SB 5116 — Sup­port­ing Wash­ing­ton’s clean ener­gy econ­o­my and tran­si­tion­ing to a clean, afford­able and reli­able ener­gy future.
  • HB 1112 — Reduc­ing green­house gas emis­sions from hydro­flu­o­ro­car­bons
  • HB 1257 — Con­cern­ing ener­gy effi­cien­cy
  • HB 1444 — Con­cern­ing appli­ance effi­cien­cy stan­dards
  • HB 2042 — Advanc­ing green trans­porta­tion adop­tion

Watch the bill sign­ing cer­e­mo­ny here on demand.

With these new laws, Wash­ing­ton is say­ing as a state that we care about the Earth, our com­mon home, and we’re going to do our part to pro­tect our plan­et.

Huge crowd cheers after landmark environmental bills signed

Hun­dreds of peo­ple came to Colum­bia City to cel­e­brate with Gov­er­nor Jay Inslee and state leg­is­la­tors as SB 5116, HB 1112, HB 1257, HB 1444, and HB 2042 were signed into law (Andrew Villeneuve/Northwest Pro­gres­sive Insti­tute)

All Wash­ing­to­ni­ans should rejoice that the Leg­is­la­ture was able to come togeth­er around ideas we need that will clean up our air, water, and soil: an elec­tric grid pow­ered exclu­sive­ly by renew­able ener­gy sources, elec­tric vehi­cle adop­tion, more effi­cient build­ings and appli­ances, and the phase­out of hydroflouro­car­bons.

As Gov­er­nor Inslee said, these bills rep­re­sent what Wash­ing­ton’s val­ues are all about. We’ve dam­aged our cli­mate with our pol­lut­ing ways, but we need not be par­a­lyzed: we can join forces as a peo­ple to live more sus­tain­ably togeth­er.

Said Inslee:

“We can have a fight­ing chance at sav­ing the things we cher­ish most — our land, our air, our water and our children’s health. We aren’t done. Our suc­cess this year is just a har­bin­ger of suc­cess­es to come. But we’re ready. We can do this.”

Governor Inslee speaks prior to signing five environmental bills

Gov­er­nor Jay Inslee speaks at the sign­ing of five land­mark envi­ron­men­tal bills (Pho­to: Andrew Villeneuve/Northwest Pro­gres­sive Insti­tute)

“With the pas­sage of these bills, Wash­ing­ton is prov­ing that where there’s a will to do some­thing about cli­mate change, there are sev­er­al ways,” said Bruce Speight of Envi­ron­ment Wash­ing­ton. “The one hun­dred per­cent clean ener­gy bill, paired with ener­gy effi­cien­cy and clean trans­porta­tion mea­sures, will clean up our air and water. Wash­ing­ton will not only be a health­i­er place to live, but it will also show oth­er states a path­way to a clean ener­gy future.”

The path from a bil­l’s intro­duc­tion to ses­sion law is a long one. With­out the lead­er­ship of state rep­re­sen­ta­tives like Joe Fitzgib­bon and our own Gael Tar­leton, or sen­a­tors like Reuven Car­lyle, we would not have secured these cru­cial leg­isla­tive vic­to­ries. Con­grat­u­la­tions to all who helped bring these laws to fruition!

Washington is committed to clean elecricity

Wash­ing­ton State has com­mit­ted to one hun­dred per­cent clean elec­tric­i­ty by the year 2045 (Andrew Villeneuve/Northwest Pro­gres­sive Insti­tute)

Last autumn, when vot­ers reject­ed Ini­tia­tive 1631 while elect­ing large Demo­c­ra­t­ic majori­ties, they sent an impor­tant (if implic­it) mes­sage: come up with a bet­ter plan for com­bat­ing pol­lu­tion. And thank­ful­ly, the Leg­is­la­ture respond­ed. After years of inac­tion, the House and Sen­ate vot­ed repeat­ed­ly for change we need, show­ing that the leg­isla­tive process can pro­duce results for the peo­ple with more pro­gres­sive majori­ties in charge. We need more of this in 2020 and beyond.

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