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.

Wednesday, May 8th, 2019

NPI’s Gael Tarleton: Persistence and patience key to state’s big clean energy breakthrough

Edi­tor’s Note: Gael Tar­leton is a found­ing board­mem­ber of the North­west Pro­gres­sive Insti­tute who has been work­ing for over a decade to clean up our air, water, and soil — first as a Seat­tle Port Com­mis­sion­er and since 2012 as a mem­ber of the Wash­ing­ton State House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

The fol­low­ing are Gael’s pre­pared remarks cel­e­brat­ing the five pol­lu­tion fight­ing bills signed into law by Gov­er­nor Jay Inslee at a cer­e­mo­ny yes­ter­day in Colum­bia City, includ­ing the bill to set Wash­ing­ton on a path to one hun­dred per­cent clean elec­tric­i­ty, which she prime spon­sored in the House.

NPI's Gael Tarleton speaks at signing of five pollution fighting bills

NPI’s Gael Tar­leton speaks at sign­ing of five pol­lu­tion fight­ing bills (Pho­to: Andrew Villeneuve/Northwest Pro­gres­sive Insti­tute)

Hel­lo! I’m Gael Tar­leton, State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive for the 36th Dis­trict.

Five months ago, I stood up with Gov­er­nor Inslee and my col­leagues in the Leg­is­la­ture and promised to fight to achieve a one hun­dred per­cent clean elec­tric­i­ty stan­dard by 2045. I doubt any of us thought so many cli­mate break­throughs would be made in this 2019 ses­sion.

For years, advo­cates fought for the leg­is­la­tion being signed today. They have had no stronger ally in the governor’s man­sion than Gov­er­nor Jay Inslee.

Build­ing momen­tum takes more than a ses­sion. It takes patience and per­sis­tence to build a broad base of sup­port.

Today we cel­e­brate: we cel­e­brate a strong ground game that brought togeth­er indus­try part­ners, envi­ron­men­tal cham­pi­ons, labor lead­ers, com­mu­ni­ties of col­or, bipar­ti­san leg­isla­tive teams, and our con­stituents.

Today, it is one of the great­est hon­ors of my career to have played a role in help­ing send these trans­for­ma­tion­al poli­cies to the Gov­er­nor’s desk for his sig­na­ture!

When we move beyond coal and embrace clean ener­gy sources, we get a win not only for Wash­ing­ton State, but for the whole coun­try.

We are cre­at­ing a clean ener­gy econ­o­my for the twen­ty-first cen­tu­ry.

If we had crossed the fin­ish line this year with just the one hun­dred per­cent clean elec­tric­i­ty bill, it would have been a huge vic­to­ry.

But we did so much more.

The leg­is­la­tors and advo­cates fight­ing for real cli­mate action knew that this was our moment to be bold. They brought all voic­es to the table and – togeth­er – defined the poli­cies that change the tra­jec­to­ry of our state.

We must thank them all for these cli­mate breakthroughs…for cre­at­ing new jobs with decent wages… for the tech­nol­o­gy inno­va­tions on the hori­zon that will build a dif­fer­ent future for all of us. Thank you – cli­mate cham­pi­ons, my leg­isla­tive col­leagues, and Gov­er­nor Inslee – for lead­ing us for­ward.

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