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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