Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire Thursday signed into law a climate change measure that sets goals for reducing emissions and emissions performance standard for new power plants.
"This bill is a testament to the unique, broad-based coalition that came together - utilities and environmentalists, faith communities and business leaders - in support of taking action," said Gregoire. "Today, we are saying that, here, in this Washington, no more delay, no more doubt, no more excuses. Today, together, we take action."
Actions outlined in the bill commit the state to achieving the goals of the Governor's Climate Change Challenge. The bill establishes an emissions performance standard for electric generation facilities in Washington, committing to low emissions resources that can meet our state's future needs. It establishes state goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and sets a goal for creating new jobs in the clean energy sector.
Under the bill, the following greenhouse gases emissions reduction and clean energy economy goals are established for Washington state:
In addition, the bill requires the governor to develop policy ecommendations to the legislature on how the state can achieve the geenhouse gases emissions reduction. These recommendations must include, but are not limited
- By 2020, reduce overall greenhouse gases emissions in the state
to 1990 levels;
- By 2035, reduce overall greenhouse gases emissions in the state
to twenty-five percent below 1990 levels;
- By 2050, the state will do its part to reach global climate
stabilization levels by reducing overall emissions to fifty percent
below 1990 levels, or seventy percent below the state's expected
emissions that year; and
- By 2020, increase the number of clean energy sector jobs to
twenty-five thousand from the eight thousand four hundred jobs the
state had in 2004.
- By December 31, 2007, the departments of ecology and
community, trade, and economic development shall report to the
appropriate committees of the senate and house of representatives the
total greenhouse gases emissions for 1990 and the totals in each major
sector for 1990.
- By December 31st of each even-numbered year beginning in 2010,
the departments of ecology and community, trade, and economic
development shall report to the governor and the appropriate committees
of the senate and house of representatives the total greenhouse gases
emissions for the preceding two years, and totals in each major source
- How market mechanisms, such as a load-based cap and trade
system, would assist in achieving the greenhouse gases emissions
- How geologic injection, forest sequestration, and other carbon
sequestration options could be used to achieve state greenhouse gases
emissions reduction goals;
- A process for replacing the highest emitting thermal electric
plants that have exceeded their expected useful life with newer
technologies that have lower greenhouse gases emissions levels;
- Methods to utilize indigenous resources, such as landfill gas,
geothermal resources, and other assets that might reduce greenhouse
gases emissions consistent with the purposes of this act;
- How regulatory and tax policies for electric utilities could be
improved to help achieve these goals in a manner that is equitable for
electric utilities and consumers.
Washington Gov. Signs Climate Change Bill Setting Goals and Performance Standards
Columbia Basin Energy Report, May 4, 2007
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