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Monday, January 14, 2008

Governor Gregoire’s Climate Change Legislation

posted by on January 14 at 14:31 PM

Governor Christine Gregoire unveiled her climate-change bill this morning.

It’s got some common-sense stuff in it: Require reporting of CO2 emissions; design a regional cap and trade plan by August; and, for now, try to enforce caps on emissions (limit greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2035, and—kinda wimpy—50 percent below 1990 by 2050. Environmentalist activists say that should be more like 80 percent.)

It’s hard to get truly excited about this in 2008. It all seems like policy that should have been taken care of in 2007. And it’s still not clear to me how the emission caps are enforceable targets rather than nice goals. Is the governor going to amp the budget over at Department of Ecology so the state can enforce all this?

Although, the bill does sync up emission reductions with the state clean air act, so—say environmentalists—if we’re not tracking toward our goals (like say if Dino Rossi gets elected) environmentalists can sue the state.

Another major outstanding issue is how to deal with transportation emissions. For example, how does Alaska Airlines and car traffic fit into the pending cap and trade system?

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The question really should be - is this first cap free? Do corporations get to pollute for free and make taxpayers pay to clean it up? And what happens with cap and trade revenues (permits)? Where does the money go?

My suggestion - buy more green energy plants and use part for green transit.

Posted by Will in Seattle | January 14, 2008 3:07 PM

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