How do we stop global warming? With a formidable army of committees and plans—politicians sure love those—according to an executive order issued by Washington Governor Jay Inslee today. "When it comes to our moral responsibility to our children and their future, we have 100 percent of the obligation. 100 percent of the determination," Inslee said in prepared remarks (I didn't even add those emphases). "Whatever it takes to do our most important job."
However, there's no marquee action taken here to immediately bring down carbon emissions, even though climate change is poised to take a $10 billion annual toll on the state, after 2020, through impacts on water supplies, public health, coastal and storm damage, wildfires and more, according to a University Oregon study. Some of the biggest contributors are motor vehicles, which accounted for "44 percent of the state’s total greenhouse gas emissions in 2010, with 23 percent coming from gasoline consumption," according to Inslee.
Inslee isn't discouraging car use or reigning in the building of roads, establishing a moratorium to prevent greater numbers of oil trains from rumbling around the state, or implementing an immediate cap of X-amount on carbon emissions. If you read through the executive order, you repeatedly find qualifiers like "if funding partnerships allow" and "as needed and allowed by law." Here are some of the key planks:
- The formation of a task force to develop binding carbon emission limits and a "cap and trade" system for polluters who exceed it
- The Department of Transportation will "develop an action plan to advance electric vehicle use" and continue to build out the electric vehicle charging network on roads
- The Departments of Commerce, Enterprise Services, and Ecology will "evaluate incentives and life cycles" for using more electric vehicles in government fleets
- Yet more departments, along with Washington State University, will develop a new "statewide program to significantly boost the energy performance of public private buildings."
@AlexSteffen Sure. But what, specifically and realistically, would you have him do as Guv right now? (No snark, I'm serious.)
— Eric de Place (@Eric_deP) April 29, 2014