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Monday, February 18, 2008


posted by on February 18 at 10:59 AM

I don’t know if we should be nervous. The splashy climate change bill, the one Gov. Gregoire unveiled on the first day of the session, only has today and tomorrow to pass out of the House (there’s no Senate version), and it’s not on the long list of bills that the House is taking up right now.

The bill would jump-start a cap and trade program.

The sticking point is how the rules would be administered. Business interests that are nervous about the bill, including Weyerhaeuser and Boeing, don’t want the state’s Dept. of Ecology to be empowered to make rules on the issue. They’d rather have one rule (that they help hammer out) locked down by the legislature to dictate how the system will work. They worry that giving an executive dept. like Ecology the reins to run the system will put businesses at the mercy of bureaucratic sticklers who are bent on decreasing emissions.

However, since the specific system—a regional system involving California, Oregon, Alaska, Mexico—isn’t designed yet, the legislation needs to be open-ended enough so that state regulators can design it once the legislation passes. Locking down hard-and-fast rules right now without giving future leeway to Ecology could jeopardize the success of the system.

Furthermore, Ecology already has regulatory power and stifling their power just to ease the fears of Weyerhaeuser would actually give Ecology less power than they have today in general. If that happens, liberal legislators who have been pushing this bill all session wouldn’t support it anymore.

This is the conundrum legislators face as we head into the last 24 hours for this bill to stay alive.

RSS icon Comments


Well at least ECB will post something interesting soon.

Posted by pencil riot | February 18, 2008 11:40 AM

I have to hand it to you, Josh. You do succeed at making something exciting, anxious, and/or nervous out of our boring, *boring* day-to-day state politics (despite the side effects of the delegation not being so boring.)

If I ever become a Washington state politician, I will bring the clown cars.

Posted by mackro mackro | February 18, 2008 12:25 PM

For anyone who honestly think politicians will do anything about global warming or health care....well let's just say put the bong down babe, put down the bong...

Posted by Andrew | February 18, 2008 12:51 PM

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