Climate/Energy bills in the State Leg

OCA’s Executive Committee just sent these messages to our 24th District state legislators; we suggest you contact them as well, on this and other issues still pending in the Legislature:

Rep. Mike Chapman: 360-786-7916

Rep. Steve Tharinger: 360-786-7904

Sen. Kevin Van de Wege: 360-786-7646

  • 3SHB 1144: OCA commends the State House for passing this bill which would revise the current state-mandated reduction limits to reflect current science concerning the level and rate of reduction that will be necessary to avoid catastrophic climate disruption.
  • SB 6203: OCA would support this carbon-tax bill if the tax were put back at $20/ton and exemptions were removed from the Transalta coal plant and other non-“Energy Intensive Trade-Exposed” (EITE) industries. We neither support nor oppose the current, watered-down version of this bill.
  • HB 2839:  OCA supported the original bill, which gives the Utilities and Transportation Commission authority to assess economic impacts associated with incremental increases in carbon dioxide emissions within a calendar year.
    • However, we do NOT support the added provision requiring that qualified biomass energy be considered a non-emitting resource. First, there is no question that burning material containing carbon will emit greenhouse gases, and even if in the long run the process were carbon neutral (which it is not), we face a climate crisis that is very much going to take place in the short run, and we need to reduce emissions as much as we can, as quickly as we can. Some argue that biofuel is carbon friendly because it displaces the burning of coal in power plants; this comparison is unfair because it compares to the most carbon-intensive energy source there is, rather than cleaner-energy sources. But even so, it is flawed to call biomass burning emissions-neutral. See the following links:

Letter to the Senate on carbon neutrality of forest biomass | Woods Hole Research Center