The state House on Wednesday approved legislation that creates a legislative work group to study the best way to meet state targets for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions.
Gov. Jay Inslee and his staff actively lobbied for Senate Bill 5802, which would set a framework to achieve emission goals set by lawmakers in 2008: to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 and 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2035.
The governor’s office would contract with an “independent and objective” group to evaluate approaches to reduce emissions. The state estimates that the study and related expenses would cost $350,000.
The measure passed by a vote of 61-32. Republicans who voted against the bill said the measure lacked protections for consumers and manufacturers who depend on stable energy prices.
“The wind doesn’t blow 360 days a year, it’s not predictable. And the sun doesn’t shine 24 hours a day whereas many forms of energy we have out there right now that are clean, such as hydro and nuclear, are completely predictable,” said Rep. Brad Klippert (R-Kennewick).
During testimony before the Senate Energy, Environment and Telecommunications Committee last month, Inslee said inaction on carbon pollution could cost Washington’s economy $10 billion by 2020.
The Senate passed the bill earlier this month on a bi-partisan vote of 37-12. The bill now heads to the governor for his signature.