Washington state, home of Seattle the Emerald City, Boeing and Microsoft is known for its environmental stewardship and has long been a leader in aerospace and software innovation.
Now Gov. Jay Inslee intends for his state to lead in climate and energy technology.
Inslee signed an executive order on Tuesday which will champion numerous steps to curb greenhouse gas pollution in Washington and increase clean energy innovation and technology.
“This is the right time to act, the right place to act and we are the right people to act,” Inslee said in a press release. “We will engage the right people, consider the right options, ask the right questions and come to the right answers — answers that work for Washington.”
Inslee’s move is similar to what President Barack Obama did last September when Republicans were relentlessly squabbling over repealing the Affordable Care Act, blocking his appointees and defiantly opposing anything he wanted to get done. He bypassed Congress by using his executive pen to create a panel called the Council on Climate Prepardness and Resilience.
Gov. Jay Inslee was one of the national leaders appointed to that panel by Obama.
Moreover, Inslee joined governors of Oregon and California to team up with the Premier of British Columbia last fall to sign a climate action pact because the team of influential leaders decided they weren’t going to wait on the rest of the world to take action against climate change.
The following was Inslee’s statement on signing that pact last fall:
“This Action Plan represents the best of what Pacific coast governments are already doing, and calls on each of us to do more—together—to create jobs by leading in the clean energy economy, and to meet our moral obligation to future generations,” said Gov. Inslee. “Each of the governments here is already taking bold steps on climate change. By joining forces, we will accomplish even more."
In addition to signing the executive order Tuesday on clean energy in a show of environmental accountability, Inslee has recently gotten tough with the Department of Energy for failure to meet the pre-approved cleanup timeline at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation where waste has been slowly oozing from several tanks for over a year that has now sickened workers by the dozens.
In the governor’s Tuesday announcement, he outlined the objective of utilizing several committees and taskforces to implement substantive changes and meaningful carbon reduction actions, including the following:
- Reduce carbon emissions through new cap-and-market program
- End use of electricity generated by coal
- Develop clean transportation options and cleaner fuels
- Accelerate development and deployment of clean energy technology
- Improve the energy efficiency of the places we work and live
- Reduce state government’s carbon footprint
Writing in the Capitol Record Christina Salerno offered this analogy of Inslee’s executive order, “[Inslee’s action] appoints a task force to come up with recommendations for a market-based program to reduce carbon pollution in Washington state. The 21-member task force includes representatives from business, labor, environmental and health groups.”
Inslee isn’t asking for “neatly packaged” proposals. Instead he is requesting that panel members come up with solutions and options using “creative thought grounded in reality”.
“Inaction is not a solution,” concluded Inslee.
The dire content of three reports released in recent months from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change adamantly agrees with the governor’s assessment.