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Rep. Jay Inslee's Posts

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Let’s keep the ‘clean’ in the Clean Air Act

kids love the Clean Air ActYou don't want to disappoint these kids.Photo: Sean Suddes/Sierra ClubChildren's health won't be improved by the Republicans' Dirty Air Act.

From Seattle to Pittsburgh, children can be found outside, playing football and baseball, or just playing a good game of tag. However, hundreds of thousands of children are unable to take part because the air they breathe is making them sick. It was disturbing, then, last week that the Energy and Commerce committee held a hearing in which Republicans were pushing ahead on legislation to gut the Clean Air Act and retire important safeguards against the very pollutants that cause these children and so many others significant health problems.

This week, in their zeal to let big polluters control public policy, Republicans attached their Dirty Air Act as a rider to their 2011 budget Continuing Resolution (CR) -- important legislation to fund the operations of the federal government for the rest of the fiscal year.

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Senate needs to get back to work on clean-energy bill, says Washington rep

Copenhagen may not have been a giant leap for mankind, but it was a step forward.

So as the Congress returns to work this year, its post-Copenhagen duty remains the same as its pre-Copenhagen responsibility:  to pass an energy bill that both jump-starts the United States’ economy and screws down the nation’s carbon pollution. There are two obvious reasons we must pass energy legislation, one pertaining to our self-interest, and the other to the world’s.

First, our economic self-interest demands action on energy, independent of any international framework on carbon reduction.  Job creation in clean energy remains job No. 1 for this country. Those jobs will not magically spring into existence; they will be created only if the United States Congress passes bold energy legislation.

Did China abandon its plans for a massive buildup of clean energy technologies for lack of a treaty coming out of Copenhagen? Did it cancel its plans to build 30 gigawatts of wind energy in the next decade? Did it shut down its electric-car manufacturing plants in Tianjin? Did it shutter its efficient lighting research in Hong Kong? Did it reduce its development budget for lithium-ion batteries to power electric cars? Of course it didn’t.

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Denialism and the power of fear

There are two types of pesky partisans on the loose right now who refuse to accept reality due to their ideological blindness -- birthers and global warming deniers. This realization struck me last week as I listened to Republicans argue that we should let the world boil over, all while they "dithered" over reading silly emails written between a few climate scientists. The members of the Flat Earth Society may be out of ideas, but they are not out of denials.

All the shouting in the world can’t refute the fact that the science of climate change is sound.

The Flat Earth Society is, of course, the climatic analog of the birthers movement, determined to undermine Americans' confidence in clear facts about climate change. The first fact they deny is that the first American black president was elected last year. The second denial concerns the well-established scientific consensus that the earth is warming and the oceans are acidifying because of human activity.

Both birthers and the climate-change deniers work on a similar premise -- that concrete facts can be subjugated to the power of fear. Both movements fear change and contemplate that they can create enough smoke and confusion to fertilize the ascendency of fear. They both enjoy big megaphones and are capable of big noise, but are both fundamentally rotten at the factual core.

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Three faces of hope for climate change

Last week in Congress, I met with three people who represent the three imperatives of our efforts against global warming. One represents the morality of the endeavor, another who received the Nobel Prize represents the science behind the economics, and the third is a well known gym rat who represents the way our democracy will answer the call. All three of them share one important trait -- they are all allies in the race to save the planet from the scourge of climate change. That the Dalai Lama is an important voice in the climate change debate might strike some …

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New Apollo Energy Act contrasts sharply with “Jurassic” GOP energy bill

On April 21, Congress stepped back in geologic time when the House of Representatives passed an energy policy of the dinosaurs, by the dinosaurs, and for the dinosaurs. This energy bill is truly a "Jurassic" piece of legislation that relies on a limited energy source derived from creatures and plants that died millions of years ago. In fact, 93 percent of the $8 billion in tax incentives in the bill go to oil, gas, and other traditional energy industries. A patriotic sight. Photo: Tennessee Valley Infrastructure Group Inc. c/o NREL. Shortly before the House debate, one national leader said, "I …