Ooh, boy! It looks like the state of Washington is one step closer to having a sane climate policy. The state House of Representatives just passed a climate policy that looks like it’s got some teeth:
The measure, which passed 84-14 after a brief debate, commits Washington to shrink emissions to 1990’s levels by 2020.
By 2035, the measure is supposed to lower emissions to 25 percent below 1990’s levels, and to 50 percent by 2050.The Senate already has approved a similar bill but is expected to adopt the House version and send it to Gov. Christine Gregoire to be signed.
The climate targets are essentially identical to the ones Gov. Gregoire issued as an executive order in February — so there’s not much doubt that she’ll sign the bill.
But wait, there’s more!
The measure … would forbid most new power plants, or new long-term power contracts, if too much greenhouse gases are produced to make the power.
That’s pretty big news, since (as we argued here) the success of a similar ban in California depends on other western states following in their footsteps.
I admit it — we were a little harsh towards Washington earlier in the year. It seemed like all of our neighbors, especially California and British Columbia, were leaving us in the dust on climate policy. So while the new policy isn’t nearly as forward thinking as BC’s, this bill — provided it actually gets signed — will probably get the state admitted into the cool kids’ club.