Washington governor proposes slate of measures to curb GHG emissions & transition state to cleaner energy; cap-and-trade and EV incentives
17 December 2014
Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced a set of proposals to transition Washington to cleaner sources of energy and to meet greenhouse gas (GHG) emission limits adopted by the state Legislature in 2008. The proposals build on a comprehensive executive order issued by the governor in April.
Cap-and-trade. The proposed “Carbon Pollution Accountability Act” (CPAA) would create a new, market-based program that sets an annual limit CO2 emissions; major emitters will need to purchase “allowances” for their emissions. Each year, the number of available allowances will decline to ensure emissions are gradually reduced. The Governor’s office projects that the program will generate about $1 billion in the first year, and more thereafter, which will be used for transportation, education, tax relief for working families and other purposes.
The CPAA will affect the relatively small number of businesses that generate 85% of Washington’s CO2 emissions. The governor’s proposal was informed by recommendations from his Carbon Emissions Reduction Taskforce, which included representatives from business, labor, health care, utilities, at-risk communities, governments and others.
Cleaner transportation options for consumers. Nearly half the state’s CO2emissions comes from cars, trucks and other transportation sources. For electric vehicles, Inslee will request legislation to:
Extend the existing tax incentives, exempting sales tax from the first $60,000 of the purchase price of electric, natural gas, propane and hydrogen vehicles. Set to expire next summer, this exemption is considered the single most important factor for future success of electric vehicles in the state.
Create an EV infrastructure bank to provide financial assistance for the installation of publicly accessible high-speed charging stations. The bank would be funded by an existing fee on electric vehicles, and administered by the public-private partnership office at WSDOT.
Require urban cities and counties to adopt incentive programs to encourage the fitting of new structures and the retrofitting of existing structures with rapid charging stations for electric vehicles. This bill helps solve the garage orphan problem of condo and apartment residents who are great candidates for EV ownership due to their shorter trips in a dense urban environment, but for whom owning an EV is not yet practical because they can’t conveniently charge at home.
In addition, Inslee proposed to provide a toll and ferry fare credit to EV owners who buy a “Good to Go” or “Wave to Go” pass.
Further, the state Department of Ecology will request legislation to allow Washington to adopt a zero emission vehicle program that incentivizes the sale of ZEVs, including plug-in electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
Inslee has also asked the Department of Ecology to draft a clean fuel standard rule and to solicit review and comments from legislators, stakeholders and the public. An economic analysis performed for the Office of Financial Management shows a clean fuel standard could be designed in a way that has no significant economic effects.
However, the governor said before initiating formal rule making, “I want to allow time for feedback from the legislative and public review phases. I also want to see what proposals and progress are made as the legislative session unfolds.”
If a decision to pursue a rule is made at a later date, the process would require development of a formal proposed rule and an extensive public review process.
Sustainable transportation planning. WSDOT is implementing a five-part action plan to reduce carbon emissions that come from cars, trucks and other transportation-related sources. The plan includes an assessment of technical and financial needs of local communities, guidance related to land use and transportation planning, and adoption of a long-term statewide multimodal transportation plan for strategic investment in providing people with more transportation options.
To develop the necessary information for the statewide plan, the Governor has approved the Department of Transportation’s funding request to purchase and implement modeling software, allowing the state to better analyze rural and urban areas to identify the most cost-effective project investments that will relieve congestion for commuters and enable freight to get to market more quickly.
Clean energy industry funding. Inslee is requesting $60 million for the state’s Clean Energy Fund to help research institutions, utilities and businesses develop and deploy new renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. During the 2013–15 biennium, the $40-million Clean Energy Fund leveraged $200 million in matching funds from private industry partners.
The governor has also proposed funding for other technology development efforts, including a new research building at the Center for Advanced Materials and Clean Energy Technologies and additional test beds at the Clean Energy Institute, both at the University of Washington.
To promote the use of solar energy in the state, the Washington State University Energy Office is drafting legislation to expand the state’s successful incentive program to allow more parties to join while more effectively targeting incentives.
Lower energy costs through greater energy efficiency. The governor is proposing several initiatives that will allow businesses, government, farmers and homeowners to lower their energy costs by increasing their energy efficiency.
Inslee is also proposing several capital budget investments, including weatherization projects that will cut energy costs for thousands of low-income homeowners and energy efficiency projects on public buildings that will capture savings for state taxpayers.
Clean technology development and climate science. Inslee proposed investments to support the engineering and science work at the University of Washington:
Center for Advanced Materials and Clean Energy Technologies: predesign and design of a new research building to house the Center, to include the chemical engineering, material science and engineering and bioengineering departments. ($6.6 M, capital budget)
Clean Energy Institute: construction of test beds to support moving new clean energy materials and technologies from development to market, including research and training, scale-up and characterization, and systems integration. ($12 M, capital budget)
Climate Impact Group: to provide impartial knowledge, data, tools, and technical advice to identify and reduce climate risks to the residents, communities, economies and resources of Washington. ($0.98 M, operating budget)
Washington Ocean Acidification Center: to continue coordination and research to understand, monitor, and adapt to increasingly acidic waters, and their effect on shellfish and fish. ($1.55 M, operating budget). (Separate funding is provided to DNR to continue funding the related work of the Marine Resources Advisory Council ($150 K, operating budget).)
I discovered last night on youtube that there is a lot of scientists and peoples that don't believe that it's the co2 that is warming the planet but the change in temperature from the sun. The earth is warmed by the sun and the received temperature is not even from years to years. But many scientists need a job and this hysteria give them a lot of money and as long as they don't find a practical solution than they keep their big budjet jobs. All this tax project is probably fraud. Me im worriying more about obvious pollution like particulate, oil spills, carbon monoxide, smog and also natural resources depletion. So please find better technologies that cost few and offer improved efficiencies because im tired of paying high taxes, high gas prices and high electric bills. I want a car ultra light, ultra cheap of 300 hp that do 200 mpg, period. If not I will keep my actual car for another 15 years and will buy a used one after.
Posted by: gorr | 17 December 2014 at 05:26 PM
Solar irradiance has been measured by satellite instruments for years. It is constant to slightly declining. The slightest bit of work with a search engine would have revealed this to you, gor.
There's no functional difference between willful ignorance and stupidity.
Posted by: Engineer-Poet | 18 December 2014 at 08:05 AM
I am totally with Gor on not believing in the GHG thing. Don't beat me for it I just don't. It just looks like another government excuse to take money from average folk. What I do believe in is pollution and the other long list of obvious things that come from use of gas/oil. Its kind of why I don't like Li-Ion batteries, another man created chemical waste thing to deal with.
Kinda of like buying a florescent light bulb.
That said for decades I have been reading, "In another 5 years we will have...", fill in the blank, and year after year those things don't show up OR worse they are so expensive they are impractical.
Take Fuel cells there is supposed to be a platinum replacement that will do the same thing I have read about, but I have not seen it. Graphene the miracle stuff but cant make to large scale production.
So I sit and wait, and wait and wait for that scientist/company that will deliver.
Anyone find him? All I have heard is broken promises and missed deadlines.
Posted by: D | 18 December 2014 at 08:36 AM
E-P is at it again. He has to insult a few times a day to be happy.
However, I must agree with him that the recent rise in GHG and climate changes is largely due to human activities. Warmer weather with more costly extremes are coming.
The world will have to do away with CPPs, NGPPs, ICEVs, diesel engines and similar polluting machines and polluting manufacturing process or face the consequences.
Non-believers may not live long enough to see and feel the full consequences but their children and grand children will.
Posted by: HarveyD | 18 December 2014 at 11:05 AM
I dislike people harshing my mellow by repeating nonsense they could easily have investigated and refuted in its original forum, instead of repeating it without attribution to me.
I'm not sure what's worse: people who repeat false claims they should have taken a second to investigate, or people who defend those repeaters by attacking the debunkers?
Posted by: Engineer-Poet | 18 December 2014 at 02:15 PM
If it makes you happy, specially around xmas time, why not.
However, early in the new year, E-P will exercise better control?
Posted by: HarveyD | 18 December 2014 at 05:55 PM
I'll try to be snarkier while making my points, just for you.
Posted by: Engineer-Poet | 18 December 2014 at 07:58 PM
A Merry Xmas and a Joyful New Year to you E-P.
May better batteries become available soon.
Meanwhile, we will have to do with HEVs and PHEVs
Posted by: HarveyD | 19 December 2014 at 12:54 PM
In my experience people find the truth very hard to bear.
Religion, nationalism, isms in general and ignorance are very touchy areas for people relying on faith or prejudice (often in combination).
I have yet to discover a way toeffectively communicate reality to such.'Thinking hurts my brain.'
Put simply those that are stuck in simple belief systems or addicted to comfort foods etc find the reality of their existence too unpalatable.
Hence we see they stick to their beliefs even when simple arguments or facts indicate alternate reasoning as an option or even fact.
In short "you can't argue with a brick.
I'd like to wish ALL the blogers and blaggards here the best of the season.
Special thanks to the sites facilitator.
Posted by: Arnold | 19 December 2014 at 03:20 PM
Not everybody is ready and willing to accept that ICEVs days are numbered and that massive accelerated transition to cleaner (but probably higher initial cost) transportation vehicles will soon be here. Improved performance, lower cost batteries is the key.
Our current HEVs and PHEVs are good but overly complex interim solutions.
Future fully electrified automated drive vehicles will weight half as much and be 2X to 4X as efficient as current heavy ICEVs.
Such major changes are difficult to accept for many.
My grand father kept one horse and buggy for an extra 20 years. We latter discovered that the automated drive back home, after visiting his buddies, was valuable to him.
Posted by: HarveyD | 20 December 2014 at 08:21 AM
"May better batteries become available soon."
The universal salutation for all Green Car Congressional members.
Posted by: SJC | 20 December 2014 at 12:45 PM