October 19, 2015
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Gov. Jay Inslee to attend United Nations climate-change summit in Paris later this year

Gov. Jay Inslee plans to attend the United Nations climate-change summit later this year in Paris as part of his long-time priority issue of reducing carbon emissions. Inslee’s spokesperson told The Seattle Times that he “views the event as a ‘real opportunity’ to be part of a debate over forestalling a climate catastrophe.”

The Paris summit will be held Nov. 30-Dec. 11 and is focused on reaching agreement through an “international accord to keep global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius,” according to The Seattle Times report, a limit some believe will avert the effects of climate change.

The Washington Climate Collaborative (WCC) has been working alongside the governor’s office and other stakeholders on many initiatives, including sharing information on how the state’s employers and employees are working together to lower carbon emissions. As a leader in lowering emissions, Washington’s industrial sector now emits 21 percent less carbon dioxide than it did in 1990 and is well on its way to reaching the lofty goals set by President Barack Obama in his Clean Power Plan. The WCC has more on the positive moves the state has made on reducing carbon emissions here.

Inslee’s office is still looking into whether a private foundation can pay for the Paris trip, or if taxpayers would be on the hook for all or some of the costs. His full itinerary for the trip has not yet been released.

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Export-Import Bank Critical to Washington's Economy

Ex-Im Bank Is an Easy Yes

By Jay Timmons, president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers

ProGauge Technologies, Inc., a manufacturing company based in Bakersfield, California, is bidding on a project that could lead to 30 new jobs, but only five are staying here in the United States. The rest will be created abroad.

It didn't have to be that way. ProGauge is one of countless manufacturers in the United States, large and small, losing out on foreign sales and international deals because of Congress' failure to stand up for American jobs. "It's pretty sad not to be able to keep the jobs here," said ProGauge president Don Nelson.

Earlier this year, Congress allowed the Export-Import Bank's charter to expire and has not yet acted to reauthorize it. The Ex-Im Bank has served for more than 80 years as the U.S. export credit agency, ensuring access to competitive export financing for manufacturers in the United States that private banks are unable to offer. Countries around the world have similar credit agencies, and without ours, it is harder for U.S.-based companies to sell their products, made by American workers, overseas.

Click here to read the full column in U.S. News & World Report
Ag Worth Billions to State

Needed: More Water for Everyone in Yakima Valley

By The News Tribune editorial board

Some of America's richest farmland lies just over the Cascade Mountains in the Yakima River Valley. It provides most of the nation's apples and hops, and pulls billions of dollars into the state economy.

It's also fragile, as this year's unprecedented drought demonstrated. The valley's reservoir system is roughly a century old; even in the best of years, it doesn't deliver enough water to go around. U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell has introduced a measure that would bring the system into the 21st century; the Senate should pass it.

Her bill would put the U.S. government behind the Yakima Basin Integrated Plan, a combination of irrigation, reservoir and habitat improvements. The legislation is backed by an improbably broad coalition that includes farmers, environmentalists, the Yakama Indians, fishermen, Republican and Democratic leaders.

A lot of those people are normally in the habit of squabbling with each other. Their unanimity in this case reflects the fact that the Integrated Plan pretty much makes everyone happy.

Click here to read the full editorial in The News Tribune
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