November 23, 2015
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Controversial carbon cap regulation aired at the Legislature



The Senate Energy, Environment and Telecommunications Committee held a hearing last week about the administrative carbon cap Gov. Jay Inslee announced earlier this year.

TVW reports that, as outlined, the proposed clean air rule sets a cap on carbon pollution that would affect 31 companies in Washington that emit more than 100,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide a year, such as industrial plants, power plants and landfills. The program is expected to begin in 2017, with the first emission reduction deadline in 2020.

State Department of Ecology Director Maia Bellon told the Senate committee that, while there is "jostling" between the Legislature and the governor, she believes the agency has the authority to craft the regulation under the state's Clean Air Act.

The chair of the committee, Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Fernale, questioned that, asking why a Legislature is needed at all if agencies can operate on their own without regard to Legislative action.

Olympia Business Watch has a full report on the hearing, including a few relevant facts: Washington is making real progress toward greenhouse gas emission (GHG) reductions. The state’s per capita GHG emission rate is now 36 percent below the national average and has been on a downward trend over the last 10 years – despite growth in the economy and 2 million added to the state's population.



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Jobs and Redevelopment in Longview

Millennium: Local coal terminal will enhance region

By Bill Chapman

Millennium sits on a former industrial site that, for generations, has been designated, zoned and used for heavy industry. Since taking over in 2011, we've removed over a quarter-million tons of unpermitted material from the site (recycling about 65 percent), restored a local fish habitat, and kept dozens of our neighbors employed along the way. The river channel is already deepened to allow ocean-going transport, and the rail spur has long been in place.

For millions of people in developing nations, coal remains the main viable source of electricity. Some homes are lit by a single light bulb -- this is a "quality of life" we would never accept. There will not be enough power from renewable energy to meet basic needs in Asia for decades. These countries continue burning coal because it is the most available energy source they have, and because it allows them to pursue a quality of life we already enjoy.

We know that quality of life matters here in Southwest Washington, too. Without jobs to support families, "quality of life" quickly evaporates. Longview is a town built for industry and trade; the failure to regenerate family-wage jobs profoundly threatens our quality of life.
Click here to read the full op-ed in The Columbian
Charter Fix Has Bipartisan Support

Legislature must act on charter schools

By The Seattle Times Editorial Board

Lawmakers should act in the best interest of children and families who have embraced charter schools. In their first year of operation, many of the state's charter schools have enrolled high levels of low-income, minority and special-education students -- children who have not all been well-served by traditional schools and whose families cannot afford private school.

Click here to read the full editorial in The Seattle Times
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