December 21, 2015
2015 Year in Review

Preparation on Climate Policy Pays Dividends, but More Work Ahead on Carbon Regulations, Water Quality

While preparation didn’t guarantee an outcome on any given piece of legislation, the fruits of our efforts were evident across the board and measured by the engagement of members and successful interactions with legislators.

In early 2014, Gov. Jay Inslee signaled he would pursue climate policies for Washington state, including establishing a price on carbon. Throughout the 2014 interim, AWB and our members tracked the governor’s efforts as he developed his legislative proposal. AWB worked closely with like-minded stakeholders to develop key messaging, provide robust testimony and offer an independent economic analysis of the governor’s proposal.

Although we share the governor’s goal of reducing carbon emissions, we did not believe his top-down regulatory approach was right for our state.

More than 50 people testified on AWB panels, including members Amy Igloi Creed with Amy’s on the Bay; Rusty Bradeen with Bradeen Trucking; Gary Ash of National Frozen Foods Corporation; Matt Lyons of Nucor Steel Seattle, and many more. Industries represented in the discussion included fuel distributors, pulp and paper, and food processors. The labor community joined in as well with representatives from the Iron Workers, Carpenters and Teamsters unions all joining us in the discussion.

In addition to climate and energy policy, AWB worked diligently with members on controversial issues of water quality and toxics reduction, which saw the two separate policy debates converge into a single debate. Ultimately no new legislation covering either of these issues areas passed, but many members expect the debate to continue as efforts are ongoing find a responsible policy path forward.

Despite employers leading the charge on carbon reductions in Washington state, the debate is not over yet on climate policy – a carbon reduction rule is being developed by the state Department of Ecology at the direction of the governor and should be out shortly, and two possible ballot measures on a carbon tax and cap-and-trade carbon tax scheme may be before voters next November.

AWB is actively engaged with the governor and his policy advisors on the carbon regulation and continue to work alongside employers and employees on innovative solutions that address carbon emissions without a top-down, government-centric approach.

For more information on these issues, contact AWB Director of Government Affairs Brandon Houskeeper.

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2015 in Videos

Legislative Summit

Opportunity Washington

State of Manufacturing tour

Leadership Washington Class of 2015

Spring Meeting

Regional Meetings

Remembering Tom Fritz

Policy Summit

Opportunity Score

Manufacturing Summit

Lighting of the Holiday Kids' Tree