Press Release

Thursday, January 16

AWB Welcomes Court Decision on Clean Air Rule

In a 5-4 decision, the Washington Supreme Court agrees with employer groups that Department of Ecology exceeded its authority

OLYMPIA — Association of Washington Business President Kris Johnson released the following statement after the Washington Supreme Court’s decision Thursday to invalidate part of the state’s Clean Air Rule:

“We are pleased the court recognized the Department of Ecology went too far in its attempt to regulate greenhouse gas emissions by applying the Clean Air Rule to employers that are not direct emitters of gas emissions.

“If it was allowed to stand, the rule would have forced natural gas and fuel suppliers to pass on increased costs to families, making it more expensive to heat homes, drive to work and buy groceries, and it would have raised transportation and other costs for all employers, particularly small businesses.

“Employers remain concerned, however, about the health of the state’s manufacturing sector. If the part of the rule remanded to the lower court is ultimately allowed to stand, it could lead some industries to move operations to higher-carbon states or countries and avoid investing in Washington’s clean economy, an outcome that would not only reduce family-wage jobs here but also increase global carbon emissions.

“AWB and its members remain committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions through innovation and private investment. We can and will do more to reduce our state’s carbon emissions. This rule was not the way to accomplish that goal. We believed from the start that the Legislature was the proper venue and we look forward to working with lawmakers to find a bipartisan solution.”

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