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Spin Control

Posts tagged: Doug Ericksen

Inslee looks for ways to cut carbon emissions

OLYMPIA — Gov. Jay Inslee appointed a new task force to find ways for Washington to reduce carbon emissions as part of an executive order that attempts to find ways to fight climate change.

At a speech at Shoreline Community College Tuesday, Inslee outlined goals in an executive order that calls for less carbon pollution and more clean energy sources, including a reduction in electricity generated by coal-fired power plants and increased use of electric vehicles and mass transit.

The Republican chairman of the Senate Energy Committee accused Inslee of attempting to maneuver around the Legislature to impose a new gasoline tax. Sen. Doug Ericksen of Ferndale also questioned Inslee's commitment to an open discussion of the issues, noting the Carbon Emissions Reduction Task Force’s  first meeting occurred the day the group was announced, with no advance public notice… . 

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Legislature wrestles with oil train proposals

OLYMPIA – The Legislature took some tentative steps Tuesday to demand more information and develop stricter controls on crude oil moving through the state by rail and barge.

But unlike the Spokane City Council, which Monday night voted unanimously to request more controls on the growing number of oil shipments, the Legislature is clearly split on how much information to request and how quickly to develop new regulations. . .

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Mugging for the crowd

 

Sens. Mike Baumgartner, left and Doug Ericksen hold beer steins while addressing a demonstration against the a new tax on microbreweries. The mugs were empty.

Greenhouse gas task force gets OK

OLYMPIA — A special task force to figure out how well the state is doing at reducing greenhouse gas emissions got strong support from the Senate today after it was changed to get to work faster.

A critic, however, said the Legislature was paying attention to “pseudo science.”

Senate Bill 5802 would set up a task force with a representative from each of the Legislature's four caucuses and the governor, hire a consultant and determine the best ways to cut down on carbon dioxide emissions and other gases thought to contribute to global climate change.

The Legislature passed a law in 2008 to reduce such emissions, and this bill would basically answer the question: “How's that working for us?”

The task force would also look at different options for cutting down the emissions, what they would cost and suggest priorities designed to give the state the best bang for the buck.

“I want to take the religion out of carbon,” said Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, who added he didn't vote for the original law in 2008, but it's in place now.

Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, said the state is particularly vulnerable on climate issues because it can be easily affected by declining snow packs and rising sea levels. The task force won't be answering the question “is it happening?” as “what are we going to do about it?”

But Sen. Mike Carrell, R-Lakewood, said supporters were producing “a long of pseudo science” on possible problems with global temperatures.

“I have no problem with the earth warming,” he said, because carbon dioxide encourages plant growth. “You're making an assumption that it is carbon dioxide that's causing the earth to warm, it could be the other way around.”

The increase in temperatures could be part of natural patterns, and causing more of the gas to be released from the oceans, he said.

The task force would be set up in mid May, rather than mid July, making it more likely a report would be available for next year's legislative session. The bill passed on a 37-12 vote.

Gregoire’s budget a start, not an end

Gov. Chris Gregoire’s proposed “all cuts, no new taxes” budget was described as everything from a good starting point to an unrealistic plan Wednesday in a Spokane forum. But even Gregoire’s own legislative liaison made clear it is far from a done deal.
Democratic leaders told the Greater Spokane Inc. Legislative Forum the budget, which state law requires the governor to produce before the session starts in January, said they don’t agree with all the cuts being proposed. The spending plan largely eliminates the Basic Health Plan for low income residents, health care for children, and changes school funding formulas.
“She’s laid out a blue print, not exactly a map,” Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown of Spokane said.

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

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