OLYMPIA – A measure championed by Gov. Jay Inslee to study the best practices for reducing greenhouse gas emissions passed the state House on Monday and heads next to the governor’s desk.
Under the measure, an outside consultant would review both Washington state’s ongoing efforts to cut carbon emissions and similar endeavors elsewhere. The consultant would then report back to the governor and a group of legislative leaders, who would in turn create a report to present to the full Legislature by the end of the year.
The report is meant to help the state reach its target of reducing 2020 greenhouse gas emissions levels to those of 1990.
“This bill is a collaborative, bipartisan step forward that will allow us to seize the environmental and economic opportunities of addressing climate change and preserve the legacy of stewardship we owe our children,” Inslee said in a written statement lauding its passage.
Language in the original bill warning of the perils of climate change was removed in the Republican-controlled state Senate. House Democrats elected not to reintroduce that language, instead sending the bill to the governor.
“I liked the original language better, but I think it’s more important to have bipartisan engagement,” said Rep. Dave Upthegrove, D-Des Moines, the bill’s House sponsor. “In the end we’ll need bipartisan support for whatever the actions are.”
Senate Bill 5802 passed the House by a vote of 62-31, with no Democrats voting against and eight Republicans voting in favor. Democratic Rep. Chris Hurst of Enumclaw initially voted against the measure but said he had done so by mistake. He said he had filled out paperwork to formally change his vote.
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