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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Olympia

Of coal and Kool-Aid…

There was one final flurry of debate yesterday on SB 6001, a measure aimed at curtailing Washington's contributions to greenhouse gases. (This is a bill that drew no less than 45 attempted amendments this year.)

The bill was back in the Senate for a final stop before heading to Gov. Chris Gregoire's desk. It passed 37-10, but not without some heated protests by several Republicans unhappy with what the bill's supporters see as a key plus:

"This is a big step forward to closing the door to pulverized coal," explained proponent Sen. Erik Poulsen, D-Seattle. The changes in the bill, he said, will encourage power companies to build new plants "clean, not just cheap."

Responded Sen. Mike Carrell, R-Lakewood: "We are the Saudi Arabia of coal."

Ignoring that resource, Sen. Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville said, will only drive up up people's power costs needlessly here, while China continues to build polluting power plants.

Some critics of the bill disagree with the widespread conclusion that human activities are playing a key role in global warming.

"I'm not going to drink the Kool-Aid," announced Sen. Jerome Delvin, R-Richland. "...The earth changes naturally, and I think it's very arrogant of man to say we can affect climate change."

"I don't think we're drinking the Kool-Aid," responded Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown, D-Spokane. "I think that we are leading the nation in a time of a bit of a vacuum at the national level on this issue."

Short takes and breaking news from the Washington Legislature and the state capital.