By John Stang, crosscut.com
Gov. Jay Inslee wants a climate change panel to consider a cap-and-trade program on industrial emissions and a carbon tax to be sent to the Washington Legislature as recommendations.
Meanwhile, the panel’s two Republican members want the economic costs of any climate change-related proposals researched before any are adopted.
The panel met Monday in Olympia with each of its five members — Inslee, two Republican legislators and two Democratic legislators — saying what he or she wants explored more. “My concerns is that we go forward without determining the costs to the the people of Washington state of going forward,” said panelist Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale.
“We’re going to look for the single most cost-effective way of doing this,” Inslee said.
Inslee wants the upcoming recommendations to come with the best available estimates of how much carbon emissions each will trim from the state’s long-range greenhouse-gas picture. That is to ensure that the panel’ meets the goals set by a 2008 law.
In 2008, Washington’s Legislature set a goal of reducing the state’s greenhouse emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, with further trimming of emissions to 25 percent below Washington’s 1990 level by 2035 and to 50 percent below by 2050. So far, nothing has happened. Early this year, Inslee successfully lobbied the Legislature to set up a task force to map out how those goals can be reached. The task force is supposed to have recommendations for the state Legislature by Dec. 31.
“Failure is not an option to meeting these legislatively mandated goals,” Inslee said.