By Michael Bastasch for The Daily Caller
Washington Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee is not waiting for the state legislature to regulate carbon dioxide emissions, but instead has issued an executive order to implement a cap-and-trade program, eliminate coal power and fund green energy projects.
“This is the right time to act, the right place to act and we are the right people to act,” Inslee said. “We will engage the right people, consider the right options, ask the right questions and come to the right answers — answers that work for Washington.”
Inlsee argues that more action is needed if the state is to meet climate goals passed by the legislature in 2008. Those goals call for the state to lower its carbon dioxide emissions by certain amounts by 2020.
The governor’s office is now imposing a cap-and-trade system to lower carbon dioxide emissions in order to meet state goals. Inslee has created a “Carbon Emissions Reduction Task Force” to design the state’s carbon trading system. The task force held its first meeting on Tuesday and will give its final recommendations to the governor in November.
“In Washington and across the nation, we’ve already begun to see the harm caused by climate change,” said Rod Brown, a member of the Cascadia Law Group and co-chair of the task force. “By acting now, we can protect Washingtonians while at the same time offering all of us the economic opportunities we see emerging in the clean energy economy.”
The executive order also requires state regulators to work with utilities to ban coal as a source of electricity in the state. Inslee has also ordered the creation of a “clean fuel standard” to reduce emissions from cars, trucks and other vehicles.