Climate Legislation

Carbon Tax Legislation

SB 6203 (aka. the Governor’s carbon tax bill) just passed out of committee. This is the first carbon tax bill to make it out of committee in the 2018 session. You can expect intense negotiations, but there is still time to contact your legislators.

It’s important we demonstrate strong support for carbon taxes, so legislators are compelled to act this session.

Contact your legislators

Here are names and contact information for legislators who voted on SB 6203 with a small script you can use.

  • If your senator voted “yes” in the committee hearing, please thank them.
  • If they voted “no” you can politely encourage them to vote “yes” on a carbon tax when it gets to the floor.

23rd District & Governor Contact Info
Governor Inslee:
Senator Christine Rolfes: Office: (360) 786-7644
Representative Drew Hansen:  Office: (360) 786-7842
Representative Sherry Appleton: Office: (360) 786-7934

There are three carbon tax bills in the senate. CarbonWA has put together a matrix so you can see the differences at a glance:

Climate Bills of Note

Two Bills Related to a Carbon Tax:

NOTE from CarbonWA: “Two other related bills worth noting: HB 2839 (Morris D-40th LD) and its companion SB 6424 (Carlyle) These bills are not exactly carbon taxes, but they would apply a $40/ton + 1.25%/year “shadow” carbon price to gas and electric utility decision and planning processes. This approach could produce some of the same effects as a carbon tax on regulated utilities. While not as impactful, it does start at a higher price than the carbon tax’s listed above making it an interesting complement to one of these true carbon taxes.”

Puget Sound Energy has pivoted and embraced some carbon pricing, and these bills have the support of IOUs (Investor Owned Utilities): SB 6424 and HB 2839.

SB 6424 – Sponsors Carlyle, Fain, Palumbo, Saldaña
In Committee.

HB 2839 – Sponsored by Representatives Morris, Slatter, Doglio, and Fitzgibbon

House Technology & Economic Development

Bill text

Brief Summary of Bill “carbon adder”

  • Requires electrical companies, gas companies, and the Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) to use a carbon planning adder when evaluating and selecting conservation policies, programs, and targets.
  • Authorizes the UTC to regulate an electrical or gas company under an alternative form of regulation.

HB 2338 Clean Fuel Standard
There is a public haring for HB 2338 – Clean Fuel Standard – on Monday Feb 5th in Olympia. It goes to the Transportation Committee next.

NOTE: Sierra Club supports this bill; it would finally undo the “poison pill” included by Senate Republicans in the 2015 transportation funding package. Sierra Club, Audubon, Climate Solutions, CarbonWA – everyone seems to like this bill.

HB 2402 Increases renewable energy requirement in EIA
Brief Description: Concerning the energy independence act.
Sponsors: Representatives Tarleton, Slatter, Macri, Pollet and Doglio.

NOTE: This bill made it out of committee today (2/1) but does not have support from republicans. While the timeline is more drawn out than we might like, is the only bill that is increasing the renewable energy requirement for large utilities. Right now the requirement caps out at 15% in 2020 and can be met with Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) instead of actually bringing more renewable energy online.

Brief Summary of Bill
•    Extends the requirement to pursue all available conservation that is cost-effective, reliable, and feasible under the Energy Independence Act (EIA) to small utilities and natural gas utilities.
•    Adds an additional annual renewable resource target under the EIA for consumer owned qualifying utilities of at least 15 percent of the average of their 2019 and 2020 loads beginning January 1, 2021, and each year thereafter.
•    Adds additional renewable resources targets under the EIA for investor-owned
•    qualifying utilities of: At least 20 percent of their load by January 1, 2025; at least 30 percent by January 1, 2030; at least 40 percent by 2035; and at least 50 percent by 2040.
•    Eliminates an alternative compliance pathway under the EIA.
•    Prohibits each consumer-owned qualifying utility, small utility, and market customer from meeting any new energy or capacity needs with certain generation resources.