Wash. starts legislative process to reduce carbon emissions
The order also calls for an interagency process aimed at reducing and eventually eliminating the use of coal for electric generation in Washington state. “Coal-generated electricity accounts for most of Washington’s electricity-related carbon emissions,” the governor’s office said in a statement.
It also tasked the state’s Department of Transportation to lead other agencies and local governments in promoting the electrification of Washington’s transportation system and encouraging the deployment of lower-emissions transit options.
The Washington executive order comes as states are preparing for the June release of U.S. EPA’s proposal to curb greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants. States will take the lead in implementing the rule and have asked EPA to afford them the flexibility to comply through existing carbon and renewable energy programs.
The nine Northeastern states that are members of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative are promoting their cap-and-trade program as a “plug-and-play” option, reaching out to other states that might join the compact. Washington and Oregon are seen to be among the most likely candidates to join RGGI or to establish a regional trading program themselves.