Olympia Washington Rolls Out 11 Year Plan To Create A Carbon-Free Energy Sector
OLYMPIA, WASHINGTON - Saturday, April 13th 2019: Washington state joins New Mexico, Hawaii, California, and Puerto Rico in establishing a precedent for a 100% clean energy standard. The Bill passed through the state house 56-42, having already passed the Washington state senate earlier in April.
The bill asserts that Washington must address issues of climate change by establishing a clean energy economy at a faster pace than it already is. It continues by saying that most of Washington’s energy already comes from clean, renewable sources, and that fossil fuels and coal shall be completely phased out of grid options by 2025.
“On or before December 31, 2025, all electric utilities must eliminate from electric rates all costs associated with delivering electricity to Washington customers that is generated from a coal-fired resource.“ Only five years after this date Washington plans to be completely greenhouse-gas neutral, while simultaneously pushing to be carbon-free by 2045, something no state has yet achieved.
The Obvious Choice
While chances of The Green New Deal making any headway in congress seem slim, Olympia has made a bold statement of the power that individual states have to combat climate change. However most of the bill’s provisions would likely happen on their own, as jobs created by clean energy sources, which Washington has in abundance, outnumber jobs created by fossil fuels industries.
The bill acknowledges that utilities have a major role to play in achieving this legislation, and will receive regulatory tools and incentives to accomplish these firm goals as soon as possible.
Beginning on January 1st 2021 and recurring every two years, the Utilities and Transportation Commission owes a report reviewing the standards of implementation and planning of standards within the legislation including technologies, forecasts, existing transmission, environmental and public safety, affordability, and reliability.
In order to further increase accountability, a $60 tax per megawatt of energy produced on carbon-producing fuel source will be implemented at the start of 2027, with an even higher penalty to be permitted after the full ban goes into an effect of 2045.