2020 Legislative Session Updates
(Interested in the 2019 Session Recap? Click Here)
Our main goal this session continues to be reducing greenhouse gas emissions in order to increase climate resilience and transitioning to clean renewable energy economy.
Last session, the Clean Energy Transition Act passed along with bills requiring new residential buildings and appliances sold in the state be more energy efficient , which reduces energy use and greenhouse gas emissions:
Also, a bill prohibiting volatile Bakken crude oil train transfer or storage passed that ensures that Bakken oil is processed to remove volatility preventing risk of explosions. This bill passed but has been challenged in court by the State of North Dakota as violating the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution.
Click on Bill # for detailed information. See UPDATES below.
Bills the League Supports
HB 2248/ SB 6223 Expanding equitable access to benefits of renewable energy through community solar projects. Provides needed resources to enhance participation, and benefits lower income communities with community solar projects. HB 2248 had Hearing Jan. 16 in House Environment and Energy. HB 2248 scheduled for Executive session Feb. 4. SB 6223 Had Hearing Jan. 22, in Senate Environment, Energy & Technology. UPDATE: HB 2248 had hearing in House Appropriations Feb. 10; passed in Executive session 21-10 Feb. 11, and referred to House Rules 2 Review.
SHB 2287 Rail Safety. A joint transportation committee shall oversee a consultant study on rail safety governance best practices for Washington state, both for passenger and freight, and consider the national transportation safety board’s recommendations following the 2017 accident report. Bill addresses significant problem of train derailments that jeopardizes lives, and can cause fires and water pollution. Passed out of Executive Session on Jan. 22 (27-1) Referred to House Rules 2 review.UPDATE: SHB 2287 passed our of House 92 yeas, 4 nays, 0 absent, 2 excused on Feb. 12 and referred to Senate Transportation.
SB 5811 / HB 1999 Zero Emission Vehicles. Reducing emissions by changing the clean car standards and program. Authorizes the Department of Ecology (DOE) to adopt California zero emission vehicle program regulations. Expands the types of vehicles required to meet California standards to include medium duty vehicles. Gasoline cars are the single biggest source of carbon pollution in Washington. To make the big cuts in carbon we need, we must make the transition from fossil fuel cars to cleaner alternatives. SB 5811 Passed out of Senate Rules 26-23, referred to House Environment and Energy. UPDATE: Public hearing held Feb. 13 in House Environment and Energy. HB 1999 reintroduced and is in House Environment and Energy.
UPDATE:SSB 6135 System reliability under the Clean Energy Transformation Act (100%). Original bill required Department of Ecology submit a report regarding electrical grid reliability every four years. Public hearing held Jan. 21 in Senate Environment, Energy and Technology Committee and Executive session held Feb. 6: a Substitute bill passed unanimously and was referred to Senate Rules second reading. Substitute bill directs Department of Commerce, and the Utilities and Transportation Commission to convene a meeting of utilities and stakeholders every 12 months to discuss adequacy of energy resources to serve our electric needs, and specify needed changes.
SSB 6432 Concerning offshore oil extraction. Ensures protection of our valuable coastlines. Requires guidelines for the Shoreline Management Act master programs for shorelines of statewide significance to prohibit infrastructure for handling or transporting extracted gas and oil. Prohibits leasing tidal or submerged lands for oil or gas exploration, development or production. Public hearing Jan. 22 in Senate Environment, Energy and Technology and a substitute passed 9-3 in the Executive session: referred to Senate Rules second reading.
SJM 8018Concerning a federal nuclear waste repository. Requests Congress, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Energy establish and develop a permanent federal nuclear waste repository. We need a permanent solution for safe storage of high level nuclear wastes, which is being stored at Hanford and is a threat to the Columbia River. Public hearing held Jan. 28 in Senate Environment, Energy and Technology and Executive session Jan. 30, passing 14-0 and referred to Senate Rules second reading.
Bill the League is Watching
UPDATE:HB 2819 / SB 6578Designating pumped storage projects located near county bordering Columbia River to be projects of statewide significance. Bill specifically for a proposed project near Goldendale. Pumped storage is a mode of energy storage. Public hearing in House Environment and Energy Feb. 3 and Executive session Feb. 4 passing unanimously. SB 6578 had a public hearing Feb. 4 in the Senate Agriculture, Water, NR & Parks and an Executive session Feb. 6. Substitute bill passed 6-1 and referred to Rules for second reading. On Feb. 7 was referred to Rules 2 Review.
Bill the League Opposes That Did Not Survive Cut-off
HB 2667Relating to increasing housing access and affordability by decreasing construction costs associated with implementing the Washington state energy code for residential buildings. Delays 2018 residential energy code going into effect and decreases energy efficiency. Public hearing held in House Local Government Committee Jan. 29, Executive session scheduled for Feb. 7.
Click on the icon below to access the member-only section.
The League of Women Voters of Washington is a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization. The League of Women Voters of Washington Education Fund is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. LWVWA Education Fund contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowable by law. The League of Women Voters Education Fund does not endorse the contents of any web pages to which it links.