Right Now in Energy
(Interested in the 2020 Session Recap? Click Here)
As the Legislature deals with restoring normal function to the economy and government operations, attention will focus there. Nevertheless, opportunities exist to drive recovery with investment on clean energy to achieve the carbon neutrality objectives set by legislation in recent sessions. A proposed Washington Strong green bond program could encourage recovery investment focusing on expanding clean energy sources and increasing energy efficiency. Because climate-focused legislation may include energy implications, also see the Climate Issue page.
Just released was the Washington 2021 State Energy Strategy by the Department of Commerce, an update to previous state energy strategies as required by legislative action. The strategy focuses on achieving decarbonization of our energy sources including transportation, electricity, buildings, and industry to achieve the objectives of the Clean Energy Transformation Act. Legislation this session and future sessions will begin implementing the strategy.
Bills We Support
HB 1046—Requires a program for the procurement of electricity from community solar projects by investor-owned utilities.. This bill enables community solar projects can sell power to private utility companies and credit solar program participants. A similar bill (ESHB 2248) passed both chambers in 2020, but the governor declined to sign anticipating the challenges of the pandemic.
STATUS UPDATE: A hearing was held on 1/12 in the House Committee on Environment & Energy.
SB 5000—Creating a hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle pilot sales and use tax exemption program. This bill is written to encourage purchase of such vehicles. Washington has the potential to use some our green electricity to generate green hydrogen fuel, a fuel attractive in vehicles requiring longer range and other features and a medium of energy storage when our generation capacity exceeds our demand. We must ensure that we encourage viability for all alternative fuel vehicles commensurate with their potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the near and long term.
STATUS UPDATE: The bill is scheduled for a vote in the Senate Committee on Environment, Energy & Technology on 1/21 at 10:30 AM.
The Climate Change page lists other bills related to energy.
Issues from Previous Legislative Session
How You Can Be Involved