Environment
Climate Crisis and Energy

The League believes that our nation and planet are facing a serious climate crisis, and therefore supports climate goals and policies that are consistent with the best available climate science and that will ensure a stable climate and environment for future generations.


Issue Team Chair: Martin Gibbins, mgibbins@lwvwa.org(425) 361-5007
 DOWNLOAD the Climate Change and Energy Issue Paper
Interested in getting involved with this topic? Click here! 


Bill Tracking

Weekly Reports


Bill Descriptions


Get Involved

Overview

The League of Women Voters of Washington believes that climate change is a serious crisis facing our nation and planet. Although solutions must align globally, state and local Leagues, and individual League members have a critical role to play in helping to limit future climate change and protect the planet. Optimum response requires crafting actions to local conditions and opportunities. We have seen that nations and world bodies have been slow to respond. Individuals, communities, and governments must continue to address the climate crisis and show leadership, while considering the ramifications of their decisions at all levels. The League supports climate goals and policies that are consistent with the best available climate science and that will ensure a stable climate and environment for future generations.

During the 2023 session we will focus on legislation that:

  • Implements the Climate Commitment Act (CCA) and commits investments from the generated revenue stream with an emphasis on reducing pollution burdens in front-line communities.
  • Strengthens regulations that ensures new buildings incorporate energy efficiency details, and to incentivize retrofits of older buildings to use energy efficiency options.
  • Prepares for the weather changes and instabilities now inevitable with the 1.2° C (2.2° F) rise in global temperatures through adjustments to the Growth Management Act and actions to protect the most vulnerable of our residents.

Bill Tracking

Senate Bills Senate House After Passage
Bill # Bill Name (Brief Title) League Position Take Action In Committee On Floor Calendar Passed  In Committee On Floor Calendar Passed  Passed Legislature On Governor's Desk Signed
SB 5037 Preventing the Energy Code from prohibiting the use of natural gas in buildings. Opposes










SB 5093 Integrated Climate response strategy updates for climate resilience. (companion to HB 1170) Supports
x








SB 5165 Improving electric power system transmission planning (companion to HB 1192). Supports

x








SB 5391 Modeling, measurement, and reporting embodied carbon emission reductions Watch

x








House Bills House Senate After Passage
Bill # Bill Name (Brief Title) League Position Take Action In Committee On Floor Calendar Passed  In Committee On Floor Calendar Passed  Passed Legislature On Governor's Desk Signed
HB1012 Creating an extreme weather response grant program. Supports
x








HB 1117 Assessing the risk of rolling blackouts and power supply inadequacy events. Opposes

x








HB 1170 Integrated Climate Response Strategy updates for climate resilience. (companion to SB 5093) Supports
x








HB 1176 Creating a Washington Climate Corps. Supports
x








HB 1192

Improving electric power system transmission planning (companion to SB 5165).

Supports
x








HB 1391

Increasing energy efficiency in buildings for overburdened and low-income communities.

Supports x








HB 1427

On-premises electrical energy generation.

Supports x









Weekly Reports

These weekly updates will provide you with a "deep dive" into the progress of each bill, along with more analysis of the potential impact of the bill if it should pass. 


Bill Descriptions

HB 1012 Creating an extreme weather response grant program. The legislature recognizes the increasing risks and threats to socially vulnerable people (including pets) from extreme weather events such as heat, cold, smoke, and flooding. This bill will provide funding for communities with a demonstrated lack of resources, to meet the costs of responding to community needs during such periods for cities, counties, towns, and tribes that have emergency management organizations.

HB 1117 Assessing the risk of rolling blackouts and power supply inadequacy events. This bill focuses on risks of renewable energy to be a reliable source of electricity. But many events have demonstrated risk of disrupting primary electricity sources such as internet hacking, sabotage of substations, and weather events. Several periodic assessments of our electricity system already assess such risks comprehensively.   

HB 1170 / SB 5093 Integrated Climate Response Strategy updates for climate resilience. The current Climate Response Strategy was completed in 2012, so is due for an update. This bill will increase the focus on climate justice considerations. Unfortunately, references to science are lacking in the current language, so we have urged amending the text to  “seek assistance from qualified nonpartisan and independent scientific experts and sources” and use “the best available and independent science.”

HB 1176 Creating a Washington Climate Corps. Project to create climate-related service opportunities for young adults and displaced workers, to build low-carbon and climate-resilient communities and ecosystems while providing education, workforce development, and new career pathways. The board would conduct a study of the feasibility of a program to preserve income and benefits for workers close to retirement who face job loss or career transition because of energy technology sector changes.

HB 1192 / SB 5165 Improving electric power system transmission planning. Washington’s Clean Energy Transformation Act requires a transition away from fossil fuel sources to clean and renewable sources. Dispersion of these sources will require additional transmission capacity and may also improve resiliency as power sources and power movement will enjoy additional options. Also, some key sources of renewable energy are farther away. To obtain the additional transmission infrastructure will require comprehensive forecasting, planning and efficient permitting. 

HB 1018/SB5030 Adds ten years to the tax exemption for hog fuel used for electricity, steam, heat or biofuel. This bill is tracked in the Forests issue.

HB 1216/SB 5380 Clean energy siting. Streamlines the permitting process for Clean Energy Projects of Statewide Significance (CEPSS). 

HB 1390 Decarbonization planning for state-owned district energy systems. Requires specifically defined groups of state-owned buildings using district heating or cooling to develop decarbonization plans. District energy systems are buildings connected with pipes, etc. to share heating and cooling resources. The bill defines certain exemptions.  

HB 1391 Increasing energy efficiency in buildings. Defines grants and processes for overburdened and low-income communities to retrofit buildings with energy efficiency appliances, insulation, repairs, indoor air quality improvements, and health and safety improvements. Funding optimized from the Climate Commitment Act and Federal Inflation Reduction Act. This is a climate justice focus. 

HB 1427 On-premises electrical energy generation. Enables customers of private electric utilities get credits for renewable electricity they generate up to 200 kilowatts (net metering). Stipulations define end dates, monitoring, forecasts, and limitations to ensure the results are equitable for everyone. 

HB 1433 Energy labeling of residential buildings: Home Energy Score. 

SB 5037 Preventing the Energy Code from prohibiting the use of natural gas in buildings. Problem: Methane is not safe. Using this fossil fuel in buildings for space heating, water heating, and cooking has been shown to expose residents to pollutants from leakage and combustion products. Delaying the energy code updates will expose more people, including children, expand the related infrastructure making future retrofits more costly, and lead to degraded health for this population. As written, we will oppose this bill.

SB 5057 Delaying the building performance standards by two years, and creating a work group on their financial impacts and building efficiency policy. Delaying implementation of building codes and standards for multi-family housing will enable construction of more buildings with fossil-fuel infrastructure assets increasing future costs and barriers when electrification retrofits are desired. Studies of the economics may improve building code revisions, but that should not delay our investments in clean energy.

SB 5129 Planning for advanced nuclear reactor technology in Washington. 

SB 5391 Modeling, measurement, and reporting embodied carbon emission reductions from structural building products in state-funded projects. Embodied carbon in buildings is the carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases released during the manufacture of building materials and the construction of the building. The objective of this bill is to enable accurate analysis of the embodied carbon in state funded building projects and encourage builders to minimize this feature.

How To Be Involved
  • If your available time permits you to do nothing else, please scan the Legislative Newsletter each week and respond to the Action Alerts.
  • If you have more time and are interested in a particular topic, we always appreciate and can use your assessments of bills, law implementation, and future concerns. For climate and energy topics send your assessments of a few paragraphs to a few pages and include the sources of the facts you rely on.
  • If you want to engage more in a current topic such as improving building codes, reducing solid waste pollution, or encouraging salmon recovery, one of our coalition partners probably has a focused action project underway that you can join. Contact me to discuss opportunities, Martin Gibbins, mgibbins@lwvwa.org.

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.

League of Women Voters of the United States

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