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Washington lawmakers last week passed legislation adopting a “cap-and-invest” system. Once it’s signed into law, it would cover three-quarters of greenhouse gas emissions in the state, including those from the power sector.
The bill, which is headed to the desk of Gov. Jay Inslee, D, also “enacts arguably the strongest environmental justice policy in the nation, obligating us to improve air quality for overburdened communities that have to live daily with air pollution from emissions,” Inslee said in public remarks.
Electric utilities in Washington already are required to completely decarbonize their energy resources by 2045. “What the cap-and-invest program does is help unlock even more ambition, even more reductions from the power sector by creating an incentive for further decarbonization,” said Pam Kiely, associate vice president, U.S. climate, at the Environmental Defense Fund.