Climate & Clean Energy
WEC has adopted a Climate and Clean Energy Agenda, a long‐term commitment to move the dial on state policy to reduce emissions, use energy efficiently, transition to clean energy, set limits on global warming pollution.
These drive a clean energy future and make sure the Northwest does not become a superhighway for coal and oil exports. WEC partners closely with Climate Solutions and Sightline Institute in this work.
Orienting our policy work around long-term agendas recognizes that making progress on some of our biggest environmental challenges and opportunities requires political will that does not exist today. The failure of the U.S. Senate to pass a comprehensive climate bill and our own experience in working to move comprehensive climate legislation through the state legislature has helped shape this conviction.
To get to the goals laid out in our agenda, we will employ a variety of tactics – from legislation, to policymaking, to ballot measures, to legal action. All this work will be aimed at getting us to long-term outcomes that include:
- Washington meets or exceeds its 2020 emission reduction commitments and those commitments are updated to reflect best science.
- Washington, through state actions and regional partnerships, has helped achieve an economy-wide cap on carbon that drives emissions reductions.
- A majority of voter and key societal institutions support limiting carbon emissions and investing in the transition to clean, efficient energy as economically beneficial.
We know that the art of change is about threading the needle with a string of incremental steps that ultimately make transformational policies possible. We also know that we must be ready to take advantage of windows in time when big shifts suddenly become possible. And we know that changing hearts and minds—with old-fashioned organizing and new-fangled tools—will be key to our success and will require a systematic approach.
Our Agenda will be built around four key elements:
- Stop Coal and Oil Export. We will work to prevent expansion of coal and oil export facilities through Northwest communities.
- Use Energy Efficiently. We will work to remove barriers and provide incentives for the efficient use of energy, especially in buildings. We will pursue policies that make energy efficiency the most profitable source of new energy.
- Transition to Clean Energy. We will work to increase economically-smart renewable energy development in Washington, and increase the use of renewable energy relative to fossil fuels.
- Limit Carbon Pollution. We work at the state and regional levels to limit greenhouse gas emissions, keeping pressure on the federal government to act.
We are excited to renew our commitment to achieving real progress for climate protection and clean energy, more strategically and with deeper partnerships.
- Advancing comprehensive climate policy that ensures polluters pay for their carbon pollution, as part of a West Coast alliance with California, Oregon, and British Columbia.
- Building support for a Clean Fuels Standard to deliver lower- carbon transportation fuels for Washington.
- Working to transition Washington off imported coal-fired electricity and replace it with homegrown renewable energy.
- Supporting climate action by engaging strong, diverse voices as part of the Climate Legislative and Executive Workgroup created by 2013 Priority legislation.
- Reducing climate pollution from oil refineries.
- Closing an “accidental” tax loophole for out-of-state oil companies.
- Defending I-937, the Clean Energy Initiative.