Wow. This legislative session has been one of the most significant for the environment in decades! Thanks to the advocacy of members like you, the leadership of legislators, and our community partners, we made it clear that the environment was a priority this session.
From climate action to orca recovery, we accomplished so much together. Take a moment to thank your legislator for all of their hard work this session!
This session, we worked to reduce carbon pollution through policies that focused on electricity generation, efficient buildings and clean fuels. Several significant climate action bills passed, including the strongest 100% clean energy bill in the country!
- 100% Clean Electricity will transition our state’s energy to clean sources by 2045. This bill includes incentives designed to create living wage jobs and local hiring, and requirements for utilities to support low-income households and ratepayers.
- Clean Buildings creates energy efficiency standards for large commercial buildings, which account for roughly 20% of state carbon emissions.
- The Solar Fairness Act allows homeowners to fully benefit from solar energy they generate.
- Electric Vehicle Infrastructure authorizes utilities to plan for and build needed infrastructure to advance the use of electric vehicles.
- Appliance Efficiency Standards will be integrated into utility programs to reduce energy and water use.
- The Super Pollutants Ban phases out hydrofluorocarbons, a highly potent greenhouse gas mostly used in industrial refrigeration equipment.
Puget Sound & Orca Recovery
The Legislature passed all four major bills that, as a package, address several critical needs of our Southern Resident orcas.
- Habitat Protection will support Chinook salmon and forage fish populations by protecting shorelines and reducing invasive predatory species.
- Oil Spill Prevention will require vessels carrying crude oil such as barges and smaller oil tankers to be escorted by a tug around the San Juan Islands.
- The Vessel Noise and Disturbance bill increases the vessel buffer zone, reduces speed around orcas, and institutes commercial whale watch licensing and fees.
- Toxic Pollution Reduction addresses classes of chemicals that impact vulnerable populations like kids and sensitive species like orcas.
Wins for the Environment
In addition, a landmark law was passed requiring polluters like Big Oil to pay their fair share to clean up toxic sites, prevent and reduce pollution, and support local communities. And the budget creates a task force to take a look at health disparities and vulnerable communities statewide, holding ourselves accountable to reduce pollution and harm to those most impacted.
This new class of legislators has brought increased energy and leadership to environmental protection, as they teamed up with veteran environmental champions.
Together, we didn’t just make incremental progress this session – we shaped the vision for Washington’s future!