Many details are still emerging, but two important pieces of the new state budget deal show progress for climate action. Last year, Governor Inslee’s administration adopted the Clean Air Rule to lower harmful climate pollution. The new two-year budget deal released today provides funding to implement the rule and reduce pollution tied to climate change from major state emitters.
A tax loophole benefiting out-of-state oil companies was also closed in the deal. The tax loophole was created in the 1940s for wood biomass fuels and not originally intended for oil companies. Over time, oil companies became the primary beneficiary of the tax loophole. Closing the loophole provides an estimated $30.1 million to state coffers this budget cycle and $70.8 million total over the next four years.
“After years of working on these two important issues, it’s encouraging to see the legislature act on these common sense measures,” said Joan Crooks, CEO of Washington Environmental Council and Washington Conservation Voters. “We are learning more about budget details including a troubling tax break for fossil fuels at the TransAlta coal plant. But Clean Air Rule funding and the Big Oil Loophole closure are two bright spots in this budget that are good for the people of Washington.”
General Inquiries: Nick Abraham, 425-761-9368
Climate Change: Clifford Traisman, 206-369-2235
State Budget and Environmental Priorities: Darcy Nonemacher, 206-817-2402