November 27, 2019
We made great progress on environment and climate action in 2019, but much remains to be done if we are to meet our emission reduction goals. The most significant strategy for 2020 is to enact a clean fuel standard. I’ve heard from many of you that this is a priority – I will help champion this cause, as requested!
Nearly 50 percent of our state’s greenhouse gas emissions are from the transportation sector. This policy addresses the source of that pollution by directing the Department of Ecology to adopt a rule establishing a Clean Fuel Program. It would improve our state’s air quality and provide economic benefits to our state’s communities by increasing demand for zero emission transportation solutions and locally produced biofuels. California, Oregon and British Columbia already have this in place.
Buy Clean – Buy Fair
During my first session as a legislator, I introduced the Buy Clean bill. To “Buy Clean” means to spend Washington taxpayer money in a way that helps cut the pollution that causes climate change. It means that suppliers’ emissions performance will be considered when an agency is contracting to buy materials (think steel, glass, wood, and concrete) for infrastructure projects. It didn’t pass in 2017, so we’ve been hard at work, retrofitting the language for success! Stay tuned!
I’ve been a solar advocate for as long as I can remember. This year, the team at Olympia Community Solar approached me to sponsor… you guessed it… a community solar bill. This legislation would open the renewable-energy doors a little wider for community solar projects, with the goal of providing equitable access to low and middle-income households by adding funding to the renewable energy production incentive program for those projects. We’re still in the drafting phase, but I’m eager and excited to lead the charge on this important effort in 2020.
Food Labeling bill
According to the NRDC and the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic, the waste of edible food by consumers, retailers, and manufacturers posts a significant burden to the American food system. It also costs consumers and industries millions of dollars and represents a missed opportunity to feed the millions of food-insecure households in the United States. We started to address this last year by passing significant Food Waste legislation. We’re continuing the work this year with a Food Labeling bill. Confusion about and misinterpretation of the date labels on foods is a key factor leading to this waste. By standardizing and clarifying the food date labeling system, we’ll build on our successes from this year to further reduce both hunger and food waste.