This week the Department of Ecology will hold public comment hearings on the Draft Clean Air Rule, a regulation on large greenhouse gas polluters such as oil producers, importers, and distributors, natural gas distributors, and certain industrial plants operating within Washington State. The rule would require those covered to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 1.7% every year until 2035 or buy equivalent emissions reductions from other polluters covered by the rule, GHG emissions reduction projects in Washington, or from out-of-state emissions carbon markets.
This week, advocates from organizations represented on the Front and Centered Steering Committee will participate in hearings in Olympia (June 16th, 6pm), Spokane (June 12th, 6pm), online via webinar (July 7th and 15th) and through written comments. You are invited to participate, find out more.
Front and Centered members are supportive of the Governor’s decision to take action to cut carbon pollution. We met with the Department of Ecology to bring the interests of communities disproportionately impacted to the forefront, and to advocate that the action taken through rule-making is both effective and equitable. The Draft Rule issued in June 2016 includes elements related to disproportionate impacts, such as a reduction in polluter’s ability to use out-of-state carbon markets for compliance and an environmental justice advisory committee with the ability to allocate specific environmental justice reserve credits.
Our member’s advocacy focuses on what their communities need to benefit from the Clean Air Rule and the Principles for Climate Justice. This includes:
- Explicitly defining and creating protections for communities disproportionately impacted by fossil fuel pollution, climate change and existing racial and economic disparities.
- Strengthening the target and pace of emissions reductions and addressing exemptions and reserve rules that would allow pollution to increase in communities disproportionately impacted.
- Empowering the Environmental Justice Advisory Committee, with direct representation from most affected communities, to monitor and ensure accountability for environmental justice.
- Requiring that compliance includes emissions reductions targeted for disproportionately impacted communities.
- Making environmental justice a priority for the emissions reserve and people with lower incomes and people of color a priority for clean energy credits.
Join us in asking the Department of Ecology to make climate justice front and centered in the Clean Air Rule!
Creative Commons Photo Credit: EcologyWA