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Clean Energy Transition Act Hearing (updated with videos)

On March 14, the Washington State House of Representatives Environment Committee held a hearing on House Bill 1646, the most equitable and effective climate policy considered by the legislature to date. With the new head of the EPA denying climate change and the head of the EPA’s environmental justice program resigning, it’s more important than ever our state lawmakers take action on climate justice.

The “Clean Energy Transition Act,” as it’s known (HB 1646), builds on the policy framework developed by the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy, which Front and Centered members helped form and continue to steer, alongside labor groups, environment and energy organizations, health and families advocates, and more.

We support this Act because this is what our communities require. We know this, because we drafted our policy through listening to communities and through never straying from our Principles for Climate Justice. We also know this bill is not the only carbon pricing policy being discussed in Olympia. To that end, we are reiterating what we find essential to HB 1646 and what any carbon pricing policy must demonstrate:

Major Polluters Pay for their Pollution and Carbon Emissions Reductions Meet Our Obligations

  • Paying means not allowing trading schemes and offsets that let major polluters off the hook.
  • Most emissions in Washington are covered, with protections for disproportionately affected jobs.
  • Climate investments grow over time until we meet our global responsibility for reducing emissions.

Carbon Revenues Support Communities Disproportionately Impacted

  • First, a minimum of 10% of carbon revenues are available in new cash rebates to low-income households,* and additional fund are available to support directly affected workers.
  • Second, at least 35% of carbon revenues are invested in new pollution reduction and climate protection projects directly in or benefiting disproportionately impacted communities.*
    *As defined in HB 1646

Disproportionately Impacted Communities Oversee How the Policy Affects Us

  • Communities disproportionately impacted by fossil fuel pollution and climate change have direct policy oversight, including decision-making on investments in our communities.
  • Progress on emissions reductions and climate protection, including impacts on disproportionately impacted communities, are monitored and regularly reported on in collaboration with in the community.

Watch testimony from the Front and Centered Steering Committee