The Climate Legislative and Executive Workgoup (CLEW), composed of Washington Governor Jay Inslee and 4 state legislators (2 D’s and 2 R’s), are struggling to find a common vision for actions that address the state’s goals for carbon reduction. Governor Inslee seemingly surprised the Republican members of CLEW by recently calling the question on support for a series of climate action steps, most noticeably a cap and trade system for the state.
Governor Inslee said, “My view is that our committee ought to recommend to the Legislature first that we do take action, because that is our statutory obligation, that inaction is not an option, and that the Legislature should act. That is an important statement. It should act, because if we fail to act, we fail to meet our targets.”
Republican Representative Short responded, “I think for us to have little discussion on the economy, governor, and then to come forward and ask what policies you are going to support is a little disingenuous.”
Hopes for a grand bargain do not appear to be good. The CLEW did ask for public comment at an open meeting on December 13th. A lottery system had to be deployed to pick those who got 2 minutes to provide comments and ideas. Though NEEC was not a lottery winner (next time we will go with 1-3-7-11-13-17), we did submit an idea best characterized as a “small ball” carbon reduction idea. When political gridlock dead ends grand bargains, perhaps a series of small but effective ideas can sum to something more significant. To see, NEEC’s small ball suggestion, look at our letter below.