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Sun Apr 21, 2019, 04:57 PM

A BIG DEAL: Washington To Pass a Groundbreaking 100% Clean Electricity Bill

Controlling the dynamics of climate change means controlling the source of climate change -- the human carbon footprint.

Governor Jay Inslee's administration is about to pass a bill -- SB 5116 -- that can restructure and shift utilities across this country and the entire planet. Key points of the plan are here, but the link provides the more detailed look at how this gets done.

SB 5116 is a clean energy bill, not a renewable energy bill.


The bill sets three targets for the state’s utilities, ramping up in stringency over time.

1. By 2025, they must completely get rid of coal power (it currently supplies about 14 percent of state electricity, most of it imported).



https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2019/4/18/18363292/washington-clean-energy-bill

By 2030, they must be 100 percent carbon-neutral. Eighty percent of their power must come from “nonemitting electric generation and electricity from renewable resources.”

This language is important because it leaves room for nuclear, natural gas with CCS, or other nonrenewable, non-carbon-emitting sources.

2. The other 20 percent of the obligation can be satisfied in one of three ways:

-- Renewable energy credits (RECs), i.e., vouchers certifying that someone else generated clean energy
-- An administrative penalty based on tons remaining uncovered (which effectively amounts to a $100 per ton carbon tax)
-- Energy Transformation Projects (ETPs)

3. Energy Transformation Projects are “projects that provide energy-related goods and services other than electricity generation. ETP's result in a reduction of fossil fuel consumption and a reduction of GHG emissions, while providing benefits utility customers.

They include such things as
-- electric car infrastructure,
-- weatherization,
-- renewable natural gas drawn from, for example, landfill or agricultural waste projects.

ETP's are what utilities can do to reduce their customers’ consumption of fossil fuels, but they haven’t traditionally had any way to get paid for them, so they lacked incentive. Now, if they partially decarbonize and are finding the last 20 percent difficult or expensive, they can meet their obligations with ETPs. It’s a clever way to incentivize such projects.

Energy experts agree that this plan's required level of self-generated clean electricity will rise steadily, until 2045, when all utilities must be self-generating 100 percent clean energy.

Washington’s energy bill includes some of the sexiest utility business model reforms of 2019.

To summarize, the business model reforms
-- the social costs of carbon,
-- makes sure that benefits are equitably distributed to all communities,
-- makes state funds, rather than federal funds, available for “energy assistance” to low-income households, which include not only bill reductions but weatherization, energy efficiency, and “direct customer ownership in distributed energy resources.”

And utilities don’t just have to establish these programs; they have to track data and performance, reporting to the Utilities and Transportation Commission every two years. The goal is to reach 60 percent of eligible customers by 2030 and 90 percent by 2050.

Washington plans to get the unions on board with project incentives with tax exemptions for projects that

-- procure contracts with women, minority, or veteran-owned businesses; with entities that have a history of complying with federal and state wage and hour laws and regulations; apprenticeship utilization; and preferred entry for workers living in the area where the project is being constructed.
-- compensate workers at prevailing wage rates determined by local collective bargaining
-- develop under a community workforce agreement or project labor agreement, as certified by the Department of Labor and industries.

Washington's SB 5116 aligns the interests of utilities, energy developers, and unions behind the project of equitable decarbonization. They all benefit from it. That makes them allies in the fight, rather than at loggerheads, as they have so often been in the past.

This reform ought to be a key piece of climate progress in every state.

And it’s a hell of a feather in the cap of Gov. Jay Inslee, who’s running for president on climate change.

Because, as Jay Inslee says, we eliminate the old school fossil energy lobbyists by making clean energy the space for preventing cascading climate change disasters which cost our taxpayers so much more than the upfront reform that prevents climate change in the first place.

Inslee can now truthfully say that his state is a model of cutting-edge climate policy.

Governor Inslee is a doer, not a talker.

Our grandchildren will thank him and the rest of us for voting for him.




GO, JAY!

3 replies, 857 views

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Reply A BIG DEAL: Washington To Pass a Groundbreaking 100% Clean Electricity Bill (Original post)
ancianita Apr 2019 OP
MaryMagdaline Apr 2019 #1
watrwefitinfor Apr 2019 #2
ancianita Apr 2019 #3

Response to ancianita (Original post)

Sun Apr 21, 2019, 05:09 PM

1. Go Inslee!

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Response to ancianita (Original post)

Mon Apr 22, 2019, 07:40 AM

2. K & R. This is so important. Please cross-post it to Democratic Primaries Forum.

Where it will get much needed views.

I am as excited as you about Inslee. Thanks for all you are doing to get his message out.

Maybe you could move the final comments to the top so it's visible to those who don't read through the whole long post?

And I didn't find the link you mentioned in the second paragraph.

Wat


Washington's SB 5116 aligns the interests of utilities, energy developers, and unions behind the project of equitable decarbonization. They all benefit from it. That makes them allies in the fight, rather than at loggerheads, as they have so often been in the past.

This reform ought to be a key piece of climate progress in every state.

And it’s a hell of a feather in the cap of Gov. Jay Inslee, who’s running for president on climate change.

Because, as Jay Inslee says, we eliminate the old school fossil energy lobbyists by making clean energy the space for preventing cascading climate change disasters which cost our taxpayers so much more than the upfront reform that prevents climate change in the first place.

Inslee can now truthfully say that his state is a model of cutting-edge climate policy.

Governor Inslee is a doer, not a talker.

Our grandchildren will thank him and the rest of us for voting for him.


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Response to watrwefitinfor (Reply #2)

Mon Apr 22, 2019, 10:07 AM

3. Thanks for the suggestion. I'll work on that.



Also, thanks for pointing out my posting error.

It was so much to condense here that I forgot to post the link.

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