Climate & Health in the 2018 Legislative Session

2018 is shaping up to be a year of climate action in Washington State. The legislative session is underway, and a number of powerful bills aimed at reducing health-harming greenhouse gas emissions and moving us towards a renewable energy future are getting major attention.
Our Climate & Health Task Force works to confront climate change as the biggest public health threat of our time. A number of issues we advocate for, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening oil transport safety, and putting a price on carbon pollution, are the focus of legislation in Olympia during this short legislative session. 

We hope you’ll join us in contacting your legislators to support climate action using health-based advocacy. Below are some policies we are watching. For more information or tips on advocacy, please contact Sarah Cornett at sarah@wpsr.org.

If you want to contact your legislators, you can find their contact information here: http://app.leg.wa.gov/districtfinder/.

Protecting Washington from the Risks of Oil Transport

As an active member of the Stand Up to Oil coalition, we work to keep our communities safe from the health and safety risks of oil moving through our state. A bill moving through the Senate, SB 6269, takes crucial steps to reduce risks of oil spill from trains, vessels, and pipelines. This policy addresses an urgent funding gap in prevention and inspection, and ensures that Washington stays on top of the evolving risks of oil transport.

Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Transportation

Transportation fuels are responsible for nearly half of our climate pollution in Washington. A Low Carbon Fuel Standard bill, HB 2338, takes important steps to reduce the carbon intensity of these fuels. Refineries would reduce the emission-generating components of their fuels, and could comply by reducing emissions associated with refining and purchasing credits from utilities. California and Oregon already have similar laws on the books.

Putting a Price on Carbon Pollution

Alongside our partners in the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy, we're working to put a price on carbon pollution in Washington this year. A bill introduced by Sen. Reuven Carlyle at the request of Gov. Inslee, SB 6203, taxes emissions starting at $20/ton beginning in 2019. It directs revenue towards clean energy investments, forest health and water quality, and a fund for transition assistance. We are joining our Alliance partners in hoping that this bill can contain stronger principles on equity and support for those most impact by climate change: communities of color and workers. We're gearing up to pass a similar policy with the Alliance as a ballot initiative in November and hope you'll join us in this crucial effort! 

Members of the WPSR Climate & Health Task Force in Olympia in the third week of the 2018 legislative session. 

Members of the WPSR Climate & Health Task Force in Olympia in the third week of the 2018 legislative session.