Gov. Jay Inslee sets carbon cap

Source: By Nicholas Deshais, Spokane Spokesman • Posted: Monday, August 3, 2015

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) directed state regulators to tighten carbon emissions restrictions yesterday, avoiding a provision in the state budget that could have cut funding to other priorities.

Inslee had pushed for broader changes, but state lawmakers declined to enact them.

Under the action, the Department of Ecology will be tasked with developing a regulatory cap on carbon emissions using existing legal authority. Polluters will not be charged for emissions or be able to trade emissions credits through a centralized marketplace.

Lawmakers previously inserted a provision in the state transportation budget that would eliminate non-automotive transportation spending if Inslee used executive action to implement changes in the state’s fuel standards to require greater use of biofuels.

As a result, Inslee decided not to change the state fuel standard.

“This is not the comprehensive approach we could have had with legislative action,” Inslee said. “But Senate Republicans and the oil industry have made it clear that they will not accede to any meaningful action on carbon pollution, so I will use my authority under the state Clean Air Act to take these meaningful first steps”