26 Feb 2009, 4:54pm
Latest Climate News
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Committee guts Gregoire’s emissions-cap plan

By Phuong Le, Seattle Times, Feb 24, 2009 [here]

Gov. Chris Gregoire’s proposal to regulate the emission of greenhouse gases linked to global warming is facing serious challenges in the Legislature.

The Senate Committee on Environment, Water and Energy today passed a version that gutted the heart of the plan by making it voluntary for businesses to participate.

The governor’s proposal would require major industries, from Boeing to Kimberly-Clark, to limit the greenhouse gases they emit, starting in 2012. The plan would create a regional market to let polluters buy and trade pollution credits.

The goal is to reduce overall carbon dioxide and other emissions in the state to 1990 levels by 2020, and to half that level by 2050. The state adopted those targets in 2008.

The Senate bill is significantly different from the governor’s plan. It asks the state Department of Ecology to design voluntary emission targets and a voluntary emissions reduction registry and report back to the Legislature.

“It’s a work in progress,” Ecology Director Jay Manning said Tuesday, adding he was pleased the legislation was still alive. He said the state would work with the Legislature to find a proposal both could support. …

Businesses have fiercely opposed Gregoire’s plan, saying it would put them at a disadvantage in an already slumping economy. …[more]



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