A few weeks ago, I mentioned that Washington was the West Coast’s weakest link when it comes to climate policy. Since then, the Evergreen state has stepped up with the outline of a plan to put a sizeable dent in emissions. (That’s in addition to some small-caliber but near-term policies). This was such great news that I was tempted to change my handicapping.
But then I read the papers yesterday…
- The Vancouver Sunreported that British Columbia’s right-of-center premier has plans to develop a climate policy that may be explicitly modeled on California’s, the most aggressive in North America.
- The Oregonianreported that the governor said he wants his legacy to be defined by making Oregon the clean energy capitol of the nation.
- And the Seattle Timeseditorialized in praise of Washington’s go-slow approach to climate policy that will “study new options for at least a year.” The piece also warns against forbidding giant new coal plants, and offers helpful bromides like: “Legislation and public policy have to mature along with climate science and our understanding of the threat.” Oy.
On the one hand, I want to give a major shout out to Washington’s leaders who are serious about big emissions reductions.
On the other hand, I just want to shout. It’s important to get things right, but Washington does not need a road map to devise a framework for task force recommendations to be implemented by a study group with the guidance of a stakeholder action plan that may eventually do something about greenhouse gases.
We need action now. We need our leadership to stake out a clearer commitment to cap and trade in the near future.
And we need to catch up with our neighbors.
It simply takes waaay longer to get things done in WA, Eric.