2020 Session

2020 Session

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Last year was a big year for climate legislation in Washington State. Civic Action Team members stepped up, making 4,200 contacts with legislators by phone and email! Want to help move climate bills this year? Sign up. Or use the “Comment on This Bill” button on any of the bill pages we link to below.

Here are the bills we’re tracking this year:

 

January Update

 

Declaring a Climate Emergency
HB 2829 Unequivocally gives the Governor the power to declare a climate emergency and take action, and requires that the legislature sign off on the actions the Governor proposes.

Emission reductions

Greenhouse Gas Limits
HB 2311 and SB 6272 Recalibrates state GHG reduction targets to be consistent with the latest IPCC science, reducing emissions by 45% from 2010 levels by 2030 and achieving net zero emissions by 2050. Steeper cuts are needed.

Comprehensive Measurements
HB 2472 Formalizes Executive Order 19-18, directing the Department of Ecology to formulate upstream and downstream emissions, including induced demand, for projects generating over 10K tons of GHG emissions.

Natural Gas Transmission
HB 2518 Incentivizes gas utilities to find and fix leaks. Our concern: Local jurisdictions aren’t equipped to evaluate capacity upgrades masquerading as repairs.

Cap and Invest
We’re hearing that last year’s SB 5981, which introduced a cap and trade system to put a price on carbon emissions, is seen as a way to fill the funding gap left by I-976. Sorry, but we’re opposed to cap and trade. Here’s why.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions
HB 2892 and SB 6628 Responding to a recent state Supreme Court decision, these bills update the state Clean Air Rule to cover distributors of fossil fuels as well as producers.

 

Transportation

Transportation for All
HB 2688 and SB 6398 Modifies state transportation goals to include reducing climate pollution and moving people more equitably. Future spending, as well as cuts, must be taken with those goals in mind.

Electrification of Transportation
HB 2515 Ends the licensing of internal combustion engines in 2030. It’s about time, right?

Zero Emission Vehicles
SB 5811 adopts California’s emission standards for passenger cars and light trucks and require 3% of all cars sold be electric, rising to about 8% by 2025. 10 other states have this program already.

Clean Fuels
HB 1110 and SB 5412 would lower the carbon intensity of vehicle fuels. Last year the oil industry had it in for this one and fought it to a standstill. This year the bill is back, and should have momentum as the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency implements their own, regional version.

Traffic Safety Cameras, aka Don’t Block The Box
HB 1793 Allows cities like Seattle to use traffic cameras to increase pedestrian safety and transit mobility by ticketing vehicles blocking crosswalks and bus lanes.

 

Buildings and energy

Buy Clean, Buy Fair
HB 2477 Establishes standards for the carbon intensity of building materials, caps their use for large construction projects in state-funded construction projects, and reduces the cap over time. This is the next step in decarbonizing the building sector.

Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy
HB 2405 and SB 6222 Enables low-cost, long-term funding for commercial energy efficiency, renewable energy, and resilience projects, addressing legacy buildings.

Community Solar
HB 2248 expands equitable access to the benefits of renewable energy through community solar projects. Let the sun shine in!

 

Housing

Accessory Dwelling Units
HB 2570 Lowers the barriers to the creation of more small homes, allowing low-impact density among detached homes.

Single Family Zones
HB 2780 and SB 6536 Re-legalizes triplexes and duplexes within urban growth areas, increasing middle housing choices.

Urban Housing
HB 2343 and SB 6334 Authorizes increasing neighborhood density and reducing parking requirements.

 

Agriculture

Sustainable Farms and Fields  
SB 5947 Creates a grant program to promote soil health and increase carbon sequestration through sustainable farming practices.

 

Environment

Plastic Bag Ban
HB 1205 and SB 5323 Prohibits the use of thin single-use plastic carryout bags in Washington and builds on the 32 local ordinances already in place throughout the state.

Net Ecological Gain
HB 2550 Creates a standard, “net ecological gain,” and integrates it into various laws to support salmon and orca recovery.

Salmon Habitat Protection
HB 1261 and SB 5322 ban suction dredge mining in salmon streams. For goodness sake, why wouldn’t we want to do that?

Preventing Nuclear War
Joint memorials SJM 8006 and HJM 4008 request that Congress establish more checks and balances to reduce the possibility of nuclear war. It only takes one nuclear bomb to ruin your day…

 

Coming next year

HEAL Act – Environmental Health Disparities
HB 2009 Created a definition of environmental justice, directed agencies to address environmental health disparities, and created a task force to recommend how best to incorporate environmental justice principles into how state agencies discharge their responsibilities. Business interests blocked the bill in 2019, but a study was funded that will be completed later this year. Expect an updated version in 2021.

Electrification of State Vehicles
HB 1832 would begin the long-promised conversion of state fleets to electric vehicles, but is waiting on the results of a study, due later this year. Expect an updated version in 2021.

Check out the super-helpful Climate at the Legislature for updates and analysis of climate bills.