Washington State House Democrats


Rep. Fitzgibbon’s statement on the status of the Carbon Pollution Accountability Act

“The Carbon Pollution Accountability Act would require that large emitters secure allowances for the privilege of emitting carbon into our state’s atmosphere. For too long, the cost of pollution has been borne by all of us, not those directly responsible. Our state’s economic and environmental future demand that we take action to reduce emissions of carbon pollution immediately.

“I am continuing to work to refine the carbon market proposal with a group of legislators, including Speaker Chopp, and staff from Governor Inslee’s office.

“The sale of allowances for carbon pollution also present an opportunity for the Legislature to use some proceeds to address our immediate budget needs. House Bill 1314 as it passed the Environment Committee would generate almost $1.3 billion a year for pressing needs including education and transportation.

“The action we take to address climate change and to address our state’s budget problem needs to be deliberate and well-considered.

“The experiences of other states and countries that have implemented carbon pricing is that carbon marketplaces can be complex, particularly provisions around how allowance are allocated and how the proceeds from the sale of allowances are used. Implementation of a successful carbon program requires addressing questions and issues that arise from the specifics of our particular program and of our particular region.

“While budget negotiations are ongoing in the House and Senate, our group will be meeting to discuss possible changes to the Carbon Pollution Accountability Act. Our discussions will focus on changes that will maximize job creation; allocate proceeds appropriately to natural resources and other important sectors; and create legislation that can become part of our state’s budget solution and address our state’s contribution to climate change.”