Our work addressing the climate crisis


Last year, the legislative session was a landmark year in the fight against climate change with the passage of the clean fuels program and the Climate Commitment Act. We continued our progress to fight climate change and protect our environment during the recent 60-day session, which adjourned last month, by passing policies that do everything from invest in public transit and zero-emissions ferry technology to make sure our appliances are more energy efficient and eliminate sources of “forever chemicals.”

Cleaner, greener transportation

I’m proud to have voted for budgets that will help create a cleaner, sustainable transportation future for our state. Given that the transportation sector is the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., these investments are critical:

  • $3.1 billion for public transit
  • $2.4 billion for removing fish barriers, or culverts, that block salmon movement
  • $1 billion for the Safe Routes to School program and bike/pedestrian projects
  • $517 million for decarbonization projects and carbon emission reductions grants
  • $435 million for electric and hybrid-electric ferries
  • $120 million to promote buying electric or other zero-emission cars and trucks, with a focus on programs and incentives that serve low-income communities, communities with the greatest health disparities and communities of color
  • $69 million for electric vehicle charging stations in rural areas, multifamily housing, office buildings, schools and state and local government offices
  • $526,000 to implement the Healthy Environment for All, or HEAL, Act, legislation we passed last year to reduce environmental health disparities and improve the health of everyone in our state using principles of environmental justice
  • $400,000 to study an ultra-high‐speed rail system in the Pacific Northwest
  • $400,000 for creating and coordinating a Zero Emission Truck Collaborative
  • $10,000 to support advancing new sustainable aviation technologies
  • And so much more!

New laws to protect our environment

We also passed legislation to address the climate crisis by:

  • Allowing local school transportation levies to be used to buy electric or other zero-emission school buses. My bill will help keep our kids healthy and our air clean! (HB 1644)
  • Expanding energy efficiency standards to a greater range of household appliances to reduce greenhouse gas pollution, water use and costs for families (HB 1619)
  • Requiring large municipal landfills to install and operate gas collection and control systems to capture methane and prevent it from getting into the atmosphere (HB 1663)
  • Updating the state energy code to save power and money while moving away from greenhouse gases by requiring new buildings to be net-zero ready (HB 1770)
  • Deferring sales and use taxes on certain clean technology. This bill also creates additional incentives to contract with women, minority and veteran-owned business, and people who live near the project. (HB 1988)
  • Giving the state Department of Ecology greater flexibility and responsiveness in restricting per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, without sacrificing transparency or community engagement. These toxic chemicals build up in our bodies and our environment, threatening the long-term health of families. It’s no joke: Issaquah has been engaged in cleaning up water contamination from PFAS for years. (HB 1694)

Investing in our natural resources

We need to protect and maintain natural beauty, from parks and trails to shorelines, waterways and everything else that makes our state a great place to live. As we continue to address carbon emissions through policy changes, we’re also working to ensure our natural resources are there for current and future generations. The operating budget this year:

  • Increases funding for salmon habitat, production and recovery ($180 million)
  • Expands funding for recreational lands maintenance ($41 million)
  • Provides for wildfire suppression and habitat recovery ($113 million)
  • Expands invasive species control ($16 million)

The steps we took this year, plus our big wins from the 2021 session, are important actions to combat climate change. With the climate crisis on our doorstep, I’m committed to doing all we can to protect our planet and the quality of life for families for generations to come.

Tana Senn