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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

March 11, 2013 at 6:30 AM

Gov. Jay Inslee addresses climate change

Incentives needed for sustainability

I think it is great that Gov. Jay Inslee is taking responsible action to fulfill Washington state’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions that was put into law in 2008 [“Gov. Inslee: Wash. must be climate-change leader,” seattletimes.com, March 5].

In Senate Bill 5802 and House Bill 1915, the governor is looking to identify the best systemwide changes we can implement in Washington to meet fossil-fuel-reduction targets that are sustainable from a climate change perspective.

Though Washington state has taken good individual actions to reduce carbon, for example phasing out the Centralia Coal plant and maintaining a strong alternative-energy portfolio, we need systemwide incentives that will guarantee that we are sourcing and using energy sustainably. The governor is taking a first step for systemwide reform by asking for a study to see what actually works at the regional and national level from many examples in place around the world. In this way, Washington state can adopt the policies that will best fit with our current resources, infrastructure and financial abilities.

–Arvia Morris, Seattle

Pursue clean energy

Gov. Jay Inslee is absolutely correct to say that Washington’s future economic growth lies in clean energy and innovation [“Governor, senators disagree on terms of climate-change bill,” NW Wednesday, March 5]. But Washingtonians need more than just talk about reducing carbon pollution — we need tools to unlock the potential of clean energy.

Luckily for us, there are two bills (House Bill 1106 in the house and Senate Bill 5707 in the senate) that make solar energy easier and cheaper for small businesses, community organizations and regular Washingtonians. This legislation allows regular homeowners to lease their rooftops for solar panels, meaning that they benefit from lower energy bills and carbon-free power without the upfront costs usually required to install solar panels.

I strongly encourage Sen. Ed Murray and Reps. Jamie Pedersen and Frank Chopp to support this legislation so Washingtonians can start benefiting from solar power today!

–Ben Serrurier, Seattle

Change should not be delayed

Kudos to Gov. Jay Inslee for recognizing that the time for strong action on climate change is now. Scientific and public opinion are in agreement that climate change is here, that it’s human-caused and that the situation is urgent.

In Washington, climate change is already bringing increased wildfires, the acidification of Puget Sound with dire consequences for marine life and the shellfish industry, and a less-predictable snowpack “reservoir” for irrigation and drinking water.

The longer we delay our response, the more extreme the effects of climate disruption for us and our children. Now is the time to determine the best ways to reduce our carbon emissions (as the Legislature committed our state to in 2008) and create clean-energy jobs here.

Addressing climate change is an opportunity to grow our economy and protect our future. The future of the planet is not a partisan issue. There is a lot to learn and a lot to do. Let’s work together with Gov. Inslee as we grapple with this critical and growing challenge.

–Polly Freeman, Seattle

Why not hire ‘green’-minded individuals internally?

While I am excited to hear about newly elected Gov. Jay Inslee’s plans to be a pioneer on climate change for the state of Washington, I would like to know why Inslee “advocated for a measure to hire an outside group to advise him on how to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.”

Do we not have enough able-bodied, intelligent and green-focused individuals in house to advise Inslee on how to march toward emission reduction and climate change reversal?

The report’s “October” due date sounds hardly pioneering. We can start small, right here, right now, by paying mind to the little things; we can no longer wait for big things to happen.

–Pamela Ronson, Seattle

Comments | More in Climate change, Environment, Washington Legislature | Topics: climate change, coal, HB 1915

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