Gov. Jay Inslee received a hearty welcome Wednesday when he arrived to testify before the Senate Energy, Environment and Telecommunications Committee. Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, who chairs the committee, noted the rarity of both a gubernatorial appearance and applause.
The governor’s climate action legislation, Senate Bill 5802, and companion measure House Bill 1915, would evaluate the climate pollution reduction programs in other states and Canadian provinces. An outside, independent review would be done. In 2008, Washington adopted climate pollution limits for 2020. A goal with no action plan.
The intended approach is for the governor’s office and the Legislature’s four corners – the partisan caucuses of both chambers – to meet and move ahead on the goals.
Becky Kelley, deputy director of the Washington Environmental Council, was struck by the down-to-earth tone of the governor’s remarks. She heard a theme repeated on Tuesday during Environmental Lobby Day 2013: a healthy environment and a healthy economy go hand in hand. The two are not in competition, Kelley said.
The annual gathering drew nearly 500 citizen lobbyists to Olympia from around the state. They convene at the United Churches of Olympia for presentations, legislative updates and to organize for visits to their local lawmakers. Then they walk across the street to the state Capitol campus and legislative offices.
Inslee welcomed everyone Tuesday with a brief noon speech in the Capitol Rotunda. More applause and rousing good cheer. The spirit of the crowd reflected the values and outlook he used to describe Washington in his Senate testimony: optimistic, confident and resolute.
Washington has lots of environmental issues, but conservation groups and citizen advocates believe there are workable answers. Beneficial solutions for the environment and the economy.