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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Clean air and energy independence are central to advancing the well-being of families and communities, as well as improving the economic security and social opportunity of all Washingtonians.

Today Governor Gregoire announced climate change legislation (HB 1819 and SB 5735) that would implement a "cap-and-invest" system to reduce global warming pollution. The proposal would also invest in the creation of green jobs and worker retraining for those who have been affected by the economic downturn.

An innovation of the proposal is that it prioritizes the use of cap-and-trade auction revenue, with the top priority being to protect consumers with lower and moderate incomes from increased energy costs. Revenue would be generated when pollution permits are auctioned off to polluting companies, who will pass costs on to consumers. Using some of the revenue to offset these higher costs for people with lower incomes assures that the impacts of climate change are not regressive.

We have been working in close collaboration with Climate Solutions, Washington Environmental Council, and Sightline Institute on shaping the state’s climate change policies. There is still work to be done. We will continue our work to shape this discussion as it progresses at the state and national levels.

You can learn more about this on our website and read a joint letter to Governor Gregoire signed by the Budget & Policy Center along with environmental groups, the faith community, low income advocates, and organizations representing communities of color.

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