Category Archives: Gov. Jay Inslee

Candidate Jay Inslee – 100% Clean Energy for America plan

An email from
[Editor: this is much more than a campaign solicitation for money.  Check out Inslee’s 100% Clean Energy for America plan.  – R.S.]
Governor Jay Inslee, candidate for President

Dear ____________,

I recently announced my first policy proposal of this presidential campaign — a landmark proposal to move the country forward by leaps and bounds toward a 100% clean energy future.

My comprehensive 100% Clean Energy for America plan will achieve 100% clean electricity, eliminate the sale of new oil-powered vehicles by 2030 and require all new buildings to have 100% zero-carbon emissions. This is about ensuring a clean, safe, and prosperous future for each and every American.

Don’t just take my word for it: I put my entire proposal, word for word, right below this message. I encourage you to read it, all 2,840 words.

Read it right now, and if it describes the kind of future you want for our country, please add your name to support a 100% clean energy future.

This builds off the significant progress we’ve made here in Washington state — progress that is already showing results. I’m the only candidate in this race who has actually run a government that has made climate change policy central to its administration, and we have made real progress as a result. I know firsthand how much economic and entrepreneurial opportunity there is in saving the planet. There’s incredible economic upside and job creation in investing to save our planet — and there’s no time to waste.

And that’s why I’m showing you the whole thing, right here, because we all have a huge stake in getting this right.

Very truly yours,


100% Clean Energy for America Plan

Governor Jay Inslee’s plan for 100% clean electricity, vehicles and buildings

Climate change is the defining challenge of our time — and it demands a bold and aggressive national policy for America. The next president must enact the most ambitious clean energy policy in American history, building on the success of states to create a 100% clean energy economy.

Governor Jay Inslee’s 100% Clean Energy for America Plan will achieve 100% clean electricity, 100% zero-emission new vehicles and 100% zero-carbon new buildings. This plan will empower America to make the entire electrical grid and every new car and building climate pollution-free, at the speed that science and public health demand.

The 100% Clean Energy for America Plan is the first major policy announcement in Governor Inslee’s Climate Mission agenda — a bold 10-year mobilization to defeat climate change and create millions of good-paying jobs building a just, innovative and inclusive clean energy future, with meaningful targets and plans for execution based on his experience as a governor. Governor Inslee will announce additional major planks of his detailed climate plan in the coming weeks.

The climate crisis is urgent. Americans are already feeling its accelerating impacts — with front-line, low-income and communities of color being impacted first and worst. Since launching his climate-focused campaign, Governor Inslee has seen these impacts up close, from touring wildfire damage in California to flood damage in Iowa. He knows we cannot afford to wait any longer for action.

In a 2018 report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) made our challenge very clear: To avoid the worst impacts of climate change, the global community must cut climate pollution in half by 2030, and achieve global net-zero pollution by mid-century. Governor Inslee’s plans will ensure that America meets these IPCC targets and leads the world in defeating climate change. As the world’s largest historical emitter of climate pollution and the global leader in technology innovation, America will be among the first to achieve that net-zero target, as fast as possible, and by no later than 2045.

Governor Inslee’s 100% Clean Energy for America Plan is a 10-year action plan that starts with immediate executive action on day one. By 2030, his plan will:

  • Reach 100% zero emissions in new light- and medium-duty vehicles and all buses;
  • Achieve 100% zero-carbon pollution from all new commercial and residential buildings; and
  • Set a national 100% Clean Electricity Standard, requiring 100% carbon-neutral power by 2030, putting America on a path to having all clean, renewable and zero-emission energy in electricity generation by 2035.

We cannot tackle the existential threat of climate change by merely addressing climate pollution from one sector of our economy. We must reduce it everywhere.

Collectively, the transportation, electricity and buildings sectors contribute nearly 70% of America’s climate pollution. It’s time to build our grid, modernize our auto industry, and invest in clean buildings to rise to the climate challenge and succeed in the coming global clean energy economy.

We know we can achieve this plan because it’s already happening in states, and in cities, tribal nations, and local communities. States have set aggressive renewable portfolio standards and passed 100% clean energy plans, all while Donald Trump has tried to undermine America’s climate progress. Governor Inslee led Washington state to pass the strongest policy for 100% clean electricity in the country, with the largest labor and environmental groups united in support. Now he will take that model national with the creation of his 100% Clean Energy for America Plan.

Mimicking actions taken in Washington state, this plan includes closing America’s coal-fired power plants and making major investments to ensure a just transition, including good-paying jobs for workers and support for vulnerable communities. Every region will begin its path to 100% clean energy from a different starting point, and this plan will meet each of them where they are — ensuring opportunity and participation for all in the clean energy economy.

The 100% Clean Energy for America Plan will require a massive, full-scale mobilization of our federal government that will spur major innovation and deployment of clean energy. Just as President Kennedy’s clarion call for a “moonshot” spurred major technological breakthroughs, these aggressive clean energy targets will provoke a clean energy revolution.

Instead of investing our tax dollars in fossil fuel companies, we will invest in deploying renewable energy, advancing battery technology, manufacturing the next generation of electric cars, and creating more energy-efficient buildings. In doing so, we will create demand for new manufactured products and skilled construction jobs, and spur major innovation in everything from building materials to advanced energy technologies. We can put millions of Americans to work building new energy solutions, sustainable infrastructure, and pollution-free communities. Furthermore, this plan will lead to massive savings over the long-term, as Americans pay less to heat their homes, fuel their cars and rebuild their communities hit by climate change.

Americans are already paying the price for climate change. Climate change cost the U.S. economy at least $240 billion per year during the past decade, and that figure is projected to rise to $360 billion per year in the coming 10 years. We cannot afford the cost of inaction. We can choose between two roads: guaranteed economic decline from extreme weather, or increasing prosperity from a clean energy economy and low-cost, electrified transportation. Transitioning to 100% clean vehicles, buildings and electricity will free Americans from the stranglehold of rising gas prices and provide permanent savings on heating their homes.

Through a national Climate Mission agenda, we will mobilize America to confront climate change, end reliance on fossil fuels and build our clean energy future. The 100% Clean Energy for America Plan is a critical starting point: We must establish smart rules and clear goals if we are going to unleash a new generation of innovation. Implementation of this plan will begin on the Inslee Administration’s first day. And much of this plan can be accomplished using authorities and programs Congress has already established for the executive branch, including the federal Clean Air Act, while other elements will require new legislation.

During the coming weeks, Governor Inslee will introduce additional major policies as part of a national Climate Mission — including: increasing strategies to slash climate pollution from the transportation sector and from existing buildings; making major investments in clean energy jobs, infrastructure and innovation; supporting clean and competitive manufacturing and sustainable and thriving agriculture; advancing environmental justice and economic inclusion; and bringing an end to fossil fuel giveaways.

100% Clean Electricity
Through the 100% Clean Energy for America Plan, America will move swiftly to achieve 100% clean, renewable and zero-emission energy in electricity generation, using the strength of federal investment and policy to accelerate the transition that is under way thanks to state and local leadership. This clean electricity will be the backbone of our economy, powering our homes, vehicles, and industry.

The plan sets ambitious yet technologically achievable goals that respond to the reality of climate science, while unlocking a massive new wave of productive and job-creating investment. This plan includes:

  • Setting a bold national 100% Clean Electricity Standard, requiring utilities to achieve 100% carbon-neutral power by 2030, and all-clean, renewable and zero-emission energy in electricity generation by 2035. This builds upon and accelerates momentum toward 100% clean electricity — policy that has been adopted in Washington state, California, Hawaii, New Mexico, D.C., and Puerto Rico, and a target to which more than 100 American cities and counties are committed, from Concord, N.H., to Columbia, S.C.
  • Guaranteeing support for workers and community transition — following Washington state’s model to ensure that the creation of clean energy projects results in many good, family-wage jobs, and that all communities benefit in the transition to a carbon-free power future. Includes promoting projects with businesses owned by women and people of color; apprenticeship utilization; prevailing wages determined through collective bargaining; and community workforce and project-labor agreements.
  • Establishing refundable tax incentives to speed the development and deployment of clean technologies — including renewable electricity, energy storage, smart grid and advanced transmission and distribution, as well as other zero-emission technologies.
  • Ensuring broad and equitable participation by working with utilities to increase on-bill investment in energy efficiency and distributed energy solutions, and making greater federal investment available to front-line and low-income communities — with priority placed upon comprehensive community-developed projects with multiple benefits.
  • Retiring the increasingly uneconomic U.S. coal fleet by 2030 to eliminate dangerous pollution and repower our economy with job-creating clean energy. Governor Inslee’s 100% clean electricity plan in Washington state includes a ban on coal power starting in 2025. And, as in Washington state, the 100% Clean Energy for America Plan includes support for workers and communities that are moving beyond coal power.
  • Using federal lands, offshore waters and facilities to deploy more renewable energy and transmission. The federal government can accelerate renewable energy deployment on public lands that contain enormous resources — especially in the West. For example, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone in Clark County, Nev. now hosts 179 MW of solar power in job-creating clean energy projects that were developed more than twice as fast as traditional projects on public lands. Meanwhile, harnessing just 1% of our nation’s technical offshore wind energy resource potential could power more than 6 million American homes.
  • Activating existing federal energy financing programs (e.g. the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Utilities Service and the U.S. Department of Energy Loan Guarantee Program) to catalyze new investments that further speed this transition. And providing direct grants for clean energy projects developed by non-profit and community organizations, local governments, and academic institutions.
  • Expanding long-distance interstate and interregional transmission of clean electricity through expedited planning, broad cost allocation, and negotiated siting with state authorities, Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the Department of Energy. And providing federal financing for anticipatory construction of transmission capacity to areas with significant queues of clean-energy generation capacity awaiting transmission.
  • Enhancing utilization of existing transmission and distribution assets through Dynamic Line Ratings, demand-response, new sensors and controls, battery storage, and resilient distributed energy resources.
  • Accelerating the evolution toward performance-based utility regulation that rewards utilities for delivering affordable, reliable, and zero-emission electricity.

By achieving 100% clean electricity we will enable our nation to meet more of its energy needs without burning fossil fuels, including for transportation and buildings — two of the other leading sources for the carbon pollution that is driving climate change.

100% Clean New Vehicles
The 100% Clean Energy for America Plan will achieve by 2030 zero emissions in all new light-duty passenger vehicles, medium-duty trucks, and buses. These are crucial strategies for decarbonizing the transportation sector and eliminating tailpipe pollution that contaminates our air — and that especially harms front-line and low-income communities.

They are also essential for ensuring that U.S. industries stay at the leading edge of global automotive manufacturing, as our economic competitors in China, India and Europe are setting clear targets to move to 100% electric and zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs).

This plan will ensure ZEVs are made in the U.S.A., by union workers, and that they are affordable for working families. ZEVs are already cheaper for American commuters to drive, with fuel costs averaging just $1.13 per “gallon,” compared with the $2.62 national average. Also, while vehicles represent a significant portion of U.S. transportation-sector climate pollution (light-duty vehicles account for approximately 60%), this plan will be followed by the release of additional proposals targeting pollution reductions in other modes of transportation. To reach 100% zero-emission new vehicles, this plan includes:

  • Implementing a new standard for clean cars — requiring robust annual improvements in vehicle emissions for light, medium — and heavy-duty vehicles to help break America’s oil addiction. This standard will accelerate the deployment of ZEVs, reaching 100% ZEVs in light- and medium-duty new vehicle sales by 2030.
  • Establishing a Clean Fuels Standard that promotes electric and other low-carbon alternative fuels for vehicles.
  • Dedicating significant new federal investments to support a diverse and robust American ZEV manufacturing base, including a critical materials strategy, as well as the creation and recycling of advanced batteries and component parts.
  • Expanding business and consumer tax credits to ensure availability and affordability of ZEVs and increase their adoption — including an extended and expanded consumer Electric Vehicle Tax Credit — and working with states to establish feebates to increase the value of ZEVs for new buyers.
  • Creating a new “Clean Cars for Clunkers” program to offer fuel-economy based trade-in rebates for consumers to exchange their fuel-inefficient cars or trucks for new ZEVs. Like the 2009 “Cash for Clunkers” program, this initiative will drive increased American auto manufacturing and sales, this time for ZEVs.
  • Requiring rapid electrification of the federal government vehicle fleet and working in partnership with state, local and tribal governments to accelerate electrification of their fleets. Federal procurement can dramatically increase market demand.
  • Partnering with states, tribal nations, local governments and utilities in a massive investment to deploy electric vehicle charging infrastructure. In Washington state, Governor Inslee created an Electric Vehicle (EV) Infrastructure Bank to deploy investment in charging stations.
  • Providing federal financing to support state and local governments transitioning to zero-emission bus fleets for transit and school buses, and allowing transit agencies to retire diesel buses early without penalty. In addition to cutting climate pollution, zero-emission buses help eliminate harmful diesel pollution. States and cities throughout the U.S. are moving rapidly toward zero-emission buses; California, for example, has committed to all zero-emission new buses by 2029.

Together, these efforts will begin the transition of all new cars and buses in the U.S. to clean vehicles. In addition to clean cars and buses, the Climate Mission that Governor Inslee has called for will include a wide range of transportation-sector pollution-reduction strategies, including in large trucks and heavy-duty vehicles, aviation, marine, transit, rail, and other multi-modal solutions, as well as affordable housing, urban density, and smart growth.

100% Clean New Buildings
Finally, the 100% Clean Energy for America Plan includes immediate federal action to achieve before 2030 zero-carbon pollution from all new commercial and residential buildings.

Climate pollution from buildings increased a full 10% in the U.S. in 2018 — driven by natural gas used in space and water heating and cooling. This plan will reverse that trend, and improve indoor air quality, by increasing energy efficiency and taking advantage of clean electricity in building electrification. This includes:

  • Creating a national Zero-Carbon Building Standard by 2023, and partnering with states and cities to integrate this standard into new and stronger state and local building codes. This plan will include stronger federal incentives for local governments to enforce standards to adopt “stretch-codes,” and for building owners to more rapidly adopt advanced sustainability in new buildings. Here, too, states and cities are already leading the way: The city of Los Angeles has announced its plan for all zero-carbon new buildings by 2030.
  • Accelerating implementation of the federal Fossil Fuel-Generated Energy Consumption Reduction rule to eliminate by 2023 fossil-fuel use — including coal, fuel oil and natural gas — in all new and renovated federal buildings.
  • Directing federal agencies in 2021 to accelerate proven appliance energy efficiency standards and to promote zero-emission appliances — including water heaters and dryers. This will help make American-manufactured appliances both cleaner and more competitive in global markets, all while saving consumers money.
  • Providing federal funding to train builders, inspectors, energy managers, equipment technicians, and janitors in proven strategies that cut down on wasted energy in buildings.
  • Establishing tax incentives for energy efficiency and electrification in new construction of residential and commercial buildings, including targeted incentives for homeowners and building owners to install highly efficient heat pumps for space and water heating.
  • Dramatically increasing access to federal financing to fund both retrofits and new construction to upgrade schools and public building stock for federal, state, local and tribal governments.
  • Driving new private capital investment into clean energy projects by providing clear policy guidance for Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) and support for expansion of Energy Saving Performance Contracts (ESPCs) that promote both portfolio-scale green building retrofits and new net-zero energy construction.
  • Linking energy and climate pollution standards to expanded federal support for new construction projects, including through U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) and Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) investments, and federal housing tax credits, as well as through green mortgage products offered by federal housing finance agencies.
  • Renewing federal funding for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program to assist states and cities in expanding local investment in zero carbon construction projects.

This plan to reach zero carbon in all new buildings will be accompanied by additional proposals to address climate pollution from millions of existing buildings.

This is our moment to defeat climate change and to build our clean energy future.

Let’s get to work.

You can read the plan online anytime right here. 

No fossil fuel money. No corporate PACs. Just you. Join our movement to elect a president who will defeat climate change.


America Cares About Climate Change Again – Jay Inslee and more

Repost from The Atlantic

America Cares About Climate Change Again

For the first time in years, a broad spectrum of climate advocates is playing offense.
Jay Inslee, Democratic governor of Washington, launches his presidential campaign in Seattle.
Jay Inslee’s long-shot, climate-focused presidential campaign is only one of several new campaigns, run by Democrats across the ideological spectrum. LINDSEY WASSON / REUTERS

Suddenly, climate change is a high-profile national issue again.

It’s not just the Green New Deal. Around the country, the loose alliance of politicians, activists, and organizations concerned about climate change is mobilizing. They are deploying a new set of strategies aimed at changing the minds—or at least the behaviors—of a large swath of Americans, including utility managers, school principals, political donors, and rank-and-file voters.

They make a ragtag group: United by little more than common concern, they don’t agree on an ideal federal policy or even how to talk about the problem. They do not always coordinate or communicate with one another. And while their efforts are real, it remains far too early to say whether they will result in the kind of national legislative victories that have eluded the movement in the past.

But for the first time since November 8, 2016, if not far earlier, climate advocates are once again playing offense.

This mobilization starts at the top of the U.S. political system. Earlier this month, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee announced that he would run for president to elevate climate change as a pressing national issue. Inslee’s launch did not mention his White House–ready biography—he’s a former star athlete who married his high-school sweetheart—and focused entirely on his decades-long climate focus.

“I’m the only candidate who will make defeating climate change our nation’s number-one priority,” Inslee said in his launch video. His campaign raised $1 million in its first three days, a surprisingly large figure for a single-issue underdog candidate.

[ Read: Jay Inslee’s risky bet for 2020 ]

Other national political leaders are trying different strategies. Michael Bloomberg, the former New York mayor who has made climate a signature issue, announced that he would not run for president because his considerable fortune would be better spent fighting carbon pollution directly. Instead, he will fund a new campaign called Beyond Carbon for the Sierra Club, an extension of the club’s wildly successful Beyond Coal campaign, also bankrolled by Bloomberg. Beyond Coal says it has helped close 285 of the country’s 530 coal plants, a major reason for the overall decline in U.S. carbon emissions.

This widespread public concern about climate change is already being reflected in policy made at the state level. New Mexico will soon become the third state to set a goal for 100 percent carbon-free electricity. Last week, lawmakers passed a mandate that by 2045, 80 percent of the state’s power must come from renewable sources and 20 percent from carbon-free sources. The governor cheered the measure and is expected to sign it.

California, Hawaii, and the District of Columbia have adopted similar goals, all pegged to 2045. And their ranks could soon expand. Twelve more Democratic governors have promised to mandate the same 100 percent target, according to Rob Sargent, a campaign director at Environment America, a consortium of state-level environmental groups. “Six governors got elected in November running on 100 percent renewables,” he told me. “That wouldn’t have happened four or even two years ago.”

Excitement is also coming from the grassroots. On Friday, thousands of U.S. students refused to go to school, participating in a worldwide student strike for climate action. The Sunrise Movement, a youth-led group that brought national attention to the Green New Deal in November, plans to hold 100 town-hall meetings in support of the plan across the country, organized by local chapters.

This massive protest in Lisbon was one of hundreds of “climate strike” events held worldwide on Friday. The class boycott spilled into the United States for the first time last week. (Rafael Marchante / Reuters)

Much of this activity is concentrated among Democrats. But public opinion has shifted in their favor on the issue. Nearly two-thirds of Americans say that the Republican Party’s position on climate change is “outside the mainstream,”according to an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll conducted last month. That represents a nine-point bump since October 2015, when the question was last asked.

That poll was conducted in February, when the Democratic-led Green New Deal dominated media coverage. But a majority of Americans said that month that Democratic positions on climate change were “in the mainstream.”

Within the party, rank-and-file Democrats seem to be taking the issue more seriously. Eighty percent of likely Iowa Democratic caucus-goers say that primary candidates should talk “a lot” about climate change—a result that suggests climate change is one of the Democratic Party’s top two issues, according to a CNN/Des Moines Register poll conducted by Selzer and Companythis month. Only health care merited such consensus concern among the group.

That points to a potential upheaval in how important voters consider climate policy. In May 2015, when the same polling firm last posed a similar question to likely Democratic caucus-goers, climate change did not rank among the top five most important issues.

And several recent polls have also identified a huge, nearly 10-point surge in worry about climate change among all Americans. “We’ve not seen anything like that in the 10 years we’ve been conducting the study,” Anthony Leiserowitz, a researcher at Yale, told me in January.

Those national surveys found that Americans were motivated by a series of urgent new reports about climate science and an outbreak of extreme weather.

[ Read: How to understand the UN’s dire new climate report ]

Some Republicans say they’re taking notice. “I think we’re moving from the science of climate to the solutions of addressing climate, and that is a big shift in particular for Republicans,” says Heather Reams, the executive director of Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions, a nonprofit that encourages GOP politicians to support renewable energy.

This shift, if it is occurring, has yet to result in concrete policy proposals. Nor is it shared across the party. Some Senate Republicans have embraced “innovation” as a possible solution to climate change, but the Trump administration last week proposed zeroing out the budget for two major Department of Energy innovation programs. The programs will survive, however, in part because they have the support of Lamar Alexander, a powerful Republican from Tennessee who chairs the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development.

In the House, Republicans are far more skeptical of climate action. Representative Rob Bishop, a conservative lawmaker from Utah, has said the Green New Deal is nearly “tantamount to genocide.” The House GOP has offered very few climate policies of its own. An exception: Two Republicans—Representative Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania and Representative Francis Rooney of Florida—last year co-sponsored a bipartisan bill to tax carbon emissions without increasing the federal budget.

It’s still unclear whether the spike in public concern will translate to any lasting GOP shift. The Green New Deal, in all its ambition and haziness, has reframed the climate conversation around solutions, where Democrats have more to say right now; if moderate Democrats fell back to insisting on the acceptance of climate science alone, Republicans might be happy to meet them there.

In any case, the views of the country’s most powerful Republican, President Donald Trump, seem extremely unlikely to change. So it’s left to his would-be 2020 opponents to heighten the contrast. At least eight candidates have made climate change a top issue, according to The New York Times. And announcing his candidacy for president last week, the former Representative Beto O’Rourke of Texas said that “interconnected crises in our economy, our democracy, and our climate have never been greater.” (He has yet to offer a concrete proposal on the issue.)

Whether this focus on climate change produces new policy ideas remains to be seen. Yet even so, environmental groups and their allies are feeling whiplash at how far the conversation has come since 2016. Says Alex Trembath, the deputy director of the Breakthrough Institute, an environmental research center based in Oakland: “If you had asked me a year ago if we would’ve been talking this much about climate change now, I would’ve said, ‘Absolutely not.’”

Jay Inslee for the Climate, and for President

Repost from Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight
[Editor: I am not endorsing Inslee here, but I’m impressed.  The ONLY criterion for my vote will be the ability to draw us together to defeat of the malfeasant now holding the office of president.  – R.S.]

How Jay Inslee Could Win The 2020 Democratic Nomination

By Christie Aschwanden and Geoffrey Skelley, March 1, 2019, 7:00 AM

TOC-INSLEE-4×3In his 2020 presidential announcement video, two-term Washington Governor Jay Inslee declares that climate change is the “most urgent challenge of our time.”

Inslee intends to make climate change his signature issue. “I have heard from around the country that people believe that this issue demands priority, and it demands a candidate from the Democratic Party that will make it front and center,” he told FiveThirtyEight before his campaign announcement. He’s convinced that when voters see his work on climate change along with a laundry list of progressive achievements, it’ll be enough to become the nominee.

But to do that, he first has to beat the Democratic field. As a whole, Inslee has a solidly liberal record, one that could conceivably attract voters on the left of the party. But that could be a crowded part of the field, with well-known names such as Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders already running. Sanders, for example, has increasingly sought to make climate change one of his core issues, which could steal some of Inslee’s thunder. Still, Inslee probably will be one of the few Democratic governors running, and his ability to point to tangible accomplishments rather than just rhetoric could allow him to differentiate himself from many other Democratic contenders.

As governor of Washington, Inslee has built a record of economic growth for which he credits his progressive policies. Among those policies are a minimum wage that is more than 50 percent higher than the federal one, a family leave policy1 that allows some workers to take up to three months of paid leave for a medical condition or to care for a new child or ailing family member, and a law that requires workers to receive equal pay and career advancement opportunities regardless of gender. Inslee has overseen an expansion of college financial aid for undocumented students and a large-scale transportation infrastructure program. He’s confident his record would help him beat President Trump.

But Inslee’s candidacy also relies on an unproven gambit: that climate change can be a winning issue in the 2020 Democratic primary.

At first glance, climate change may not have sufficient salience to carry a presidential campaign. It received little attention during the 2016 presidential race. In three presidential debates and one vice presidential face-off, the topic was never raised specifically.

But Inslee said the time is right to make climate change a central issue because it’s no longer a hypothetical but something that “touches everyone in every part of the country” and “every aspect of life.”

Just before the 2018 midterm elections, Gallup released findings that placed climate change as the fifth-most-important issue to Democratic voters, behind topics like health care and wealth inequality. Still, 75 percent of Democrats said it was an extremely or very important topic, compared with just 27 percent of Republicans. We can see how much the parties have diverged on the issue using a Gallup question that looks at concern about climate change. In 1990, the share of Americans who worried a great deal or a fair amount about global warming did not really differ by party identification. Today, Democrats and Republicans are a world apart.

Given the level of concern among Democrats, perhaps a campaign that homes in on climate change can help Inslee make inroads on the left during the primaries. It’s a topic receiving a lot of attention at the moment because of the proposed “Green New Deal” being pushed by some progressive Democratic House members. Moreover, Democrats can easily use the issue to attack the president’s record. The Trump administration has hindered efforts to address global warming by withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement and working to roll back auto fuel efficiency standards.

But putting climate change ahead of all other issues could be risky, Stanford University psychologist Jon Krosnick said. He has helped lead national surveys of public opinions on climate change since 1995 that have found that most voters don’t make their ballot box decisions based on climate change alone. Krosnick’s surveys show that about 18 percent of voters are passionate about climate change, which means that “taking a stand on this issue is electorally very wise, but making this a signature issue is probably unwise.”

Inslee plans to try anyway. He’s framing climate change as a threat to national security that warrants a huge government response on a scale akin to the Manhattan Project or NASA’s program to put humans on the moon. “This is the eleventh hour, but it should be our hour to shine and for we, as Americans, to do what we do best, which is to create, innovate and build,” Inslee said. His goal is to make the economy less reliant on fossil fuels over the next several decades, a task he called “a massive undertaking requiring a huge concentration of our intellectual talents, our entrepreneurial zeal, and to some degree, our investment.”

To achieve this goal, he advocates for clean fuel standards to reduce emissions from vehicles. He wants to revamp the U.S. electrical grid with a 100 percent clean power plan like the one he’s pushing for in his state of Washington, make buildings “net zero” emissions with stringent building codes, and promote alternative energy with subsidies.

It will be interesting to see whether he proposes a carbon tax to help him accomplish some of those goals. It’s an approach that has broad support from economists across the political spectrum, yet Inslee has been unable to get one passed by voters or the legislature in his own state. He doesn’t think that makes it kryptonite. “A carbon tax is just one of the tools in the toolbox,” he said, adding that it may not be the most important one. The carbon tax that failed in Washington didn’t derive most of its carbon savings from the signal to consumers sent by higher carbon prices, Inslee said, but, rather, from “putting people to work on building and installing solar arrays and building homes and businesses that are net zero. That’s where you’ve actually got the carbon savings.”

Is the failure of that carbon-tax measure in his own state an omen or just a bump in the road for Inslee? Whichever it is, it hasn’t nudged him off his strategy. “I believe that contrast is good in elections,” Inslee said, and the contrast between Democrats and Republicans on climate issues is stark. “We should embrace that contrast, magnify it, and run with it.”

Washington governor nixes Vancouver oil train terminal

Repost from The Oregonian – Oregon  Live / Oregon Business News

Washington governor nixes Vancouver oil train terminal

Updated Jan 29, 5:30 PM; Posted Jan 29, 5:28 PM
By Ted Sickinger, The Oregonian/OregonLive
The Port of Vancouver's rail loop was proposed to serve a 360,000-barrel-a-day oil train terminal under a proposal by Tesoro Corp. and Savage Cos.  (Courtesy of Port of Vancouver)
The Port of Vancouver’s rail loop was proposed to serve a 360,000-barrel-a-day oil train terminal under a proposal by Tesoro Corp. and Savage Cos. (Courtesy of Port of Vancouver) (Port of Vancouver)

Washington’s governor on Monday put a presumed end to a proposed oil-by-rail export terminal at the Port of Vancouver, notifying state regulators that he agreed with their unanimous decision to reject the controversial project.

The state’s Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council voted in November to recommend that Gov. Jay Inslee deny the Tesoro-Savage proposal. In a letter announcing his decision, Inslee said he found ample support in the record for the council’s decision that the project was wrong for the proposed site, including risks posed by a large earthquake, an oil spill or an explosion or fire at the facility.

Inslee said the facility posed potentially catastrophic risks to the public and there was no way to mitigate the impacts that that an oil spill would have on water quality, wetlands, fish and wildlife.

“The Council found that emergency responders are unlikely to be able to successfully respond to a major incident at the facility,” Inslee wrote.

Vancouver Energy, a joint venture of the Tesoro Corp, now known as Andeavor, and Savage Co.s, has 30 days to appeal the governor’s decision in Thurston County Superior Court. A spokesman for Savage said the company would have a statement, but had not issued one yet.

The companies had proposed spending $210 million on a terminal at Port of Vancouver to transfer 360,000 barrels a day of Bakken crude from trains onto marine vessels for shipment to West Coast refineries. Supporters pointed to the jobs and property taxes that would be generated by the facility.

Dan Serres, conservation director for the advocacy group Columbia Riverkeeper, said the proposal attracted unprecedented opposition from a cross-section of businesses, environmental groups and citizens. And while the company could appeal the decision, Serres said they’d be doing so without a lease as the Port of Vancouver has already signaled its intent to seek other options as of March 31.

“The idea of putting five loaded oil trains a day down the Columbia River Gorge was irresponsible, and after Mosier, that became clear,” said Serres, referring to the fiery derailment of an oil train near the town of Mosier in June 2016.  “We’re just overjoyed to see them go away. This one’s over.”

-Ted Sickinger