Remember during the 2008 campaign season, when progressives around the State of Washington were working their tails off to get Governor Gregoire re-elected because her opponent, Dino Rossi, just wasn’t sure if global warming existed.
Even Al Gore made a last minute plea for Gregoire at a fund raiser and Gregoire advisor, Jenny Durkan, warned all those present of just how much the environment would suffer under Rossi’s leadership.
Durkan said that in a Rossi administration, BIAW Executive Vice President Tom McCabe would be “the de facto Department of Ecology head.” She asked “How much would you pay not to have him running the Department of Ecology?”
Well, surprise, surprise!
Who knew that way back in 2007 Governor Gregoire had already decided it was imperative to keep the last remaining coal-fired power plant in Washington State operational. She even went as far as initiating secret negotiations with TransAlta, the plants owners, to avoid the prying eyes of the public.
Never mind the fact that burning coal to produce electricity is one of the biggest contributors to global warming, or that her friend, Al Gore, has called for a moratorium on the construction of new coal-fired plants and believes the U.S. should stop burning coal.
What should we do? We should stop burning coal . . . without sequestering the CO2. The coal and oil companies have spent in the United States alone a half a billion dollars in the first eight months of this year promoting a lie that there is such a thing as “clean coal.” Clean coal’s like healthy cigarettes — it does not exist. It could theoretically exist. The only demonstration plant was canceled. How many, how many such plants are there? Zero. How many blueprints? Zero.
Evidently, Gregoire was for global warming before she was against it. Sorry Al, it looks like we all got played.
It allows utilities to reduce their annual new renewable-energy targets to their annual growth in their overall power needs. That change alone could cut 44% off I-937’s 2020 target, depriving the state of much-needed economic-development opportunities.
It cuts another eighth off I-937’s 2020 standard by grandfathering in old existing resources (particularly small hydro and biomass), and does nothing to create jobs and reduce climate emissions. Some of those resources have been operating since the 1800s.
It counts additional resources toward the target — including black liquor, even more hydropower, and conservation beyond I-937’s separate energy efficiency targets, effectively displacing nearly a fifth of the law’s eligible renewables in 2020.
Coincidently, failing to develop our non-hydro renewables carries a heavy, long term cost, as climate change continues to reduce the Northwest’s snow-pack and restricts dams acess to water.
Overall, SB 5840 would cut the voter-endorsed renewables standard up to 75% or more in 2020. ( Source)
Plan to attend a Town Hall meeting this weekend to let your representatives know that you are paying attention and are not pleased with Olympia’s effort to gut I-937’s voter approved mandate. Here is a link to get you started: http://www.educationvoters.org/files/Townhall_March2009.pdf
Click here to contact your legislator.
This is just one, of the multiple reasons, why I’m not crying myself to sleep at night over the demise of the legacy media.
On Thursday, the Reality Coalition launched an ad “to demolish the notion that there’s anything clean about so-called clean coal.” Academy Award-winning filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen created the anti-coal ad to harpoon the coal industry’s greenwashing campaign. The CNN rejected ad includes the line, “The most trusted name in coal.”
Nothing is more infuriating than Democrats who act like Republicans.
Way back in 2006, 52% of the voters in Washington State approved Initiative 937, which required the utilities operating inside the state to generate 15% of their energy from clean, renewable sources by 2020.
Not surprisingly, since the passage of I-937, the utilities have been in overdrive, working every legislative angle, desperately trying to wiggle out of any solid commitment to green power.
Enter Chris Marr, Democrat, the utilities best friend forever, and the Washington State Senator representing the 6th Legislative District.
Mr. Marr has introduced SB 5840, which through a little green washing and a lot of fuzzy math effectively guts I-937, allowing the utilities to wave their hands and– presto change-o –the production of 3% of their power from renewable sources suddenly becomes…wait for it…exactly the same as 15%.
How is this slight of hand accomplished?
First, utilities would be allowed to count the energy produced by existing hydro-power projects as new renewable sources.
Second, utilities could claim credit for renewable energy produced outside of the Northwest.
Finally, if a utility spends money on conservation programs, the power saved through these efforts could count as a renewable energy source.
But wait, conservation rocks, how could it be a bad thing.
Call me sceptical, but any politician who has no problem fudging a 15% mandate for green power into a 3% validation of the status quo, will probably not loose much sleep if the utilities are allowed to monkey with their numbers for energy conservation in order to boost their renewable energy count.
And by any politician, I mean someone like Chris Marr.
He may be a Democrat, but Mr. Marr is a little iffy on whole “supporting the will of the voters” thing, especially if it forces his dead-ender buddies down at the Public Utility District Association to come to grips with the energy realities of the 21st century.
First, the utilities lobbied Washington State’s Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development (CTED), begging for rules which would allow each utility to implement I-937 as it saw fit, rather than meet the voter approved mandate of generating 15% of their energy from clean, renewable sources by 2020.
Now, these same obstructionists have taken their case to the Washington State Legislature.
This time the utilities plan to weaken I-937 by allowing Washington’s existing infrastructure of hydropower to count toward their renewable energy goal.
Once again, it’s time for the voters of Washington State to speak up. We must let our representatives know a weakened clean energy initiative is not what we voted for when we approved I-937 in 2006.
The folks from Yes! on I-937 have a great summary of why this is would be a raw deal for the citizens of our state.
Legislators considering revisions to I-937 must hear now from the thousands of supporters who helped pass the initiative. We need to tell our legislators that we expect I-937’s renewable and energy efficiency standards to be fully met or even strengthened, not diluted.
Tell you legislators to:
- Preserve voters’ intent through I-937 to increase development of new renewable energy and energy efficiency.
- Keep Washington a leader in the national effort to establish a clean energy economy.
- Protect the state’s and Governor Chris Gregoire’s single most important tool for curbing global warming and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
- Do not allow special interests that opposed the initiative at the ballot box to weaken the clean energy standards.
Click here to let your voice be heard.