WA decides: Initiative 2117 to repeal the Climate Commitment Act

(Courtesy of Pixabay)

This article is one in a series looking at statewide initiatives on Washington’s 2024 November ballot.

What would Initiative 2117 do?

It would repeal a 2021 law, known as the Climate Commitment Act, which established the state’s cap and invest program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The measure also would bar state agencies from imposing any type of program involving the trading of carbon tax credits.

Why is the initiative on the ballot?

On Nov. 21, 2023, supporters of Initiative 2117 turned in petitions signed by nearly 420,000 people and on Jan. 16, the Secretary of State certified it for the ballot. Let’s Go Washington, a conservative political committee funded largely by hedge fund manager Brian Heywood, underwrote the effort.

As an initiative to the Legislature, the measure could have been adopted by the state House and Senate. But Democrats, who hold majorities in both chambers, chose not to bring it to a vote. They argue that the Climate Commitment Act is a vital tool to fight climate change because it puts a price on pollution.

Critics contend that the Climate Commitment Act and its cap-and-trade program won’t significantly move the needle on climate change but is driving fuel, food and energy prices higher as companies pass their added expenses from the law onto consumers.

What is the Climate Commitment Act?

In May 2021, Gov. Jay Inslee signed Senate Bill 5126, known as the Climate Commitment Act, or CCA for short. It is one of a suite of laws intended to drive down greenhouse gas emissions in Washington to 45% below 1990 levels by 2030, 70% by 2040, and 95% by 2050.

This law sets annual emission limits for major emitters, such as oil refiners and utilities, and requires them to buy allowances at state auctions for each metric ton of their air pollution. Over time, the limits are lowered to compel polluters to curb their emissions. The program started on Jan. 1, 2023, and the first emissions allowance auction was held on Feb. 28, 2023.

Businesses covered by the program must obtain allowances equal to their emissions and submit them to the state Department of Ecology. The first compliance deadline is Nov. 1. That’s when covered entities need to have allowances to cover 30% of their 2023 emissions.

The state raised $1.82 billion from the sale of allowances in 2023 and $136 million from the first auction of 2024 held in March. The next is scheduled for June. By law, Those dollars must be spent to cut pollution, create jobs and help communities respond to climate change.

Dollars generated through the Climate Commitment Act are spent in the state’s 2023-25 operating, capital and transportation budgets.

Initially, this spending totaled $2.1 billion with the lion’s share going to transportation. This year, lawmakers added another  $1.2 billion in spending across the three budgets. However, because of the initiative, most of that money cannot be spent until January when election results are known.

Thus far, funding has gone to the purchase of electric school buses, free public transit for youth, air quality monitoring and electric vehicle chargers.

A portion will also pay for a one-time $200 credit on the residential electricity bills of thousands of low- and moderate-income families by Sept. 15. Critics of the climate law have cried foul, saying the credit will arrive as voters consider the ballot initiative.

More details on how CCA dollars are to be spent can be found here.

If the initiative passes, what would the consequences be for the state?

Backers of the climate law say if the measure passes, the state will lose a critical weapon in its fight against climate change as the limit on emissions and the requirement for businesses to pay for their pollution go away. So too will a stream of revenue used to help families, businesses, schools and communities transition to less-polluting lifestyles.

Supporters of the initiative contend the law has led to higher fuel and energy costs for consumers without delivering measurable improvements in air quality or the natural environment. Erasing the law should bring them relief, they argue. And it will allow lawmakers to devise other incentive-based approaches to get businesses to curb their emissions.

What happens to any unspent money if the measures passes? Lawmakers hold the purse strings and will be able to decide. They won’t, however, be obligated to follow the specific spending rules in the law if it is overturned.

by Jerry Cornfield, Washington State Standard

Washington State Standard is part of States Newsroom, a nonprofit news network supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Washington State Standard maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Bill Lucia for questions: info@washingtonstatestandard.com. Follow Washington State Standard on Facebook and Twitter.

  1. It’s weird thinking that something that takes away 95% “won’t significantly move the needle.” If my old clunker is leaking oil and belching smoke, and a mechanic is going to replace gaskets and stop 95% of the smoke, that will significantly move the needle. I know. I had a car like that in 1987.
    In Washington State, Cap and Invest is going to stop 95% of our global warming pollution that is overheating the planet. 95% is moving the needle a lot.

    1. Nick, what is the percentage of global warming pollution produced in Washington state as a ratio of worldwide output. I don’t want a rationalization, defense mechanism, or feel-good psychological justification. Just specific number.

      1. Ha! Do you think that’s their idea? It could be.

        Here you go: In 2022, people around the world released 57.4 gigatons of greenhouse gases (CO2e) into the air. The United States released 5.5 gigatons of greenhouse pollution. America has 4% of the world’s population and emits 10% of global warming pollution. Washington State emits 100 megatons of global overheating pollution each year. That’s 2% of the U.S. emissions. Washington State is 2% of the population and causes 2% of the overheating (so far). Altogether, 100 megatons is 1/574ths of the global emissions.

        Here’s some help understanding that 1/574ths: If you belong to an organization with 574 members, and you think like you’re suggesting the initiative sponsors think, you would not donate to support the organization, because you would be only 1/574th of the supporters. Your donation would not significantly move the needle.

        You are 1 out of 5 million registered voters in Washington State. Your vote won’t significantly move any needle. There are people who know they are only 1 out of 5 million and vote anyway. If that’s how they think, let them vote.

        That’s weird thinking.

        1. The total CO2 generated by our country over the last 100 yrs is highest per capita in the world. We should be doing lots more. Large emitters have to be forced to lower CO2. Stop coal, regulate power plant emissions, Rapidly develop renewable ans consider nuclear. Do you feel that as individuals our efforts are useless? It’s the same argument

    2. The important point is 95% of *what*? Suppose you have 6 breaks in the plumbing in your house, all spraying water into your basement. If one of those is only contributing 5% of the water, total, and you cut off 95% of its output, you’ve only reduced the total flow 4.75%. That ‘s why 95% on one component doesn’t move the needle. I’m not saying we shouldn’t do it, just pointing out the math that makes 95% of one thing, not 95% of another.

  2. Brian, I see where you’re going with that question but this law in Washington is not unique. Many states around the country and many countries around the world are signing up to some pretty big commitments to help reduce emissions and improve our ability to manage the impacts of climate change. Washington needs to do its bit too. As a developed state with a rich and diverse environment that needs to be protected we should be leaders in this space not followers and certainly not laggards.

    1. I’m looking for a specific number, not rationalization. I can only imagine how psychologically painful this would be to realize how these efforts are the equivalent of trying to fill the Grand Canyon with a teaspoon. Environmental stewardship should be based on common sense and reasonable goals. Initiative 2117 is trying to bring that back to the conversation.

      1. I’m sorry that was too hard for you to find in the words.

        Does this help?

        1/574ths

        I’m sorry I can’t increase the font size. We’re stuck with what we’ve got. I hope you can read this.

  3. Does this initiative require fossil fuel companies to lower their prices? No. Any cost savings will just go into the pockets of the oil, gas, coal companies. Then who will pay to clean up our climate? Taxpayers. You and me.

    It will cost so much more in the end to not do anything about emissions. Besides the increased chance of shocks to our economic system (hello… inflation caused by shortages), there will be damage from increasing floods, sea level rise (goodbye Edmonds’ waterfront), forest firefighting costs and damages. Plus, there are the huge health costs that a hotter planet causes such as the influx of insect borne tropical diseases and even the increased risk of dementia and ALS from the airborne toxins in blue-green algae blooms (yes, the toxins get airborne through wind/wave action, so stay away from Florida, hopefully not the Puget Sound yet).

    We don’t even want to go down that road as much as we can help it. Don’t give that money back to fossil fuel companies. Vote No on 2117.

  4. I’m a little torn; Both arguments sound valid, but I don’t have enough information. I don’t think electric cars will save us from climate change. Considering the scarcity and environmental harm of lithium mining, putting a big battery in buses and cars and changing little else is just going to destroy more of the environment and keep us shackled to this congested way of life. If the state throws its weight behind renewable power generation, public transit overhauls, and better incentives for for facility heating and cooling solutions to reduce emissions and power consumption, then I’m all in. 36% of Puget Sound’s electric is generated by coal, still. Another 30% by methane. The money’s gotta come from somewhere; I won’t shed a tear if PSE has to pay for it’s own pollution to make our community better. Though, the military pollutes way more than we do. The state could cut its emissions significantly if it had the ability to get rid of JBLM. I wish it stopped at carbon, but those bases have polluted our drinking water, too.

    Plus, anything backed by hedge fund managers has a certain stink to it. Finance ghouls don’t do anything unless it helps them get ahead.

    TLDR; I don’t support this initiative, but I wish the state would put that money into more effective climate and environmental solutions.

  5. This act punishes the poor and lower middle income people and no a 200 dollar credit doesn’t make up for the increased cost if you can even get it if it is going to be done like the chicken rebates where the state chooses who to give it to. I bet many people will get a credit and have not bought even a single gallon of gas. You want to save the planet fine just find a way to do it without punishing the poor. This initiative has my vote.

    1. You know what is going to punish the poor and the middle class? Rising insurance costs because of climate change. Already in Florida you can’t afford insurance or you can’t get it at all. But it isn’t just Florida… try Iowa where the rising claims from storm damage (wind, hail) to repair roofs and fences is causing insurers to leave the state or greatly increase rates. Then there is flood insurance… which the taxpayer must subsidize. For us in Washington, it will be flood insurance but also fire insurance. We are in drought status for most of Washington. That increases the cost of firefighting but also increases the risk, and subsequent claims from climate fueled fires. Insurers are already pulling out of California. If you own your home, what will you do when that happens here? Even if you are a renter, your landlord will have to increase the rent. When the cost goes too high, you’ll go without insurance and then if your home gets destroyed from some climate catastrophe, you will be out of luck. Climate deniers are trying to make sure the little people like us won’t stand a chance. Our lives will be shattered.

      1. We have had multiple ice ages that have melted. Dust bowls and major drought. Record hurricanes from long ago. Yes, the climate changes and it has for millions of years. How can you prove it is created by humans without finding the causes from the past. This rhetoric is to push a new agenda where the government can control what type of car we can drive, what type of food we can eat, how we heat our homes, what type of animals and livestock we can raise. It’s playing out before our eyes. Nothing the government does to control us is good. We can’t even produce enough electrical power to cool and heat our homes but the government wants to take away your combustion engine and replace it with an EV. Think about it. It does not make sense. This climate scare tactic is getting old and people are catching on to what it really is.

        1. “How can you prove it is created by humans”?
          Good question!
          The biggest problem we have is digging up and pumping up fossil fuels and burning them. This took off a little bit in the 1700s, and then got faster in the 1900’s, especially after 1975. During that entire time, taxes were collected on the sale of coal, natural gas, and coal. The result is that there is a historical record of how much was sold and burned every year since then. And there is a field of history that studies those tax records to recreate how much we burned. The most renowned fossil-fuel-tax-record historian is Professor Paulo Malanima (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paolo_Malanima). Once you know how much in fossil fuels was burned, it is a matter of high-school chemistry to calculate how much carbon dioxide was released. We have known since the work of Joseph Fourier and Eunice Foote in the 1800’s that atmospheric carbon dioxide heats the planet. By 1900, Svante Arrhenius had figured out how much increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide would lift global temperatures. Arrhenius’s work was basically a lot of accounting: this much CO2, that much increased temperature per ton of CO2, etc. Since then, climate scientists have only added careful measurements showing that Arrhenius was pretty accurate. The overall picture is as Fourier, Foote, and Arrhenius described.

        2. All your arguments are made up by fossil fuel companies who understood from their own scientists in the 70s/80s that burning carbon fuels would heat up the world. They covered this up and followed the same practices as the tobacco industry in fighting the science about the harm of smoking, putting out false information, just like the oil/gas/coal companies are doing now. They aren’t wanting to make your life better. They are wanting to get rich by sowing false arguments like yours. The climate did change in the past, but people weren’t alive then. There were no global economies that are susceptible to shocks from disasters that climate changes is creating. If you want to keep the much easier life we now enjoy, you need to listen to the science and help figure out the best way to make changes, not call it a hoax. The laws of physics are absolute. We have to make our lives adjust to them. We can’t wish those laws away.

  6. I especially appreciate what the Climate Commitment Act has targeted and spent on equity. Low income families and overburdened communities have received much of the damage from polllution over time and now from climate change, and this Act has addressed some of these inequities. It has provided assistance for health and safety in both low-income sections of cities and in individual familities; it has improved air quality and reduced greenhouse gas emissions in overburdered communities, it has provided grants for home energy costs to low-income families, and it has provided tune-ups and replacements for residential appliances to reduce energy and emissions. More programs such as these are planned for the future. It is critical that this Act be retained and encouraged. Initiative 2117 MUST be Defeated.

  7. Nothing in this initiative requires the oil companies to lower prices. They can just pocket the savings to them and not pay any of the costs of cleaning up the climate… which could be extensive. Who will pay for that? Taxpayers through disaster relief… plus all the infrastructure needed to mitigate the risks of increased flooding or water shortages from drought. And insurance companies are raising rates or pulling out of states because of increased claims from storm damage. That is paid by consumers. We need to repair the climate to avoid this as much as we can and make oil companies bear some of the costs, not give them back the money.

  8. These feel good initiatives rarely do anything except make those who implemented them feel good about themselves. How has the climate commitment act helped in reducing garbage and filth on our streets? How can one say with proof that it’s benefited the poor communities? What about the largest polluters in the world? They aren’t changing their ways. They have the largest impact on all of us.

    We Bought a new home five years ago that has no natural gas furnace. The house is heated with ductless heating and a hybrid electric water heater. We struggle to keep our house warm in the winter. So much so I had to install a wood burning stove which cost me $10,000. In our home of four people only 1 person can take a shower as there is no more hot water left for hours. All this so called planet saving techniques are completely worthless and end up costing more money. We need to protect our environment, but there are better ways to do this. Don’t buy into the flavor of the day approach like the E Vehicles, no natural gas or culling all cattle to save the planet. Vote yes on this initiative.

    1. You should have spent that $10,000 on upgrading the heat pump. My new heat pump works down to -15F and kept us toasty warm last winter and we didn’t have to annoy the neighbors with smoke from a wood stove. And no one is talking about culling all the cattle unless they are infected with the avian influenza… which we probably can’t blame on climate change, just modern agricultural practices like factory farms. Cattle can actually have some beneficial effect if used in conjunction with regenerative farming practices. Hoofed animals (when they are rotated through the fields) can help tromp the cover crops into the soil to increase carbon storage and build up the soil back to a healthy resource which needs less pesticide/herbicide and is more drought tolerant. But people can just reduce their meat consumption, which is healthier for them too, and reduce the razing of the tropical rainforests, like in Brazil, to feed our over-sized meat addictions.

  9. My vague understanding is global co2 emissions are still on the rise I looked for Washington and the best information I could find was from 2019 which showed a 7% increase over 2018. So I ask how has this program reduced emissions? Oh and the number of credits producers can buy is less so the price is going to go up which will result in higher fuel prices. So the program has cost consumers billions has had no effect in reducing emissions I say this shill game needs to end.

    1. The initiative will not force fossil fuel companies to reduce prices. It will just make sure they don’t have to pay anything while they pollute.

    1. So it hasn’t yet is what you are saying but yet it has cost consumers plenty. What about record global emissions you talk of how many places are doing something like this but yet there has been no reduction, of course the cap and trade program is hurting business in California with many moving out of state so you can expect businesses to start moving away from here also. How do feel about all those people that are going to lose their jobs over this?
      iit s a punitive program that discourages manufacturers from investing in U.S. industries. Environmentally friendly industries are not eligible for the tax credits associated with this program.It can concentrate pollution in areas where many industries choose to buy additional allocations.May 1, 2024

  10. This conversation brings to mind “the tragedy of the commons,” that phenomenon we learned about in our undergraduate years. The example I recall is farmers in agrarian communities grazing their livestock on the town square. Pretty soon the town square is a barren mess. Each farmer says, quite correctly, “my livestock aren’t the problem. If I stop grazing on the town square, that won’t help because other livestock are still there.”

    Sometimes we need community-wide solutions to civic problems, where everybody has to contribute to the solution. Always saying “I’m not part of the problem” doesn’t get us anywhere.

  11. Cliff Mass at UofW: “Scientists think in terms of possibilities not realities. Climate Denier is meaningless and harmful. Without greenhouse gasses Co2 water vapor etc the planet would be frozen. The northern hemisphere from 1609 to 1800 just came out of a mini ice age. The cooling change ended about 1975 and the earth started warming. CO2 levels started to rise as a result of human activity. Over the past 50 years pre industrial levels of CO2 has grown from 350 to 420 ppm. The planet is warming. There is no question. However, most models used by scientists have problems. They actually disagree with one another. These models do not support a tipping level. Most apocalyptic thought is poorly grounded. Hurricanes have not increased. Sea Level will rise one or two inches by the end of the century, precipitation will increase. We have the technology and science to deal with warming.” William Happer at Princeton and Richard Linden of MIT argued that the claims used by the EPA to justify the new regulation aren’t based on scientific fact but rather political opinions and speculative models that have consistently proven to be wrong. The scientific method proves there is no risk that fossil fuels and carbon dioxide will cause catastrophic warming.” State government should support science and industry but not regulate. Vote YES.

    1. Cliff Mass, professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington research focuses on numerical weather modeling and prediction, the role of topography in the evolution of weather systems, regional climate modeling, and the weather of the Pacific Northwest. Mass has been quite critical of misrepresentations of science especially in the local media on what are the effects of increased greenhouse gasses. Those trying to make a buck on global warming non-science dismiss him because it doesn’t fit the narrative, financial shakedown schemes, or governmental environmental theocracy.

    2. William Happer is not a climate scientist and has been paid by fossil fuel companies. And Lindzen used to testify in support of tobacco companies and has been part of organizations funded by Exxon Mobil. These men are corrupted by fossil fuel money.

      97% of climate scientists agree that humans have caused climate change (my source is NASA). And actually the heating and its effects are coming faster than many had thought it would according to earlier models.

      1. Humans have caused climate change? and humans were not around when the climate was different? I know I might stretch the truth sometimes but let’s be real, the climate would change if we were here or not what it would look like if we had not been here who knows. Second humans have caused climate change? I would agree humans have contributed to the global environment to what extent is very unclear. At some point in the future the earth will cool again what do suggest burning more fossil fuel as the answer? At some point our sun will grow larger and turn our planet to dust got answers? This carbon tax stops nothing curbs nothing but most certainly taxes the people for something the government has little if any say over. Should we be good stewards certainly should we take extreme measures at great cost to the people in a attempt to change what we have little influence on? The sky is falling said chicken little, and here we are.

        1. IN the past when climate has changed it was on geologic time scales, occurring over millions of years, through enormous volcanic activity at that time over 50 million years ago, however, now we are changing the climate at an extremely fast rate, just centuries. We have been blessed with a very benign climate that has let human society develop. If we want to keep that climate we have to stop what we are doing and find better ways to produce our energy… and we already have that. The cost of solar and wind energy has plummeted and battery efficiencies and costs are coming down. It is expected in a few years, an electric car will cost less than a gas car because the batteries are getting cheaper and cheaper, (plus they are cheaper to run and maintain already). We just have to help people invest in these new technologies, and pay the true cost of running polluting fossil fuel machines.

    3. Complete and total garbage, directly from the fossil fuel cabal. Read the UN report on climate change. 90+% of all climate scientists disagree with you. See how many articles these ‘scientists’ have published research in peer-reviewed journals. Whe do so many of you think you know more than all the climate scientists? Do you think there is a climate conspiracy, across 110 countries and thousands of independent scientists? The conspiracy is among fossil fuel companies propaganda and those who disagree with the science.

  12. Cliff Mass said it, “Over the past 50 years pre industrial levels of CO2 has grown from 350 to 420 ppm. The planet is warming. There is no question.” CO2 levels are now 424 PPM (0.0424%). And there is a typo there: “pre industrial levels of CO2” have not grown. Pre industrial levels happened back in pre-industrial times. They were 280 ppm (0.028%), but you get what he meant: carbon dioxide is going up and lifting temperatures with it. As Cliff Mass says, “There is no question.” Vote NO

  13. While I think reducing carbon emission is a necessity long term to reduce global warming to a manageable amount, fact of the matter remains that each week, as a working family, I’m reminded about the very real outcome of this legislation which are gas prices $1.50 to $1.75 more expensive than most anywhere else in the country. And even when we recently replaced on of our cars with an electric one, we are still paying monthly fuel bills close to what we were paying two years ago with TWO gasoline cars. Not to mention our increased cost to hear our home, and pretty much every single other bill and expense increasing year over year. So, despite what folks who look at the data think, people vote with their pocketbooks which is exactly what our family is going to do. We have two kids to raise. There are other ways to accomplish these goals that don’t require regular working folks to foot the bill. And to those who say “well, blame the oil companies…” I am sorry but this is just basic economics. They warned and warned again this would happen. It costs a certain amount to extract and refine fuel before any taxes are added on top of it. So definitely make your arguments in support of this, but don’t forget these effects are real.

    1. Tom, if we repeal the Climate Commitment Act, there is nothing in it that requires the fossil fuel companies to lower prices. They will probably just pocket it, like all types of companies did when the shortages subsided a few years ago… they didn’t lower the prices… they just made more money. If you think voting yes will help you, you are being fooled. Oil companies will just keep those profits unless demand lowers, so getting an electric car will be the best way to lower that demand, not handing over money to the oil companies that will just laugh at you. And then think ahead to what is coming for your children if we all don’t pitch in. It’s coming faster than they thought decades back. We have to make polluters pay, and we have to use less. My personal choice would be a carbon tax with a rebate to the public so everyone could decide how much fossil fuel they do or don’t want to buy, and those that didn’t buy much would get the most value because they would pay less of the tax. But voters won’t vote for a carbon tax, so now we have this price on carbon thing that is at least doing something to help.

  14. Some people are crying about the cost of gas compared to other states, but the cost of climate change is going to take other costs through the roof. For instance the cost of gas in Florida right now averages about $1 cheaper per gallon that in Washington, but the cost of home insurance is through the roof in Florida. For $300,000 dollars of home insurance coverage, that will cost you on average $6,360 per year. In Washington State, by comparison, with lower climate risk, it is averaging $1,350 for that amount of coverage. Florida is in a climate risk red zone right now. Their costs are through the roof for this. If we don’t pitch in and do something about climate change, all our costs everywhere will be astronomical. So you can complain about the $1 per gallon, but I think that is small potatoes compared to what the future will bring if we don’t change our ways. Instead of repealing the Climate Act, we can work on ways to improve it. But don’t do nothing.

  15. Our legislature and our governor are making the same mistakes they made during Covid. Too much legislation and regulation based on too few facts. It is too political and will be extremely costly with little affect. More study is needed, more consensus is a necessity and real science should lead the way void of political favor. We should ignore the politics and work with science and industry. Corporations like oil companies, mining companies and natural gas suppliers are populated by real people with families and they actually care as much about the future as we do. It’s a global affair. The mistake that our legislature and Mr. Science are making is they are ahead of their skis., they want to punish perceived enemies and that only raises costs to the consumer while doing nothing for the environment. They are making political decisions, buying votes and raising costs and ultimately hurting the consumer. VOTE YES and start over with non-partisan collaborative solutions.

    1. There are plenty of facts accepted by 97% of climate scientists according to NASA that show carbon and methane emissions are putting us in peril. The oil industry has known this since the 70s and 80s when their own scientists told them this would happen. Instead the fossil fuel industry spread disinformation to try to stop dealing with the problem. Those decades of delay has led us to a difficult place. Now everything that can be done must happen fast. The Climate Commitment Act is doing something to help. The oil industry is trying to stop any progress just because they want to become richer. 2117 will not require the oil industry to lower prices. They will pocket the money instead and taxpayers/consumers will have to pay to fix everything. It will be enormously expensive. We can’t afford to wait. Every year the damage will get worse and cost more. Vote NO on 2117.

    2. Well said. Per the usual these days, it cannot be a both/and situation but has to be made an either/or just to make a point. Just like I stated above, I apparently cannot be doing my part to help in the ways I am trying to (by choice) AND also be worried about the personal financial impacts to our family of the current legislation. Apparently, I am being fooled at worst.

      1. Of course you can be worried about your family costs, but you are not taking all the costs into account. Doing nothing at this late date will only cost more in the years to come. Instead of repealing, you should be arguing to change things at the legislature and Congress, because doing nothing will be much more expensive. There is no good way to fix the climate without paying the cost of pollution. You should be arguing for a way to make the oil companies pay without passing on the cost. That would be at the tax code level. Do you realize they get billions in tax subsidies each year? The problem comes from the richest getting even richer at our expense. We used to have a much fairer tax code. The Republicans made sure the rich pay less, starting with Reagan. Trump even bragged to them that his tax plan gave them back bunches of money. But repealing the Climate Commitment Act won’t solve that… only voting in Democrats will fix the tax code.

  16. I first learned short the greenhouse gas effect in grade school in the early seventies. We have had more than fifty years to study this problem and, as another commenter has already indicated, there is a strong consensus among the vast majority of credible scientists (those whose research is not funded by the fossil fuel industry), that humans are responsible for the current changes in the climate and that those climate changes are the cause of the increasing number and severity of severe weather events around the world. Government of all political stripes around the world are taking this issue seriously and looking for effective ways to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels. To read some of the comments here one might think that Washington State is out ahead of the entire world in this regard but that is not the case. Even with this climate bill on the books, our emissions still exceed most of the developed world never mind the third world. We are one species with one planet to live on. We need to be responsible in our use of resources and our impact on the environment that we share with 8 billion others.

  17. There is a chart that shows the earth temperatures over the last 16 thousand years or so it would indicate cooler and warmer times during which humans have thrived yes temperatures are rising but not as hot as the past how warm will it get? When will we have another ice age or cooling trend? My guess is we short of nuclear war that we will continue to thrive for thousands of years to come will we have to adapt just like our ancestors yes but a global emergency I think not. Don’t worry in a few hundred years we will have moved beyond fossil fuels so don’t sweat it.

  18. Everyone commenting here seems to be approaching this from the viewpoint that they are immortal and all of this will affect them forever. We were supposed to do our duty to save the planet by buying a 20K heat pump system when our furnace went out. If we are real lucky we have about ten years left on earth. We bought a new 6K gas furnace because we aren’t that stupid. The people who knock our house down after we die and build two or three condos on the spot can install the over priced, rip off, heat pumps that are probably designed to fail within ten years or so anyway. I did my part for the planet by not fathering any children. Therefore I will live the life I choose to live now, thank you very much. The climate is overheating because there are just too damn many of us and voting on this law either way is totally useless as far as stopping or controlling global warming which will continue as long as we keep reproducing ourselves like rabbits in ever greater numbers.

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