Monthly Archives: October 2017

Ranker meets with school administrators to improve and enhance children’s education

October 20th, 2017|

OLYMPIA – This week, Sen. Kevin Ranker, D- Orcas Island, met with administrators from Anacortes, Bellingham, Burlington-Edison, Lopez, Mount Vernon, Orcas Island, San Juan Island and Shaw Island school districts to discuss the impacts of HB 2422, the state’s next step in committing more state dollars to K-12  education. Sen. Ranker released this statement on the important insight gained from school administrators and the impacts and challenges local schools face:

“While the state has made a historic investment in our children’s education, we see a need for more flexibility at the local level to meet the unique challenges of each community. We know every homeowner statewide now faces the massive Republican property tax increase this January, possibly hampering school districts’ abilities to pass local levies and fully fund our children’s education.

“Many schools rely on additional teachers, staff and supportive services along with the local support and control of programs. We must find solutions to mitigate any mistakes or gaps within the new education package passed by the legislature.

“The insight and ideas provided by school districts, teachers and communities are immensely important to the legislature’s work. The more the entire legislature hears from every community, we can continue to improve, enhance and support the services and opportunities for every child in every community.

“When we return to Olympia, we will need to work aggressively, and in a bipartisan manner, to ensure the Republican property tax increase is managed or reduced and provide the critical resources for our children’s education that is more equitable to all of Washington’s citizens.”

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    As Trump Backtracks, Washington State Must Forge Ahead to Carbon Free Future

As Trump Backtracks, Washington State Must Forge Ahead to Carbon Free Future

October 13th, 2017|

By repealing the Clean Power Plan this week, the Trump administration thoughtlessly leaves the country without any serious strategy to uphold the Clean Air Act and meet our obligation to reduce carbon pollution at the federal level. Now more than ever, it is up to state and local governments to come together with leaders from around the world to strengthen our resolve to achieve meaningful carbon pollution reductions.

Last week, I participated in a key trade mission at the invitation of the British Consulate to learn more about what the United Kingdom is doing in advanced offshore renewable energy production. I accompanied tribal and state leaders from Washington and Hawaii, including Nate Tyler, chair of the Makah Nation, and Melvin John Ashue, vice chair of the Hoh Tribe, along with leads from the departments of Commerce and Ecology. We had dozens of productive meetings with government leaders and engineers in England and Scotland and saw firsthand the incredible projects their governments, universities and businesses are developing in new, clean energy technologies.

As we move toward a clean energy future, we must consider all kinds of opportunities and solutions. What we do will determine our economy and the quality of life of communities across our state. At the forefront, tribes are considering renewable energy as a tool to reduce emissions and promote economic development in our communities here in Washington state. On this trip, we spoke extensively with representatives and officials about offshore energy policy, design, construction, safety and management. We traveled out to the Orkney Islands far north of the Scottish mainland. With a population of 22,000 people, the Orkney Islands are now in the forefront when it comes to renewable energy with significant wind and tidal energy deployed — including one tidal unit that generated 158 megawatts in one week. The Orkneys are now 100 percent renewable energy and generate at 120 percent capacity.

I believe strongly that Washington state should have a 100 percent Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) and that we should make this happen now. This would make us energy independent while creating thousands of jobs.

Through global partnerships and trade missions like this one, we can learn the best examples of how to move forward as a state and a nation toward a sustainable and exciting clean energy future. We should not build walls between ourselves and other nations, we should instead learn from them to better our own future. In this case, Washington State can learn a great deal from other countries.

Though the Trump Administration seeks to take us backward, we must forge ahead to lead the world toward a carbon free and economically powerful future. Through thoughtful advancement of powerful climate actions — such as eliminating our reliance on coal-fired power entirely from our electrical grid and moving toward a 100 percent RPS — Washington state, like the small Orkney Islands off of Scotland, can build a clean energy future that is not only good for our environment but also good for our economy.