OLYMPIA — Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, announced  a series of game-changing legislative proposals to dramatically cut  Washington state’s carbon emissions and further our state’s leadership efforts to meet the goals of the Paris Climate Accord.

“Now more than ever, Washington must build upon our global leadership in addressing carbon emissions, and we can do so through innovation, including:  controlling carbon emissions through restrictive pricing, investing in clean transportation and renewable technology, and creating high standards that reduce future emissions,” said Ranker. “People here in Washington state feel the impacts of climate change, from the increasing forest fires to rising ocean acidification impacting shellfish and the Salish Sea. We have both the responsibility and the capability to take meaningful action to reduce carbon emissions as national efforts disappear under the current president.”

Under new legislation, prefiled this week for the 2018 legislative session, Washington state would commit to electric vehicle fleets, create a 100 percent carbon free electricity portfolio standard, and put a price on carbon emissions.

Promoting the availability and use of clean transportation (SB 6098)

Washington state would set ambitious targets for state agency fleets to acquire electric vehicles: 25 percent of agency fleets by 2024 and 50 percent by 2030. The state will also adopt the California “Zero Emission Vehicle” program, which will lead to the availability of more electric vehicles in the state.

Providing a road map for a 100 percent carbon free future

Washington would become the second state in the country to mandate that 100 percent of the state’s electricity be generated from carbon free energy resources no later than 2045, with a phase-out of coal by 2030 and a moratorium on any further expansion of natural gas facilities.  This powerful legislation will provide clean air and clean energy for future generations while creating thousands of clean energy jobs.

Establishing the landmark Climate Protection and Clean Jobs Act (SB 6096)

Both greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels and electricity generated from fossil fuels would be assessed a carbon pollution price. This “upstream” tax would be imposed at $15 per ton starting in 2019 and capped at $30 per ton in 2025 and beyond, with some exemptions for fuel and electricity exports, aviation and maritime fuel uses, and specified industries. Revenues from the tax would be dedicated to supporting carbon reduction investments such as clean energy and energy efficiency, climate resiliency in our waters and forests, environmental sustainability, and environmental justice, supporting ongoing investments for clean jobs and clean communities – particularly those communities most impacted by the impacts of climate change, which are most often historically disadvantaged communities of color.

“People from across the state demand action to protect the next generation by creating healthy communities, sustainable energy, green jobs and protecting our beloved, outdoor spaces,” said Ranker. “If the Trump administration continues to step back and deny the truth, it is time for us here in Washington to lead the fight against climate change.”

Bills have been submitted and will be available in the coming days on the prefile list here.