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Jay Inslee on Energy & Oil

Democratic WA Governor; Former Representative (WA-1)

 


Plan for 100% clean energy by 2030

Inslee revealed his "100 Percent Clean Energy for American Plan," a collection of climate-change policies ranging from the closure of all coal-fired power plants within 10 years; requirement that all electricity be "carbon neutral" by 2030; mandates for all new car and light trucks to be "emissions-free by 2030; and "Zero-Carbon Building Standard," implementation by 2030. Inslee places more emphasis on the role of the private sector than some advocates of the Green New Deal.
Source: Axios.com "What you need to know about 2020" , May 3, 2019

Decarbonize economy; fund transition for coal/oil workers

We have to decarbonize our entire economy in the next several decades. This is massive re-industrialization of America. And third it has led people to recognize that we have to have a just transition to clean energy, where the first victims of climate change, which are marginalized communities, get help.

We are a fossil fuel-based economy largely right now, and we know we're going to have to go to clean energy sources by the midcentury. But while we do this, we have to make sure that people during that transition have opportunities along with everyone else. We need to do the kind of things we've done in Centralia, Washington, where we are closing our last coal-fired plant, to have about a $55 million fund to help those employees in training and transition assistance, to help businesses where we can make sure that local economy continues to thrive, and give a transition period of several years so that there's not, you know, trauma for these families.

Source: CNN Town Hall: 2020 presidential hopefuls , Apr 10, 2019

Research nuclear energy; many problems unsolved

On the Green New Deal: Number one, it's got people talking about climate change. Number two, it has also raised people's ambition as to the scope of the challenge.

I believe that the urgency is so great and the time period so short to decarbonize our economy that we need to be open to any low-cost or low-carbon or zero-carbon technology. That includes nuclear. But there would have to be four things happen before nuclear power would be able to become a major part of our portfolio. It would have to become cost-effective, which it is not. It would have to be much safer with passive safety systems, which have not yet been developed. It would have to solve the waste problem with the waste stream. And it would have to win public acceptance. My view is it is appropriate to make R&D investments to determine whether any of those or all of those can be surmounted.

Source: CNN Town Hall: 2020 presidential hopefuls , Apr 10, 2019

Mixed score on "350 Action's 2020 Climate Test"

The environmental group 350 Action released a candidate scorecard known as the 2020 Climate Test to assess presidential hopefuls on three major metrics: support for a Green New Deal, opposition to new fossil fuel development and refusal to accept money from energy companies. [Candidates supporting all three issues]: Four candidates have supported two of 350 Action's three benchmarks.Three candidates have failed all three of 350 Action's tests, attacking the Green New Deal or making no firm pledges to work against fossil fuel companies.
Source: Mother Jones, "On Climate," on 2020 Presidential Hopefuls , Mar 27, 2019

No "silver bullet" for climate: "silver buckshot" instead

The Washington governor has been focused laser-like on the issue of climate change. "We are the first generation to feel the sting of climate change," he said, "but we are the last generation that can do something about it." He noted that a recent Iowa poll showed that the environment was the top issue for Democratic voters, tied with healthcare. With Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Green New Deal helping to push the topic to centre stage, Mr Inslee could be in position to capitalise on the attention.

His big idea: Clearly environmental action is the central thrust of Mr Inslee's campaign, although he says he has no one preferred policy "silver bullet", but rather wants a multifaceted "silver buckshot" approach.

His biggest challenge: If he succeeds in raising his visibility by pushing the environmental issue, his biggest challenge will be using that attention to sell Democratic voters on the rest of his progressive record in Washington.

Source: BBC.com on 2020 Democratic primary contenders at 2019 SXSW , Mar 12, 2019

Fighting climate change crucial, and profitable

Inslee will be the only climate-change candidate when he announces his bid. "It's less of a concern," Inslee says of his singular focus on global warming, "than being totally ignored in a presidential race." This isn't just about saving the planet, but about how much money can be made in moving toward clean energy. "Whatever the situation is now, it's going to be worse two years from now on the peril side, and it's going to be better on the promise side through clean-energy jobs."
Source: The Atlantic, "Risky Bet," on 2020 presidential hopefuls , Mar 1, 2019

We are last generation that can do something about climate

Campaign announcement: "I'm running for president because I'm the only candidate who will make defeating climate change our nation's number one priority," Inslee declares in a video shared on social media. "We're the first generation to feel the sting of climate change, and we're the last that can do something about it," he says in the video. "This crisis isn't just a chart or graph anymore. The impacts are being felt everywhere."
Source: Common Dreams e-zine on 2020 Democratic primary , Mar 1, 2019

Fighting climate change must be top goal of next president

Ultimately, I believe there is one central, defining, existential-with-a-capital-E threat to the future of the nation: climate change. It is clear that it will only be defeated if the United States shows leadership. And that will only happen if the US president makes it a clear priority--the number one, foremost, paramount goal of the next administration. And I believe I'm uniquely positioned, by willingness and history and vision, to be able to do that.

[When Obama won in 2008], the Democratic team said, "We're going to do health care first." And so climate didn't get done. Now, could it have gotten done if it was put first? There are no guarantees. But once health care went first, there wasn't enough juice to get climate through. We simply cannot have that experience again. So [climate change] can't be on a laundry list. It can't be something that candidates check the box on. It has to be a full-blooded effort to mobilize the United States in all capacities.

Source: David Roberts, Vox.com, on 2020 Democratic primary , Mar 1, 2019

Supported renewable portfolio; supports Green New Deal

I was very involved in passing the renewable portfolio standard [in 2006]. We went from zero to a billion-dollar wind industry in the last several years. We have moved the needle on the electrification of our transportation system. We've [helped with] electric cars, because of the work we've been doing with incentives & building the electrical charging station grid on the interstate. We have created a clean energy research facility that's doing great work. We built a clean energy development program. So I would say we have had substantial progress here, and I have been involved in virtually all of that in some way.

I don't get to vote on it, but I am totally in sync and believe that it is exactly what I have said for decades. I think these aspirational goals are appropriate to the time and the scale. I love the fact that it is embracing economic justice issues as well. I think we have come to understand more about how marginalized communities have been the victims of climate change.

Source: David Roberts, Vox.com, on 2020 Democratic primary , Mar 1, 2019

Clean energy means jobs

Clean energy and low-carbon technologies are increasingly competitive in the marketplace. Innovation brings us cleaner, cheaper, better fossil-fuel alternatives. These kinds of jobs have propelled our clean energy sector to grow more than twice as fast as the rest of our economy. There is no greater job opportunity than the opportunity of clean energy. It's why a historic alliance of labor and communities of color has joined with conservation and environmental groups to push for climate action. We will pass legislation to transition to 100 percent clean electricity, transform our buildings with cost-saving efficiencies, and modernize and electrify our transportation system. We'll phase down super-pollutants and phase in cleaner fuels. This means by 2035, nearly all our electricity will come from clean sources, instead of polluting fossil fuels. This transformation has started but we need to do more, do it bigger and do it faster.
Source: 2019 State of the State address to Washington legislature , Jan 15, 2019

Decade-long track record on climate change

Jay Inslee thinks Americans [will pay attention] when it comes to climate change. And that's why he's going to run for president. "When you've been working on something for over a decade, and now seeing people awakening to that, it's just really gratifying and heartening," the Washington governor recently told me, sitting in his private study on the top floor of the governor's mansion. When it comes to climate change, there now appears to be "an appetite for someone who has credibility and a long track record and, most importantly, a vision statement. It's changed to show an opening in a Democratic primary, I believe."

As the 2018 midterm campaigns came to an end, Inslee read through searing international and federal climate-change assessments, took a trip to view the wildfire damage in California--and he shifted [in his decision to run for President]. Now "we're laying the groundwork that would make this a feasible thing in the relatively short term," Inslee told me.

Source: The Atlantic on 2020 presidential hopefuls, "Climate Change" , Jan 2, 2019

Climate change threatens environment & national security

If there is a new Democratic president come 2021, he or she will get pulled in all sorts of policy directions. Inslee says he has one priority: global warming. It's not theoretical, or a cause just for tree huggers anymore. "Putting off dealing with it for a year or two or kicking it to some new bipartisan commission won't work," he says. He plans to focus on the threat that climate change poses to the environment and national security--the mega-storms and fires causing millions in damages, the weather changes that will cause mass migrations, the droughts that will devastate farmers in America and around the world.

Even more so, he wants to talk about the risk to American opportunity. "We have two existential threats right now: one is to our natural systems, and one is to our economic systems," he said.

Source: The Atlantic on 2020 presidential hopefuls, "Climate Change" , Jan 2, 2019

Spur green R&D; restrict power plants and emissions

As he did in Washington State, [to deal with climate change] Inslee would propose a mix of government investments and incentives to spur other investment, restrictions on power plants and emissions, and programs to promote R&D and job growth. An endless number of jobs can be created in the climate arena, Inslee says. It's the way to make a real dent in income inequality and have the Democratic Party bring tangible solutions to communities in rural America that have been left behind. With his inaction, President Donald Trump--Inslee calls him "the commander in chief of delusion"--is engaged in a "disgusting selling-out of the country," a "crime" against the aspirational optimism of America.

He's put together an email list of 200,000 climate advocates, which could become a beachhead of support around the country [in his presidential run].

Source: The Atlantic on 2020 presidential hopefuls, "Climate Change" , Jan 2, 2019

Establish solar-cell; expand use of electric ferries

[Among Democrats running for President], Inslee is the only one who has actually run a government that has made climate-change policy central. He points to the towns in Washington that have become solar-cell farms, among other accomplishments. There's also his plan to expand the use of electric ferries. "Without having a vision and having a sense of what could be, we would not be launching that effort right now," says the outgoing director of the state commerce department. "As a country, we're certainly not going to be able to do it if we're hiding from facts from the world around us."

Why climate change as a core issue? This is like gay marriage, he figures: America is at a tipping point. Things are about to change. And voters will be looking for leaders who were already out front on the issue.

Source: The Atlantic on 2020 presidential hopefuls, "Climate Change" , Jan 2, 2019

Supports carbon tax

Many states and nations have enacted a price on carbon. Even China is getting on board, having recently launched the largest carbon market on the planet. By passing a carbon tax, we would simply join our West Coast neighbors, and the rest of the world, as the global economy moves away from fossil fuels and toward a decarbonized, clean-energy future. And I believe that Washington is exactly the state to lead the clean-energy economy and seize the jobs that China and other nations are clamoring for.
Source: 2018 Washington State of the State address , Jan 9, 2018

I see climate change already affecting Washingtonians

Q: According to Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations: "Climate change is the most emblematic challenge in this age of globalization. For the sake of our grandchildren, we cannot refuse that challenge." (The Case For True Leadership on Climate Change--Kofi Annan Foundation, 30 Nov 2015) What is your opinion of this quotation?

Jay Inslee: Support.

Q: Please explain your response.

Jay Inslee: I wholeheartedly agree. I see the impacts of climate change already affecting Washingtonians everywhere I go. None are more jeopardized by the climate related disasters like fire, flooding, and sea level rise than our most vulnerable communities. We need a comprehensive strategy that reduces carbon pollution from Washington while harnessing the jobs and economic opportunities that are coming to those who take action on climate change.

Source: LWV's Vote411.org on 2016 Washington Gubernatorial Race , Sep 19, 2016

Supports oil refinery (plus biofuel) along Columbia River

Inslee supports an oil refinery along the majestic Columbia River. The proposed facility would produce 40-45,000 barrels of oil/day from Bakken crude delivered by rail cars. The "green" pitch: the refinery would also refine biofuel, which will lower the plant's overall carbon footprint.

Sounds a little back door doesn't it? This is the same Jay Inslee who proudly wears the mantle of "Greenest Governor" and claims to be an ardent opponent of fossil fuels? It doesn't add up. But it's election season.

Source: Huffington Post on 2016 Washington gubernatorial race , Jun 24, 2015

I cannot consciously accept the dangers of climate change

There is no challenge greater for Washington, with more opportunity for job growth and more suited to our particular brand of genius and ingenuity, than leading the world's clean energy economy. It is clear to me that we are the right state, at the right time, with the right people. It's also clear to me that we face grave and immediate danger if we fail to act. Nine of 10 of the hottest years on record happened in the past decade.

As a parent and a grandparent, I cannot consciously accept the dangers of climate change for my family or yours. As a Governor, I can't afford to look the other way or point fingers or deny these realities, and I cannot allow our state to miss the moment we are destined for. On climate change, we have settled the scientific controversy. What remains is how we respond to the challenge. Now I know Washington can't solve this global problem alone, but we must embrace our role as first responders as our children's health is in clear and immediate danger.

Source: 2013 Wash. State of the State Address , Jan 16, 2013

Voted NO on opening Outer Continental Shelf to oil drilling.

Proponent's Argument for voting Yes:
[Rep. Young, R-AK]: The Americans suffering from $4 a gallon gas today must feel like they're experiencing a sense of deja vu. In 2008, when gasoline prices reached a record high of $4.11 per gallon, the public outcry forced Congress to act. That fall, Congress lifted the offshore drilling ban that had been in place for decades. Three years later, most Americans would likely be shocked to learn that no energy development has happened in these new areas.

Opponent's Argument for voting No:
[Rep. Markey, D-MA]. In the first 3 months of this year, Exxon-Mobil made $10 billion off of the American consumer; Shell made $8 billion; BP made $7 billion. So what are these companies asking for? These companies are now asking that we open up the beaches of California, Florida & New England to drill for oil. People who live near those beaches don't want oil coming in the way it did in the Gulf of Mexico. Right now, those oil companies are centered down in the Gulf of Mexico. People are concerned because those companies have blocked any new safety reforms that would protect against another catastrophic spill. We have to oppose this bill because, first of all, they already have 60 million acres of American land that they haven't drilled on yet, which has about 11 billion barrels of oil underneath it and an equivalent amount of natural gas. This bill is just a giveaway to Exxon-Mobil and Shell.

Reference: Reversing Pres. Obama's Offshore Moratorium Act; Bill H.1231 ; vote number 11-HV320 on May 12, 2011

Voted NO on barring EPA from regulating greenhouse gases.

Proponent's Argument for voting Yes:
[Rep. Upton, R-MI]: This legislation will remove the biggest regulatory threat to the American economy. This is a threat imposed not by Congress, but entirely by the Obama EPA. This administration wanted a cap-and-trade system to regulate greenhouse gases, but Congress said no. So beginning in early 2009, EPA began putting together a house of cards to regulate emissions of carbon dioxide. The agency began with automobiles, declaring that their emissions endangered public health. That single endangerment finding has since been used by EPA to launch an unparalleled onslaught. The result, two years later, is a series of regulations that will ultimately affect every citizen, every industry, really every aspect of our economy and way of life.

Opponent's Argument for voting No:
[Rep. Waxman, D-CA]: This bill is a direct assault on the Clean Air Act. Its premise is that climate change is a hoax and carbon pollution does not endanger health and welfare. But climate change is real. It is caused by pollution, and it is a serious threat to our health and welfare. We need to confront these realities. American families count on the EPA to keep our air and water clean. But this bill has politicians overruling the experts at EPA, and it exempts our biggest polluters from regulation. If this bill is enacted, the EPA's ability to control dangerous carbon pollution will be gutted.

Reference: Energy Tax Prevention Act; Bill H.910 ; vote number 11-HV249 on Apr 7, 2011

Voted YES on enforcing limits on CO2 global warming pollution.

Congressional Summary:Requires utilities to supply an increasing percentage of their demand from a combination of energy efficiency savings and renewable energy (6% in 2012, 9.5% in 2014, 13% in 2016, 16.5% in 2018, and 20% in 2021). Provides for:
  1. issuing, trading, and verifying renewable electricity credits; and
  2. prescribing standards to define and measure electricity savings from energy efficiency and energy conservation measures.
Amends the Clean Air Act (CAA) to set forth a national strategy to address barriers to the commercial-scale deployment of carbon capture and sequestration.

Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Rep. ED MARKEY (D, MA-7): For the first time in the history of our country, we will put enforceable limits on global warming pollution. At its core, however, this is a jobs bill. It will create millions of new, clean-energy jobs in whole new industries with incentives to drive competition in the energy marketplace. It sets ambitious and achievable standards for energy efficiency and renewable energy from solar, wind, geothermal, biomass so that by 2020, 20% of America's energy will be clean.

Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. BOB GOODLATTE (R, VA-6): I agree that this bill has very important consequences, but those consequences are devastating for the future of the economy of this country. It's a fantasy that this legislation will turn down the thermostat of the world by reducing CO2 gas emissions when China & India & other nations are pumping more CO2 gas into the atmosphere all the time. We would be far better served with legislation that devotes itself to developing new technologies before we slam the door on our traditional sources of energy like coal and oil and and nuclear power. We support the effort for energy efficiency. We do not support this kind of suicide for the American economy. Unfortunately, cap and trade legislation would only further cripple our economy.

Reference: American Clean Energy and Security Act; Bill H.R.2454 ; vote number 2009-H477 on Jun 26, 2009

Voted YES on tax credits for renewable electricity, with PAYGO offsets.

Congressional Summary:Extends the tax credit for producing electricity from renewable resources:

Proponent's argument to vote Yes: Rep. RICHARD NEAL (D, MA-2): This bill contains extensions of popular tax incentives that expired at the end of last year. This needs to get under way. The R&D tax credit is important. This bill includes a number of popular and forward-thinking incentives for energy efficiency. This is a very balanced bill which does no harm to the Federal Treasury. It asks that hedge fund managers pay a bit more, and it delays an international tax break that hasn't gone into effect yet. It is responsible legislation.

Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. DAVE CAMP (R, MI-4): We are conducting another purely political exercise on a tax bill that is doomed in the other body because of our House majority's insistence on adhering to the misguided PAYGO rules. The Senate acted on a bipartisan basis to find common ground on this issue. They approved a comprehensive tax relief package containing extenders provisions that are not fully offset, as many Democrats would prefer, but contain more offsets than Republicans would like. Why is this our only option? Because the Senate, which has labored long and hard to develop that compromise, has indicated in no uncertain terms that it is not going to reconsider these issues again this year.

[The bill was killed in the Senate].

Reference: Renewable Energy and Job Creation Tax Act; Bill H.R.7060 ; vote number 2008-H649 on Sep 26, 2008

Voted YES on tax incentives for energy production and conservation.

OnTheIssues.org Explanation: This bill passed the House but was killed in the Senate on a rejected Cloture Motion, Senate rollcall #150

Congressional Summary: A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide Tax incentives for energy production and conservation, to extend certain expiring provisions, and to provide individual income tax relief.