In the 60-day 2024 legislative session, Audubon seeks to protect key climate investments, address the scourge of plastic pollution, and promote habitat connectivity and low-income community solar. We also support investments in voluntary stewardship in Washington’s shrub-steppe and estuary restoration in Puget Sound.
CLIMATE AND CLEAN ENERGY
We’ve made great progress adopting strong clean energy targets while improving processes for siting large-scale renewable energy projects. This year we’re working to ensure the Climate Commitment Act, continues to direct big investments in climate mitigation and adaptation. We’re also advocating for the Fair Access to Community Solar Act, which empowers low-income Washingtonians to be a part of a well-sited clean energy transition.
Last year was a banner year for investments in Puget Sound restoration and we’re working to increase support for nearshore habitats (ESRP). We’re also supporting the re-WRAP Act to protect our birds and coastlines from plastic pollution and hold producers responsible for the plastic waste stream, as well as legislation creating a bottle deposit system in Washington State.
Last year we supported $10M in funding for conservation districts, which would have expanded support for private landowner voluntary stewardship activities through Conservation Technical Assistance. Unfortunately, the legislature only funded this priority at $1M. We’re asking legislators to provide conservation districts with the funding they need. We’re also seeking $10M to create a Shrub-steppe Habitat Carbon Storage and Avoided Conversion grant program.
ENVIRONMENTAL PRIORITIES COALITION (EPC)
As a member of the EPC, Audubon is supporting three statewide priorities in 2024:
Holding Oil Companies Accountable
Oil companies blame climate policies for high gas prices, but rising gas prices are strongly correlated with record high oil company profits. We need transparency in how fossil fuel companies set prices to protect consumers from price gouging.
100% Clean School Buses
Washington students deserve a ride to school that doesn’t pollute their lungs or our climate. This policy sets 100% clean targets and provides necessary funds for buses and charging.
This policy improves our recycling system and shifts the cost burden from end-users to the producers who are filling our lands and waters with pollution. A separate but related “Bottle Bill” will create a container deposit system to boost collection rates for plastics.