Washington State Passes 100 Percent Clean Electricity Legislation

New legislation is strongest clean electricity bill in the nation

Editor’s Note: This news release was published by the Environmental Priorities Coalition (EPC), of which Audubon Washington is a member. The EPC is made up of more than 20 statewide organizations working to safeguard our environment and the health of our communities. For the 2019 legislative session, the EPC has adopted four priorities essential for healthy communities and a thriving environment, including support for 100% clean electricity.

Olympia, WA -- April 22, 2019 -- Following the historic House vote on April 11, the Washington State Legislature today passed SB 5116, the strongest clean electricity bill in the nation, with the Senate approving the final version of the bill. Washington is now the fourth state, and the first in the Northwest, to pass 100 percent clean electricity legislation, which will affordably and reliably eliminate coal power by 2025 and transition the state to 100 percent clean and renewable electricity by 2045.

This major climate action demonstrates collective agreement around the growing urgency to address the economic, public health, and environmental impacts of climate change. A unique and diverse coalition of labor unions, environmental justice groups, businesses, medical professionals, faith leaders, and environmental and clean energy groups worked together for several years to develop the bill and get it passed in the Legislature.

The state’s commitment to 100 percent clean electricity will boost jobs and strengthen energy equity through provisions in the bill that increase funding for energy assistance programs for low income households and incorporate equity considerations in the planning and acquisition of new sources of electricity. The bill also ensures new clean energy jobs that include strong worker protections and pay family wages.

For more information about the legislation and a great array of quotes supporting the bill, please see the press release from last week’s House vote, at which hundreds of youth were present to witness the historic floor debate.

Television producers: B-roll of clean energy projects is available here.

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