OLYMPIA, Wash. — Today, a bill to establish a 100 percent clean electricity standard in Washington state moved out of the House Finance Committee, clearing a final hurdle before a potentially historic floor vote. This followed closely on the heels of a companion bill passing out of its final Senate committee earlier in the week. In response, Gail Gatton, executive director of Audubon Washington, issued the following statement:
“Audubon's support for 100 percent clean electricity builds on our commitment to protect birds and people from climate change. Reducing carbon pollution by switching to clean energy sources is technically possible, economically viable, and a key driver for new jobs and economic growth. Poll after poll show the move to clean energy is supported overwhelmingly by Washingtonians and is, simply put, the right thing to do. With a floor vote anticipated in the coming weeks, we expect our elected officials will take the necessary action now to keep our birds, residents, and communities healthy and safe from a changing climate.”
House Bill 1211 and Senate Bill 5116 would:
- Phase out of coal from our electricity grid by 2025, accelerating the closure of coal plants in Montana and Wyoming that are among the largest sources of climate pollution in the American West;
- Put in place interim emission reduction targets starting in 2030 that would prevent unnecessary and costly near-term build out of new fracked gas infrastructure in our electric grid -- ensuring an orderly transition to clean electricity;
- Require investment in low-income communities to address historic energy inequities and inclusion of equity in the planning and acquisition of clean energy;
- Increase investments in clean, renewable energy and energy efficiency, adding more jobs to the state’s clean energy industries that already employ more than 82,000 Washingtonians - 13 times as many as fossil fuels.
- Commit to powering Washington State’s entire electric grid with 100% clean energy by 2045.
In 2014, Audubon released its Birds and Climate Change Report, which showed more than half of the bird species in North America at risk of disappearing by 2080 due to shifting and shrinking ranges due to climate change. Included in the list of 314 were many found in Washington State, including the Bald Eagle, Mallard, and Anna’s Hummingbird.
About National Audubon Society
The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow, throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education and on-the-ground conservation. Audubon’s state programs, nature centers, chapters and partners have an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire and unite diverse communities in conservation action. Since 1905, Audubon’s vision has been a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Audubon is a nonprofit conservation organization. Learn more at www.audubon.org and @audubonsociety.
About Audubon Washington
Established in 1981, Audubon Washington works statewide with its 25 independent chapters and 35,000 members on the conservation of thesagebrush shrub steppe ecosystem in Eastern Washington, protection of coastal estuaries, and actions that address climate change, the number one threat to birds today. Through the Seward Park Audubon Center, it provides science, nature and environmental education programs for youth and families. Learn more at http://wa.audubon.org/, @audubonWA.
For National Audubon Society: Nicolas Gonzalez, 212-979-3068, firstname.lastname@example.org
For Audubon Washington: Samara Villasenor, 425-255-0890, email@example.com