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Jay Inslee on Energy & Oil

Democratic Representative (WA-1)

 


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.