Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has proposed a carbon cap-and-trade mechanism for the state.
Building on an executive order Inslee issued in April, the Carbon Pollution Accountability Act (CPAA) would create a new, market-based program that limits carbon pollution and requires major polluters to pay for their emissions. The limit will decrease gradually over time, allowing emitters time to transition to cleaner technology and improved operations.
The CPAA received input from the governor's Carbon Emissions Reduction Taskforce, which included representatives from business, labor, health care, utilities, at-risk communities, governments and others. Inslee says the program would generate about $1 billion in the first year and more thereafter.
Regulatory and market-based schemes to increase the cost of carbon emissions systems are seen as valuable tools for states to reach their committments under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan.
In a related announcement, Inslee has asked the Department of Ecology to draft a clean fuel standard rule and to solicit review and comments from legislators, stakeholders and the public.
The governor also says the Washington State University Energy Office is drafting legislation to expand the state's solar incentives program.
More information about the carbon program is here.