S‑0479.3   _____________________________________________






State of Washington      57th Legislature     2001 Regular Session


By Senators Fairley, Kline and Kohl‑Welles


Read first time 01/25/2001.  Referred to Committee on Environment, Energy & Water.

_1      AN ACT Relating to the reduction of greenhouse gases affecting

_2  climate change; adding a new chapter to Title 70 RCW; providing an

_3  effective date; and declaring an emergency.




_5      NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1.  The legislature makes the following

_6  findings:

_7      (1) The overwhelming majority of scientific opinion, as

_8  expressed in a recent consensus report of the world's climate

_9  research community, has concluded that significant climate change

10  arising from greenhouse gases generated by human activity is

11  already underway.

12      (2) The best available analyses by northwest climate experts

13  now indicate a projected doubling of carbon dioxide in the

14  atmosphere is now expected to increase the average temperature in

15  Washington state four to seven degrees over the next fifty

16  years.  This is the same amount of heating that normally occurs over

17  a ten thousand to twenty thousand-year period and is expected to

18  create:

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_1      (a) Substantial change in the timing, intensity, and

_2  distribution of the state's precipitation;

_3      (b) Substantial reduction in the state's total snow pack;

_4      (c) A thirty to fifty-percent reduction of the natural flow of

_5  the Columbia river during the summer; and

_6      (d) Significant sea level rise around the state, including

_7  Puget Sound, for centuries to come.

_8      (3) Such changes are likely to have major, adverse impacts on

_9  the state's:  (a) Water supply; (b) ability to generate

10  hydroelectricity; (c) air quality; (d) transportation; (e)

11  infectious diseases and public health; (f) agriculture; (g)

12  forestry; (h) fisheries; (i) coastal infrastructure; (j)

13  recreation; and (k) all natural ecosystems including designated

14  wilderness.

15      (4) Carbon dioxide, created by the burning of fossil fuels, is

16  by far the largest source of disrupting greenhouse gases.  Current

17  trends indicate that, within fifty to one hundred years, there

18  will be a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide over the

19  preindustrial year of 1800.  These trends, if left unchecked, will

20  lead to a tripling and quadrupling of atmospheric carbon dioxide

21  over the next century.  Stabilizing the atmospheric concentration at

22  twice the current level will require a worldwide capping of the

23  growth of emissions within forty years with a reduction of

24  emissions of over eighty percent thereafter.

25      (5) There has been a breakdown in global leadership on this

26  issue and a response from the United States congress, commensurate

27  with the risks associated here, is not currently foreseeable.  The

28  citizens of Washington state have consistently demonstrated

29  extraordinary scientific, technological, visionary, and creative

30  leadership.  This kind of leadership is necessary to successfully

31  engage the entire global community in addressing climate

32  change.  Consequently, the state of Washington shall strive to emit

33  no net greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2020.

34      (6) The citizens of Washington state are being asked to host an

35  enormous number of new fossil fuel power plants that will increase

36  the state's total greenhouse gas emissions by over thirty percent

37  within the next few years.  These plants are projected to emit the

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_1  equivalent emissions of five and one-half million cars.  Over eighty-

_2  six percent of the state's emissions of dangerous greenhouse

_3  gases are from just two sectors, electricity and transportation.

_4      (7) Polluters should normally be expected, as a cost of doing

_5  business, to pay the cost to clean up or mitigate their pollution,

_6  and that the failure to regulate pollution by greenhouse gases

_7  will impact future generations for at least four hundred years.  The

_8  cost of mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from natural gas

_9  plants and transportation is generally expected to cost between

10  three and six percent of the price of the electricity and

11  fuel.  Mitigation costs from polluters can be used to dramatically

12  develop and promote the large-scale availability of cost-

13  effective, clean electricity and transportation in Washington

14  state.  For purposes of this subsection only, "greenhouse gases"

15  shall include all gases identified for regulation, as of January

16  1, 2001, by the United Nations framework convention on climate

17  change.


18      NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2.  The definitions in this section apply

19  throughout this chapter unless the context clearly requires

20  otherwise.

21      (1) "Board" means the board of directors of the Washington

22  climate center.

23      (2) "Center" means the Washington climate center.

24      (3) "Climate change" means a change of climate attributed

25  directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the

26  composition of the global atmosphere.

27      (4) "Emissions" means the release of greenhouse gases.

28      (5) "Emitter" means the entity releasing greenhouse gases.  The

29  "emitter" for:

30      (a) Transportation fuels shall be that party which sells the

31  fuel, not the purchaser; and

32      (b) Electricity produced outside of Washington state, shall be

33  the wholesale seller.

34      (6) "Greenhouse gases" includes only the following gases:

35  Carbon dioxide (CO2), methane and natural gas (CH4), and nitrous

36  oxide (N2O).  All carbon neutral emissions are exempt from this

37  chapter, these are:  Emissions of carbon dioxide from sources that

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_1  originally captured the carbon from the atmosphere or hydrosphere

_2  within the last five hundred years.  This includes, but is not

_3  limited to, human or animal respiration and the burning of

_4  biofuels.

_5      (7) "Mitigate" emissions means to eliminate, or capture-and-

_6  store, or to ensure the elimination or capturing and storing of,

_7  greenhouse gases.

_8      (8) "Most cost-effective" means obtaining the greatest

_9  reductions in greenhouse gases per dollar spent.

10      (9) "Permanent" mitigation means to avoid, or remove,

11  greenhouse gases from the atmosphere for a period in excess of two

12  hundred years.

13      (10) "Short-term" mitigation means to avoid, or remove,

14  greenhouse gases from the atmosphere for a period of two hundred

15  years or less.


16      NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3.  The state legislature authorizes the

17  establishment of an independent, nonprofit organization known as

18  the Washington climate center to serve as a central clearinghouse

19  for all climate change activities in the state.


20      NEW SECTION.  Sec. 4.  The center shall be funded through:  (1)

21  Cash and in-kind contributions; and (2) administrative fees for

22  services as provided in this chapter.


23      NEW SECTION.  Sec. 5.  (1) The activities of the center shall be

24  directed by a board of directors selected by the governor, for

25  terms of four years, beginning November 1, 2001.  The board shall

26  include no less than eleven members as follows:

27      (a) One member from the majority party of both the house of

28  representatives and senate;

29      (b) One member from the minority party of both the house of

30  representatives and senate;

31      (c) One member from the office of the commissioner of public

32  lands;

33      (d) Two members from the nonprofit, climate sector;

34      (e) Two members from the business sector; and

35      (f) Two members from the climate academic sector.

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_1      (2) The board shall retain and assign staff and volunteers as

_2  the board deems necessary.  A vote of a majority of the members of

_3  the board shall bind the board.


_4      NEW SECTION.  Sec. 6.  (1) The duties of the center may

_5  include, but are not limited to:

_6      (a) Determining current and projected emissions of greenhouse

_7  gases in the state;

_8      (b) Collecting and sharing scientific and technological data

_9  related to climate change;

10      (c) Assisting and collecting all climate contingency planning

11  in the state;

12      (d) Advising relevant sectors of prospective commercial

13  opportunities;

14      (e) Studying and recommending, by January 30, 2002, avenues

15  capping the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions in the state

16  by December 31, 2003;

17      (f) Studying and recommending, by June 30, 2002, the most cost-

18  effective methods for eliminating all net greenhouse gas emissions

19  in the state by December 31, 2020;

20      (g) Studying and recommending, by January 1, 2002, the most

21  cost-effective methods for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from

22  the transportation sector consistent with federal law;

23      (h) Certifying the extent and degree of mitigation projects;

24      (i) Ensuring adequate monitoring and verification of mitigation

25  projects;

26      (j) Serving as a central, independent registry for the trading

27  of emissions credits; and

28      (k) Submitting a report of progress to the legislature by

29  December 31st of each year.

30      (2) The center shall:

31      (a) Draft and publish its rules of operation, calculations, and

32  methods;

33      (b) Accomplish any other duty assigned to it by the legislature

34  for which adequate funding is provided; and

35      (c) Provide an annual report to the governor and legislature by

36  December 31st regarding the implementation of this chapter.

37      (3) The center may also:

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_1      (a) Identify key sectors within the state likely to be affected

_2  adversely by climate change;

_3      (b) Notify and convene meetings of key members of those

_4  sectors;

_5      (c) Provide relevant scientific and technological information

_6  to the public and key sectors;

_7      (d) Support a collaborative response to assist those sectors;

_8  and

_9      (e) Assist in the creation of effective contingency planning

10  for those sectors.

11      (4) The following agencies and programs shall work with the

12  center to establish contingency planning under subsection (3) of

13  this section:  The department of community, trade, and economic

14  development, the department of ecology, the department of

15  transportation, and the Washington State University energy

16  program.


17      NEW SECTION.  Sec. 7.  (1) All emitters of greenhouse gases from

18  the production of electricity and the burning of transportation

19  fuels are required to mitigate their emissions effective January

20  1, 2002.

21      (2) Emissions of greenhouse gases from all other sectors,

22  including, but not limited to, agriculture, aluminum, cement,

23  forestry, natural gas for heating, and solid waste are exempt from

24  the provisions of this chapter through the year 2006.  The board may

25  extend all or part of the exemption if it believes the state can

26  attain a level of no net greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2020

27  without directly addressing emissions from those sectors.

28      (3) Emitters shall either:  (a) Secure their own mitigation

29  projects; or (b) remit the cost of mitigation to the center for

30  selection of mitigation projects.  Any and all emissions credits

31  earned as a result of mitigation secured through the center shall

32  be owned by the citizens of the state of Washington, not the

33  emitter.

34      (4) While emitters may support mitigation projects outside the

35  state of Washington, for purposes of this chapter, only those

36  mitigation projects located within the state of Washington shall

37  qualify as mitigating emissions.

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_1      (5) The center shall:

_2      (a) Determine and certify the amount of mitigation accomplished

_3  by any mitigation project;

_4      (b) Determine what, if any, monitoring and verification is

_5  required for any mitigation project and assign the costs of

_6  monitoring and verification to the emitter; and

_7      (c) For any mitigation projects not completed within two

_8  calendar years of the calendar year of the emissions, set a

_9  standard and discount the future value of projects taking more

10  than two years to mitigate.

11      (6) All entities engaged in, or purchasing, mitigation projects

12  shall remit to the center a sum equivalent to five percent of the

13  cost of the mitigation projects for administrative purposes.


14      NEW SECTION.  Sec. 8.  (1) To encourage emitters to plan and

15  substitute clean technologies, any emitter choosing to purchase

16  mitigation through the center for the years 2002 through 2005,

17  shall pay the following prices:

18      (a) For the year 2002 - two dollars per ton;

19      (b) For the year 2003 - three dollars per ton;

20      (c) For the year 2004 - four dollars per ton; and

21      (d) For the year 2005 - five dollars per ton.

22      (2)(a) By January 1st of every other year, beginning in 2004,

23  the board shall recommend to the legislature:  (i) The price of

24  mitigation projects paid through the center effective two years

25  thereafter, and (ii) what, if any, portion of the mitigation funds

26  should be used for mitigation projects outside the state of

27  Washington.

28      (b) In making its recommendations, the board shall be guided by

29  the commitment that:  (i) Washington state emit no net greenhouse

30  gas emissions by the year 2020 or earlier, (b) the price shall

31  increase by at least one dollar per year, and (c) clean and

32  efficient technologies in Washington state shall be supported.

33      (3) The center shall use all mitigation funds, not including

34  administrative or verification fees, to purchase or otherwise

35  secure the most cost-effective, permanent mitigation projects

36  available within Washington state.

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_1      (4) To facilitate this transition, for calendar years 2002

_2  through 2005, the center shall direct additional assistance to the

_3  following sectors in Washington state as follows:

_4      (a) Seven and one-half percent of mitigation funds, not

_5  including administrative or verification fees, to support the most

_6  effective, short-term mitigation projects presented by the

_7  forestry and agriculture sectors of Washington state; and

_8      (b) Seven and one-half percent of all mitigation funds, not

_9  including administrative or verification fees, to support the most

10  effective proposals presented by the energy conservation and

11  renewable energy sectors in Washington state that would not

12  otherwise qualify on cost-competitive grounds under subsection (3)

13  of this section.

14      (5) Effective January 2006, while additional or continued

15  assistance may be provided to these sectors, that assistance shall

16  in no way reduce, directly or indirectly, the complete and full

17  permanent mitigation of emissions.


18      NEW SECTION.  Sec. 9.  Any person may privately enforce in the

19  superior court any mandatory provision of this chapter by:  (1)

20  Giving the alleged violator written notice of the allegation; and

21  (2) providing the alleged violator with forty-five days to comply

22  with the terms of this chapter.  If the alleged violator still does

23  not appear to have complied with this chapter, any person may

24  bring an action against the alleged violator.  The prevailing party

25  is entitled to costs and attorneys' fees.


26      NEW SECTION.  Sec. 10.  Sections 1 through 9 of this act

27  constitute a new chapter in Title 70 RCW.


28      NEW SECTION.  Sec. 11.  This act is necessary for the immediate

29  preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of

30  the state government and its existing public institutions, and

31  takes effect July 1, 2001.


‑‑‑ END ‑‑‑

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