Washington State Passes Cap-and-Invest Bill
Over the weekend, the Washington state legislature passed the Climate Commitment Act, a bill that establishes an economy-wide cap-and-invest program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The legislation, SB 5126, sponsored by Sen. Reuven Carlyle, creates a carbon pricing market in order to achieve the state’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.
The revenue raised from carbon credits will be reinvested into projects to increase sustainable transportation and climate change resilience. Other important aspects of the bill include:
- A requirement to improve air quality in communities disproportionately overburdened by pollution, and to direct a minimum of 35% of investments to such communities.
- The revenue may only be spent on projects that meet certain labor standards, and some funds will be directed towards implementing the Working Families Tax Rebate.
- A requirement to consult with tribes regarding any projects that may impact their lands, and to direct 10% of investments towards projects formally supported by a tribe.
- Full implementation of the bill is dependent upon passage of an additional transportation package, which remains under consideration.