Governor Inslee: "No Immediate Plans" For A Price On Carbon Emissions

Feb 12, 2013

Governor Jay Inslee made one of his first public appearances since his inauguration at a breakfast for the Capitol Land Trust in Olympia on Tuesday. Several hundred people gathered for the conservation group’s annual breakfast.

Governor Inslee took the stage to a standing applause.

“I’m going to make sure that the state capitol and our legislature and the exec branch defeats climate change so we can protect these biological resources that we have," Inslee says.

The Governor went on to say that climate change comes with real costs and he gave some examples.

More money will be spent fighting wildfires during his administration. Global CO2 emissions are making the world’s oceans more corrosive, especially in Puget Sound. That’s causing some Washington shellfish growers to move their hatchery operations outside the state.

The governor also said that the warming climate will lead to decreased snowpacks, and that will present a threat to irrigation for agriculture.

So how does one “defeat” climate change?

One widely accepted approach is to put a price on CO2 emissions – either in the form of a tax as British Columbia has done, or a cap and trade system, as they’ve done in California.

But when asked if he would put a price or cap on carbon emissions during his administration, Inslee said it’s not on the table right now.

“We don’t have any immediate plans for price or cost like that, but we do have plans to help businesses and residents get access to clean energy."

The governor said he’ll be focusing his efforts instead on promoting investment in clean energy research and development.

Copyright 2013 KUOW