Governor Jay Inslee held a town hall on the Seattle campus of the University of Washington Wednesday.
It was the fourth in a series the governor has held on climate change. Protesters said the governor’s actions don’t live up to his words.
The governor called climate change an “existential threat to civilization as we know it.” Despite the Trump administration’s moves to dismantle federal action on climate change, Inslee said he's optimistic.
“We have control of our own destiny here in the state of Washington," Inslee said. "We have done some very progressive things, leading the country and the world to control carbon pollution that is damaging our future here in our state.”
Inslee said his goal was to de-carbonize the economy as fast as possible, but he said it would take time to reduce the state’s demand for fossil fuels.
Native protesters trying to stop new fossil fuel infrastructure, like a liquid natural gas plant in Tacoma, weren’t buying it. Pamela Bond is with the Snohomish Tribe lives in Bothell.
“I don’t think you understand that we don’t have time,” Bond said to Inslee. Referring to Inslee later, Bond said that, “I think that he knows how to sound pretty, talking about long-term plans instead of knowing the urgency of this climate catastrophe.”
At this town hall, there were no voices calling for less action on climate change.
But conservative critics have said Inslee’s claims of leading the nation are overblown, and that the state is failing to meet its own emission targets. Federal energy data show twenty states reducing their carbon emissions more than Washington state over the past 15 years.
Inslee says the state’s targets are too weak and he’ll ask the legislature to make them tougher.