Governor Inslee Wants ‘Cap And Market’ System For Carbon Reduction

By Austin Jenkins

Washington Governor Jay Inslee wants the state to adopt a market-based system for reducing carbon emissions. The Democrat Tuesday signed a nine-page executive order on carbon pollution reduction. Among other things, the order creates a 21-member task force to come up with a cap and market program before the end of the year.

Cap and market, or cap and trade as it’s more commonly known, means the state places a hard limit on carbon emissions. High emitters who exceed the limit can then buy credits from low emitters. Inslee says he wants a fair and flexible system that also provides “clear accountability.” Republican State Representative Shelly Short is wary. She serves on the governor’s Climate Legislative and Executive Workgroup.

Shelly Short: I’m a little disappointed, actually frankly quite disappointed, that he decided to initialize a process that isn’t going to have legislative involvement.”

Inslee says he will seek legislators’ advice. The governor is also ordering a feasibility study on a “clean fuel” standard. That’s a requirement that transportation fuels be blended with lower-carbon ethanol. This is something California has already adopted and Oregon is currently writing rules for. Critics argue it will drive up the cost of gasoline. Inslee has made reducing greenhouse gas emissions a signature issue of his administration.

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