August 10, 2015 | Rebecca Saldaña, Jeffrey Johnson, Brenna Davis |
THE dust has settled on a frustrating legislative session. Time and again, oil interests blocked broadly supported steps to encourage the transition to clean energy and cut global-warming pollution.
There is a lot of individual blame to go around, but we see this as a broad failure of our state’s political institutions. Gov. Jay Inslee’s plan to use his executive authority to enforce existing limits on carbon pollution illustrates how seriously he takes the issue — yet it further underscores our lack of legislative progress. Washingtonians demand urgent action on climate. If our elected leaders won’t lead us forward, then the people will.
Washington already is seeing the impacts of climate change: Bigger and more destructive wildfires put our communities at risk; drought — currently affecting 98 percent of the state — threatens our farmers’ crops, our multibillion-dollar outdoor industry and our reliance on hydropower; declining air quality hurts kids with asthma; seniors suffer from the effects of heat waves. This is having a real, immediate impact on our economy and the health of our families.