Testy Exchanges, No Consensus On Governor’s Climate Change Panel

By Austin Jenkins

Washington Governor Jay Inslee has been dealt a setback in his campaign to reduce carbon emissions. The governor’s climate change workgroup quickly adjourned Friday with no consensus and after some testy exchanges.

Governor Inslee wanted the workgroup to adopt five recommendations to the legislature – including that the state enact a market-based cap on carbon pollution. But when it came time for the Republicans on the panel to weigh-in, they made it clear all of the governor’s proposals were non-starters – at least without more information on the cost. Inslee said he was disappointed and noted Washington law requires the state to get its greenhouse gas emissions down to 1990 levels by 2020. That led to this exchange with Republican State Representative Shelly Short.

Jay Inslee: “Now I’ve heard two members of these committees to see it’s really not that important to meet those targets. And I think it’s going to be difficult.”
Shelly Short: “No, no, no .. you started this fight.”
Jay Inslee: “Representative excuse me for just a moment.”
Shelly Short: “You started this fight.”
Jay Inslee: “Just excuse me this moment.”

In the end, the bipartisan panel agreed to disagree and adjourned. Next up, a final opportunity for public input. Then, assuming no consensus emerges, the panel will likely produce a series of minority reports to send to the legislature.

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