Four bills, most concerned with reducing greenhouse gas emissions, have been filed by Washington state lawmakers ahead of the 60-day 2020 short legislative session, which starts Jan. 13

House Bill 2311, requested by Gov. Jay Inslee, would amend state GHG emission limits "for consistency with the most recent assessment of climate change science," the bill states.

In a recent preview of his legislative agenda, Inslee described the measure as a "framework bill" that would set the stage for working out the details of other climate policy bills. Current statutory targets are inadequate, he said, in part because they were enacted more than 11 years ago and little progress has been made since then (CU No. 1933 [16]). The carbon-reduction targets in the bill are based on data released by Washington's Ecology Department on Dec. 17 (CU No. 1932 [14]).

The bill also promotes using the state's natural and working lands for carbon sequestration.

HB 2310, from Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon (D-West Seattle), proposes a program to reduce emissions from app-based ride-hailing and goods-delivery services, such as Uber and Lyft.

The measure resembles California's Senate Bill 1014 passed in 2018 that enacted the California Clean Miles Standard and Incentive Program. Both establish emissions baselines over the course of a year, and then set annual targets for emissions reductions, as well as for increasing the number of passenger and delivery miles spent traveling in zero-emissions vehicles.

SB 6135 tweaks grid reliability provisions enacted by last year's Clean Energy Transformation Act, allowing for legislative updates should any of the provisions fall short. It also calls for grid evaluations every four years starting in 2022 to help anticipate reliability issues that could be caused by changing forecasts of electric generation resources, retail electric load, and transmission capability.

The fourth bill, HB 2248, would expand "equitable" access to renewable energy through community solar projects, another measure requested by Inslee.

The bill would create the Community Solar Expansion Program, which would provide production incentive payments for new community solar projects up to a cap of $20 million.

The base incentive payment would be 10 cents per kilowatt-hour, and a bonus rate of another 10 cents would be provided for qualifying low-to-moderate income subscribers.

The expansion program would accept applications during 2020-2026, and replaces an existing program that has already committed all of the $110 million available for incentive payments.

News Editor - Clearing Up

Rick Adair has been with NewsData since 2003, and is news editor for Clearing Up and editor for Water Power West. Previously, he covered environmental and energy issues in the Lake Tahoe area. He has a doctorate in earth sciences.