I have been a longtime leader in the fight against climate change, and I am a strong voice for the environment in Olympia. I advocated for the closure of the last coal-fired power plant in Washington, and I was one of the few legislators that opposed the rollback of Ecology's authority to consider climate change under our State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) checklists.I know that decreasing our reliance on fossil fuels is essential to meeting Washington's Greenhouse Gas emission goals, and I worked on the House Environmental Committee to protect our renewable energy standards (Renewable Portfolio) that the citizens of this state passed in 2006. I have won the support of many of our state's most important environmental organizations, and I look forward to continuing my work on behalf of the environment next session.
My agenda includes continuing my work on proposals to utilize our State's MTCA oil import fee (I was a co-author of MTCA, our toxic waste cleanup law) to fund a range of directly connected efforts which simultaneously address protection of our waters (especially Puget Sound) from automobile generated toxic runoff while reducing total climate change emissions from cars by investing in transit, bicycle commuting and pedestrian friendly development; low impact development (LID) storm water strategies, and alternatives to our gasoline fueled vehicles.
I am also a champion for new strategies to invest in solar energy and conservation with zero interest or low interest loans for homeowners, businesses and apartment owners who would be willing to reduce their electricity consumption and utilize solar power, but need help with the high front end cost. The revolving loans would be paid off through the savings and sale of the extra electricity to the local utility (which helps reduce everyone's electricity costs by avoiding new centralized power plants).