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

Dec 6, 2013

Gov. 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.

Inslee wanted the workgroup to adopt five recommendations to the Legislature, including a proposal for the state to 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 a tense exchange with Republican Rep. Shelly Short.

“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,” Inslee said.

“No, no, no. You started this fight,” Short said.

“Representative, excuse me for just a moment,” Inslee said.

“You started this fight,” Short said.

“Just excuse me this moment,” Inslee said.

In the end, the bipartisan panel agreed to disagree and adjourned.

Next up is 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.