The environmental and cleantech community in Washington State is pulling out all the stops to get Jay Inslee elected as Governor, calling it a once-in-a-generation opportunity to get a truly green candidate into high office.
Backed by the Sierra Club and other highly respected groups, Inslee is the first gubernatorial candidate endorsed by the national League of Conservation Voters in 42 years.
He's in a tight race with Attorney General Republican Rob McKenna, who in this green state, is boasting environmental credentials from the need to address climate change to supporting the state's Growth Management Act.
But the green community says McKenna is backed by the oil and gas industry other polluters that want weak environmental protection, and supports weaking the state's Renewable Portfolio Standard. The website, Truth Squad Washington, draws distinctions between the two candidates.
He's not a mouth-breathing EPA-hater in the mold of congressional Republicans, says Grist, which points out McKenna supports EPA's authority to regulate greenhouse gases and defended tougher state-level auto-emissions standards, which have since been adopted by the Obama administration.
A Representative in Congress since 1999, there isn't any doubt about Inslee's green credentials. He's been a strong advocate for climate legislation, environmental protection, federal support for cleantech, and all the issues associated with transitioning to a green economy. He co-founded the Sustainable Energy Caucus in the House.
He's called for an Apollo mission to reduce greenhouse gases, connecting the dots to how it would not only address climate change but ignite a clean economy. He even wrote a book on the subject in 2007, Apollo's Fire: Igniting America's Clean Energy Economy.
Inslee "is one of the two or three members of Congress from any state who is most informed and most accomplished in developing specific policies to drive the clean economy in really every relevant sector," Ross Macfarlane, of Seattle-based Climate Solutions told The News Tribune.
While Inslee strongly supports government support to get the nascent clean energy and cleantech industries mainstreamed, McKenna, like his Republican peers, calls that "picking winners and losers."
Inslee's response is: "My opponent does not get it when it comes to clean energy. We haven't picked any of these businesses. We're picking innovation in general."
In a blog for Grist, Inslee writes:
On April 21, Congress stepped back in geologic time when the House of Representatives passed an energy policy of the dinosaurs, by the dinosaurs, and for the dinosaurs. This energy bill is truly a "Jurassic" piece of legislation that relies on a limited energy source derived from creatures and plants that died millions of years ago. In fact, 93 percent of the $8 billion in tax incentives in the bill go to oil, gas, and other traditional energy industries.
Instead of this petroleum-soaked energy policy, some of my colleagues and I have been promoting a new vision for our energy future, one that would avoid drilling in our pristine areas, while creating jobs, enhancing our national security, and protecting the environment. This clean-energy vision, called the New Apollo Energy Act, is based on optimism rather than self-doubt, on new technologies rather than archaic methods, and on faith in Americans' innovative talent rather than capitulation to narrow special interests.
Read the blog: