Washington State Could Elect the Greenest Governor

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.

Jay Inslee

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:

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Comments on “Washington State Could Elect the Greenest Governor”

  1. Tony

    Hi, Anthony, your comment People need to learn how to hdnale their bikes better on 45th, period. I don’t know why we excuse bad riding behavior but at the same time lament and blame drivers for their atrocious skills, brought up alot for me today.Just this week in downtown, a cyclist on a sidewalk going against my green light came within 6 inches of getting hit by my van. He was going fast against the light, on a sidewalk, with earbuds in, not looking! I could not sleep a couple of nights this week. That same morning I witnessed a cyclist going 8 mph down Marion Street, no helmut, head down, studying a hand held device, only one hand on the hdnale bars. Let’s hope we all survive this aggressive, I’m-entitled-because-I’m-young-and-strong, type of riding behavior. I ride my bike every day of the year. Conservatively, with knowledge and respect for the right-of-way and thinking hard about what drivers are experiencing inside their 2-ton projectiles. Is the light in their eyes? Is the pavement newly wet? Can they see me? Are they talking on their cell or distracted in other ways? As a cyclist, a motorist, and a pedestrian, I also have to deal with cyclists who are unsure, less strong, or unpredictable. But the close calls have come from strong, aggressive riders who blow off stop signs and assume I’ll get out of their way. It is rampant.It has been a tough week for me. Last Sunday, a tandem came within inches of hitting an 85-year-old who was within arms-length (at Centennial Park.) She was slowly crossing the cycle track to get to a vehicle. Why did you not see her 30 yards off, tandem captain? God help an old person if they fall. I’m *so* glad not to have to drive today it’s grueling to have to protect the lives of aggressive, inattentive cyclists. Please, cycling community. Respect all modes of transport and give a nod to right of way!

  2. Emmanuel

    One of the places that could rllaey benefit from a trivial investment in traffic engineering is the spot where 45th St, 46th St, Shilshole, and 17th Ave all come together in a short span. Traffic on 46th typically moves way over the speed limit, which makes the unprotected westbound left turn from 45th onto Shilshole rather harrowing. Putting a light or an all-way stop at that intersection could rllaey help to slow traffic down and make bikers more safe. I’m not sure if 46th is considered an arterial there, but it gets treated as one. We could easily try to change that. Let’s not forget that this isn’t just about bicycles. There’s rllaey not a safe and pleasant way to walk to that part of Ballard from the east. Sidewalks just kind of disappear or turn into illegal parking spots on most of those streets. Addressing pedestrian needs is important as well. Sometimes I think this focus on the missing link, while important, is taking away some potential energy for a re-thinking of the major pedestrian and bike safety issues in that part of Ballard. I like the idea of thinking bigger. Leary is a nightmare. Shilshole needs to be re-imagined as it’s increasingly becoming the back door for Ballard Ave businesses in addition to its role as the front door for some heavy industry. Ballard Ave could become pedestrian-only, or pedestrian + cycle track, at least during the weekends. These are not ideas that are incompatible with the missing link being built, but ways we can try to fit the missing link into a broader vision for that area.


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