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Washington becomes fifth state in the US to aim for 100 percent clean energy

This week in Seattle, Washington, Senate Bill 5116 was signed into law in by Governor Jay Inslee after passing the state legislature earlier this month. This bill cuts out coal power by 2025 and requires an equitable transition to 100 percent clean electricity for the entire state by 2045.

Washington is the fifth state to establish a 100 percent clean energy target, after California,Hawaii, Nevada, and New Mexico. Several other states have also introduced 100 percent clean energy legislation in 2019, including Minnesota, Illinois, New York, and Maine, among others.

The law phases out coal from Washington’s grid by 2025 and requires 80 percent clean electricity by2030, curbing the build out of new fracked gas infrastructure. A diverse coalition of labor unions, environmental justice groups, businesses, medical professionals, faith leaders, and conservation groups supported this bill.

According to the EIA, Washington is the top U.S. producer of electricity from hydroelectric sources and routinely accounts for 25% of the nation’s annual utility-scale net hydroelectricity generation.

Other legislation signed into law in Washington today:

  • HB 1112 – Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from hydrofluorocarbons
  • HB 1257 – Concerning energy efficiency in Washington’s buildings
  • HB 1444 – Concerning appliance efficiency standards
  • HB 2042 – Advancing green transportation adoption

Combined, this is the most significant legislative session for advancing clean energy solutions in state history.

Doug Howell, Senior Campaign Representative with the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign praised the bill calling the signing of it a “banner day.”

“By passing some of the strongest clean energy and climate legislation in the country, we’re standing up for our communities, environment, and a stable climate for all Washingtonians today and into the future,” he added.