The Washington Department of Ecology is inviting public comment on a new “cap-and-invest” rule needed to implement the Climate Commitment Act and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the state’s largest sources.
Under legislation passed in 2021, Ecology must have Washington’s Cap-and-Invest program operational by January 1, 2023. The department is asking for input from the public on the rules of the program by June 30, 2022.
“The Climate Commitment Act is one of the most important environmental laws in 50 years and a key policy driving Washington’s push to reach our goal of net-zero emissions by 2050,” said Laura Watson, director of the Ecology-Invest program Invest $500 million to reduce emissions and protect communities in Washington from the effects of climate change.”
The Climate Commitment Act requires major sources of greenhouse gases to receive carbon credits. Over time, the total number of allowances is reduced, pushing these sources to reduce their emissions. This is the “cap” portion of the program. Some of the certificates will be auctioned. Funds raised will be used to reduce emissions, support disproportionately affected communities and build climate resilience against floods, wildfires, ocean acidification, drought and intense heat. This is the “invest” part of the program.
The proposed cap-and-invest rule also lists categories of offsetting projects that reduce, remove, or avoid greenhouse gas emissions or enhance the removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.
“Climate change is already hurting Washington,” said Kathy Taylor, manager of Ecology’s air quality program. “We have no time to lose in eliminating greenhouse gas emissions and preventing even worse impacts in the years to come. This is your chance to learn about the design of the Cap and Invest program and make contributions as we move toward the clean energy future we all desperately need.”
Provide the input
The public is invited to learn about the proposed cap-and-invest rule and to provide input into the design of the program. Ecology is accepting comments on the proposal until June 30, 2022 11:59 PM.
Submit comments online, by mail, or at a public hearing:
- Mail to: Joshua Grice
Institute of Ecology
Air Quality Program
PO Box 47600
Olympia, WA 98504-7600
Ecology will hold four virtual public hearings on June 21, 22, 27 and 28.
At each hearing, Ecology staff provide an overview of the Cap and Invest program and the proposed rule, hold a question and answer period, followed by public comment.