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Epic show of support for initiative to “ban the ban” on natural gas

Epic show of support for initiative to “ban the ban” on natural gas – On July 2, the effort to “ban the ban” on natural gas announced that it has met an important – even historic – milestone to get Initiative 2066 qualified for the November ballot.

Because of the incredible work of the Let’s Go Washington (LGW) network of supporters, the group has met and surpassed the goal of gathering 325,000 signatures for I-2066 ahead of schedule and in less than two months. In fact, the group turned in 427,000 signatures today, with tens of thousands more expected to be submitted by week’s end. This extraordinary feat was celebrated with a press conference in Redmond at a local business and a press event and rally at the Secretary of State’s Office to turn in the signatures.

AGC of Washington has been a primary supporter of the signature gathering effort. “Our contractor members share the concerns about rising construction costs and what it would take to meet the current mandates,” said Phil Wallace of Kiewit, president of AGC of Washington. “I think we share everyone’s concerns about impacts on housing costs. But our members aren’t just contractors, they are also consumers and voters who believe in energy choice. They rallied behind this effort in a big way, and many of them took it upon themselves to actively participate in the signature gathering effort and I thank them for it. I also want to thank AGC staff for their hard work on this issue. We appreciate BIAW and Brian Heywood for spearheading the campaign.” 

By state law, initiative proponents must submit 324,516 valid signatures from registered Washington voters to qualify. The Secretary of State’s office recommends a “cushion” of 15 to 20% in case some of the signatures collected are duplicates or from non-voters. The I-2066 effort will have plenty of cushion.

“As Washington prepares to celebrate Independence Day, it’s a perfect time to celebrate our right to energy freedom,” said Greg Lane, Executive Vice President of the Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW). “We support energy choice because natural gas provides warmth and comfort to more than a million Washington homes. It’s also the lifeblood of thousands of restaurants and businesses.

“The people of Washington demand the freedom to use natural gas in their homes,” he said. “That’s why we’re seeing such strong support.”

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