Republican senators unveil ‘Power Washington’ energy plan – Three members of the Senate Republican Caucus recently unveiled a comprehensive energy plan that offers fair and reliable solutions to benefit all Washingtonians.
“It’s time for our state to create better energy policies,” said 14th District Sen. Curtis King, R-Yakima, who is the ranking Republican on both the Senate Labor, Commerce and Tribal Affairs Committee and the Senate Transportation Committee. “Our Power Washingtonplan is the first step in taking a more reasonable approach when it comes to all phases of energy in our state.”
King was joined at a news conference unveiling the Power Washington energy package by Senate Republican Leader John Braun, R-Centralia, and 7th District Sen. Shelly Short, R-Addy.
“For too long, Washington families and businesses have been forced to endure the costs of unaffordable and questionable policies that have given us larger energy bills, less energy security, and little environmental improvement,” said Braun, who serves the 20th District. “We need to take a different approach when it comes to energy in our state before fuel and electric power prices break the backs of Washingtonians. This package would help put us on a better path to reasonable policies and reliable energy.”
Short, who is ranking Republican on the Senate Environment, Energy and Technology Committee as well as Senate Republican floor leader, said their energy package aims to help reverse energy inflation, including record gas prices, in the state, as well as strengthen Washington’s threatened power grid.
“I’m excited to get to work with my colleagues across the aisle and the governor’s office addressing these solutions during the 2023 legislative session,” said Short, R-Addy. “Our goal should be to improve and protect our energy systems and infrastructure with innovative technology that is both reliable and cost effective.”
The “Power Washington” plan includes proposals that aim to meet seven specific goals:
- Help people access different kinds of alternative vehicles, such as hybrids and hydrogen.
- Incentivize passenger and commercial hybrid-vehicle adoption.
- Promote hydrogen fuel as an additional alternative option.
- Allow state agencies to purchase vehicles that best suit their needs.
- Preserve, improve, and expand Washington’s clean hydropower system.
- Build and upgrade hydropower facilities to meet the state’s clean energy goals.
- Keep Washington’s dams in good shape.
- Show support for the four federal dams on the lower Snake River.
- Find practical ways to support endangered fish and other species.
- Enable the capture of carbon and invest in Washington’s working forests and natural resources to maximize carbon absorption.
- Prioritize capturing carbon.
- Invest in Washington’s forest health to control wildfires.
- Replant burned areas and actively manage forests.
- Slash high fuel prices for drivers.
- Put a cap on cap-and-tax.
- Track the price impacts of fuel standards.
- Untie a key fuel tax from inflation.
- Ensure that the transition to new energy technology is environmentally responsible.
- Restore local review for solar and wind-farm projects.
- Require wind turbine blades to be recycled.
- Establish a greater understanding of the lifetime impacts of vehicle batteries.
- Jump-start the recycling program for solar panels.
- Shore up the state’s electric grid to keep providing affordable and reliable power.
- Create more flexibility for meeting emissions goals.
- Stick with one electricity requirement, not many different requirements.
- Embrace local “in-house” energy solutions.
- Promote the manufacturing and use of advanced nuclear technology.
- Keep energy costs low so people can be secure in their homes and businesses.
- Provide energy relief for vital community services.
- Encourage affordable and reliable natural gas heat at home.
- Empower people by removing limits on the types of appliances they can buy.
The 2023 legislative session is scheduled to last 105 days, starting Jan. 9 and ending April 23.