Inslee vows to win fight for climate

Governor visits Green River College in town hall to address state’s environmental concerns

Joining students at Green River College for a town hall talk on climate change last week, Washington’s “green governor” fired a salvo into the Trump administration’s rigging to open the discussion.

Washington state’s future is on the line, said Gov. Jay Inslee — he grew up here, and it’s personal, he told a room bursting with students, staff and teachers at the Lindbloom Student Union Building on the Auburn campus Oct. 12.

“President Trump is wrong. The state of Washington must, can, and will defeat climate change and grow jobs by the thousands,” Inslee said. “We’re going to get this job done.

“You can’t come into my house, you can’t come into my state and damage the forests, the mountains and the rivers of my state without a fight. I am going to give a fight to climate change, and I am not going to give up until we defeat it. … If we all share this view, we are going to defeat it,” Inslee said.

The task is only beginning as Inslee tries to unite business, educational and political leaders in the pursuit of a cleaner, more environmentally-responsible state.

Given a challenge that requires young talent and forward thinking, the governor immediately grabbed the attention of Green River students, asking them to become part of the solution by reducing pollution and protecting the environment. The college supports an exemplary natural resources program that prepares students for immediate employment in forestry, water quality, park management or wildland fire.

“You understand the science of what it takes to keep our forests healthy, to devise and invent the new technologies to defeat climate change,” Inslee told the students. “We need you.”

Now, Inslee emphasized, now is the time to act. The governor has presided over two severe wildfire seasons in the state, a problem incurred by climate change, the governor insisted, and amplified lately by what is happening elsewhere. Destructive wildfires in California have taken too many lives and torched too many homes, the governor said.

“We know that these fires (in California) are not in just the future of the state of Washington, they are in the present in the state of Washington,” Inslee said. “Our forests today are explosive. They are ready to blow up. … “

Parts of the Evergreen State’s many forests are dying, Inslee said, posing not just a future wildfire threat but a present one.

“There’s too much fuel, the trees are too dense, they’re sick and they need substantial management,” Inslee said. “And we need to fund to help finance people to do that work, and I could see graduates of Green River College in helping us in designs with those management systems.”

Under Inslee’s watch, Washington has become a leader on climate change. Inslee has put a cap on carbon with a first-in-the-nation Clean Air Rule. He also has launched a global alliance to combat ocean acidification. He is promoting the production of electric vehicles, solar paneling and other alternative energy sources as a way to reduce carbon-gas emissions.

Inslee continues to push for more partnerships, more ways to address today’s changing climate. His policies are part of a design to limit carbon pollution and grow jobs.

Inslee contested Trump’s conclusion that fighting climate change would only hurt the economy.

“That’s just poppycock, that’s just wrong, that is just foolish,” Inslee said. “We have done all these things to fight climate change. We are building jobs like crazy across the state of Washington.”

Yet, Washington lags behind other Western States and Canadian provinces that have enacted carbon pricing and clean-fuel regulations. Inslee’s administration is working on ways to put a price on the state’s major carbon polluters and encourage them to reduce gas emissions.

Inslee’s green drive needs a monetary pipeline and the support of the Legislature. Putting a charge or tax on heavy polluters could generate millions of dollars for a reserve that could fund climate control programs, Inslee said.

His executive order for a cap on emissions is one thing, but putting a price tag on pollution is another.

Inslee knows he’s in for a fight.

Such a fund, if realized, would support worker training programs for clean energy jobs, provide consumers with incentives to buy electric cars and solar panels, help restore the Puget Sound, rivers and streams that embrace salmon runs and adequately pay for the prevention and control of wildfires.

Inslee is asking everyone to do their part.

“Everybody in this room has the ability to influence (climate change),” he said. “This is an all-hands-on-deck deal.”

More in News

Courtesy photo
                                Artist Will Schlough works on a mural of hometown hero Boone “Boom Boom” Kirkman. The mural will be celebrated Wednesday, Nov. 21 from 5 to 7 p.m. along the wall of La Hacienda Santa Fe on South 3rd Street.
Mural of Renton boxer nears completion

The mural will be celebrated at La Hacienda Santa Fe on Nov. 21.

Photo by Haley Ausbun
                                Discussion and solutions between police and community relationships were the topic of the Unity Forum hosted by Renton African American Pastor Group, City of Renton and Renton Police Department.
Unity Forum seeks to create honest dialogues between community youth and police

Renton Police Department and the Renton African American Pastoral Group (RAAP) continued… Continue reading

Lakeside’s site plan for the proposed asphalt plant. Submitted photo from Lakeside Industries.
Proposed asphalt plant could become real

Lakeside Industries submitted its application to King County last week to move its Covington asphalt plant to Unincorporated Maple Valley.

King County approves gun warning sign requirement

Warning signs must be posted in all King County gun stores and firing ranges.

REACH offers free meal Thanksgiving Day, and more community news…

KCLS launches new podcast The King County Library System announced Nov. 7… Continue reading

Washington’s election security remains strong as 2018 General Election vote count approaches record

The following from the Washington Secretary of State’s office: Ongoing county ballot… Continue reading

Joe Fain and Mona Das. FILE PHOTOS
Fain concedes election to Das in race for state Senate seat | UPDATE

Auburn Republican falls 548 votes behind the Democratic challenger from Covington in latest count

Grandfather shoots grandson, police believe it was self defense

The family present said the son was a “common source of domestic violence to everyone in the house.”

Seven horses perish in Kent barn fire

Renton RFA arrived to a barn “fully engulfed in flames.”

Most Read