Rep. Richard DeBolt seeks to transition state into a clean energy future
A bill introduced by Rep. Richard DeBolt aims to reduce carbon pollution. The lawmaker's proposal seeks to transition the state into a clean energy future, while at the same time keeping energy bills and taxes low. DeBolt says the changes have enormous potential to propel energy producers and businesses closer to a zero carbon emissions reality.
“Stagnant government planning, taxing and penalizing are not the right answers to carbon pollution reduction. Any energy policy coming out of Olympia should have one goal in mind: creating a clean energy future, without forcing taxpayers to pay for it. This bill does that,” said DeBolt, R-Chehalis. “We can reshape energy production and consumption, without raising taxes or electricity rates.”
House Bill 1226 has three main components. The first part addresses electricity providers. Utility companies would be allowed to continue meeting current energy requirements using traditional sources, but new demands would need to be carbon neutral.
“For utilities, it's all about new energy production. We aren't looking to punish utilities for where they are today. However, going forward, new energy resources and production would need to be 100 percent clean,” added DeBolt.
Secondly, the bill would provide incentives for businesses making investments in carbon reduction technologies. Sales and tax exemptions would be given for equipment, labor and services that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Some examples include forest health management, electric vehicle charging stations, and efficiency solutions—such as those used by energy-intensive manufacturing and processing facilities.
“We need to set the table for our state's energy and economic future. Instead of a stick, my bill offers a menu of carrots. By helping to reduce some of the costs of this transition, we encourage creativity, innovation and further development of carbon-reducing technology and practices. Industry initiative is the fuel and accelerator of these changes,” continued DeBolt.
Lastly, the proposal offers further incentives, not penalties, for utilities and energy producing partners looking to transition to clean energy. Tax incentives would be offered through the public utility tax for green energy investments. According to DeBolt, this would help create a new energy landscape, while still keeping energy bills low.
“Instead of beating them down with regulations, utility companies engaging in carbon reduction investments would be spurred on to do even more. Retooling energy production and providing these tax benefits for carbon reduction investments is the bright light at the end of a dark, scary tunnel of proposed tax increases,” he concluded.
Rep. Richard DeBolt is ranking Republican on the House Capital Budget Committee and a member of the House Environment and Energy, and Health Care and Wellness committees.
House Bill 1226 has been referred to the House Environment and Energy Committee for further consideration.
The legislative session began Monday, Jan. 14, and will last for 105 consecutive days.
###Washington State House Republican Communications