Inslee vows to win fight for climate

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.”


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@kentreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kentreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent. FILE PHOTO
Discarded cigarette leads to arrest of Kent double homicide suspects

DNA reveals man, woman who reportedly killed two people in January 2023 at local motel

t
State Patrol chief thanks public for support of trooper shot in Kent

Trooper’s injuries are not life threatening despite being shot multiple times

t
Boy, 17, fatally shot in Kent in exchange of gunfire identified | Update

Shooting between subjects in vehicles Feb. 20 along East Valley Highway near South 180th Street

Car damaged by bullets during Feb. 19 Interstate 5 shooting. (Courtesy of Washington State Patrol)
King County Councilmember wants more info about I-5 shootings

The letter, addressed to WSP Chief John R. Batiste, comes in wake of a Feb. 19 drive-by shooting that occurred on I-5 in Tukwila that left a victim in critical condition.

t
Kent man, 83, dies after medical emergency while driving on East Hill

Reportedly died from medical issue prior to single-car crash Feb. 2o along 132nd Avenue SE

Rep. Mia Gregerson. COURTESY PHOTO, Legislative Support Services
Gregerson state bill aims to improve immigration support

Designed to better address needs of refugees, immigrants arriving in Washington state

t
Federal Way man faces charges for shooting, injuring trooper in Kent

Trooper reportedly shot nine times Feb. 16 after a struggle following foot pursuit

Courtesy image, U.S. Department of Justice
Kent man pleads guilty to selling guns to those with criminal histories

Sold more than 100 firearms to those barred from possessing guns

t
Man dies after shooting in Kent on King County Metro bus

Altercation between two men led to shooting Friday afternoon, Feb. 16

File photo
Puget Sound Energy files two-year rate plan for electric, natural gas

Driven by the state’s clean energy laws, the plan has been filed to the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission.

Washington Early Support for Infants and Toddlers program advocacy group at the State Capitol for HB 1916. (Photo Courtesy of Kindering)
‘When services decline, it’s the kids who pay the price’

Legislative bill would recover funding for the Early Support for Infants and Toddlers program - and could save the state millions.

A screenshot of the King County Sheriff’s Office Guardian One helicopter view of the arrest of a Kent man after carjacking incidents Feb. 13 in Kent. COURTESY IMAGE, King County Sheriff’s Office
Kent man, woman charged in carjackings, stolen vehicles case

Tracking by King County Sheriff’s Office helicopter lasted nearly 50 minutes Feb. 13 across Kent