Senate Bill 5116 was officially signed into law in Washington by Governor Jay Inslee this week, after passing the state legislature earlier this month. This bill cuts out coal power by 2025 and requires an equitable transition to 100% clean electricity for the entire state by 2045.
Washington is the fifth state to establish a 100% clean energy target, after California, Hawaii, Nevada, and New Mexico. Several other states have also introduced 100% clean energy legislation in 2019, including Minnesota, Illinois, New York, and Maine, among others.
“This is a banner day for Washington State,” said Doug Howell, Senior Campaign Representative with the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign. “By moving off dirty and expensive coal, limiting gas, and creating a new era of clean energy, we are creating the foundation for a healthier, more resilient Washington for all. We look forward to continuing to work to ensure the transition away from fossil fuels to 100% clean energy is equitable and benefits communities across the state.”
Washington’s bill passed in the state legislature in April. The law phases out coal from Washington’s grid by 2025 and requires 80% clean electricity by 2030, curbing the build out of new fracked gas infrastructure. A diverse coalition of labor unions, environmental justice groups, businesses, medical professionals, faith leaders, and conservation groups supported this bill.
Other legislation signed into law Washington today:
HB 1112 – Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from hydrofluorocarbons
HB 1257 – Concerning energy efficiency in Washington’s buildings
HB 1444 – Concerning appliance efficiency standards
HB 2042 – Advancing green transportation adoption
Combined, this is the most significant legislative session for advancing clean energy solutions in state history.
“Washington is showing the rest of the country what it looks like to lead on climate,” said Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club. “States are getting it: there’s no time to waste when it comes to tackling the climate crisis. We need ambitious roadmaps and bold follow-through to break away from fossil fuels. By calling for 100% clean electricity, retiring coal on an accelerated timeline, and ensuring this transition will support local communities, Washington is showing the rest of the U.S. how to walk the walk. Congratulations to Washingtonians — other states, take note.”