2019 Legislature: Reps. Steele, Goehner on Fossil Fuel Bill, Potential ‘Overtime’

12th District State Representatives Mike Steele and Keith Goehner join Dan Langager every Friday on the KOHO Morning Show during the 2019 legislative session in Olympia. Today they talk energy and budgets.

The House has passed a measure that seeks to eliminate fossil fuels like natural gas and coal from the state’s electricity supply by 2045. The measure — a key piece of Gov. Jay Inslee’s climate agenda — passed on a 56-42 vote yesterday. It passed the Senate last month on a 28-19 vote, on the same day that Inslee announced he was running for president. Because the bill was amended by the House, it heads back to the Senate for a final vote.

Washington, which relies heavily on hydroelectric power, already generates more than 75 percent of its electricity from carbon-free sources. The measure would require utilities to eliminate coal as an energy source by the end of 2025 as the first step toward a goal to provide carbon-free electricity by 2045.

For budgets, Lawmakers must pass three biennium spending plans for the next two years – the state’s operating, capital and transportation budgets. Steele serves on the House’s capital budget committee and Goehner on transportation.

Steele said he thinks it’s possible lawmakers will go into an overtime session to finish the budgets, despite Democrats having majorities in both the House and Senate and a Democratic Governor.

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