Public Hearing on SSB 5802

Public Hearing on SSB 5802 – Developing recommendations to achieve the state’s greenhouse gas emissions limits

The Senate Ways & Means Committee will be holding a public hearing on SSB 5802 Governor request legislation to develop recommendations to achieve the state’s greenhouse gas emissions limit on February 27 at 2:00 p.m.

The following are comments from the Association of Washington Business on the bill:

AWB testified on SB 5802, raising several points of concern, including that:

  • GHG emissions are a global problem,
  • Washington’s emission intensity is very low,
  • GHG policies specific to Washington could lead to a competitive disadvantage.

The Senate Energy, Environment & Telecommunications Committee amended SSB 5802 to bring balance to the Council and establish a better process to select whom would do the study.  The bill also now has provisions to require a minority report and make recommendations back to the Legislature for action.  Essentially, SSB 5802 is a study bill that requires a broad look at policies already adopted in Washington, as well as a review of the cost effectiveness of other GHG emission reduction strategies.  The amendments made by the Senate Committee addressed many of the concerns raised by AWB in public testimony.  In the bill’s amended form, member feedback is for AWB to support the bill.

Following is a more complete review of the amendments made by the Senate Committee:

  • Revised the membership of the GHG Emission Review Council, making the Governor the non-voting chair,
  • Requires a majority vote, one vote per caucus, to create a majority report and recommendations to the full Legislature,
  • Requires a minority report be provided to the full Legislature,
  • Establishes criteria requirements for consultant eligibility,
  • Ensures that allow GHG emission reduction strategies will be reviewed including current state and federal policies, and
  • Ensures the GHG emission report will include a independent cost benefit analysis.