AWB Leads Coalition in Lawsuit over Clean Air Rule

Employer groups challenge Department of Ecology’s authority to implement rule that will hurt manufacturing, small business and families


A coalition of employer groups led by the Association of Washington Business filed a lawsuit today challenging the Clean Air Rule recently adopted by the state Department of Ecology.

After failing to win support in the Legislature for a bipartisan solution, Gov. Jay Inslee side-stepped the legislative process by implementing this rule through the Department of Ecology. The AWB lawsuit challenges the department’s authority to implement the rule without approval by the Legislature.

“Washington employers have made tremendous progress reducing carbon emissions over the last two decades, so it's unfortunate the state is moving forward with this unnecessary regulation,” said AWB President Kris Johnson. “If this rule is allowed to stand, it will put Washington manufacturers at a competitive disadvantage to national and international competitors, and it will force natural gas and fuel suppliers to pass on increased costs to families, making it more expensive to heat homes, drive to work and buy groceries.”

The carbon rule will require certain manufacturers, natural gas providers and fuel distributors to comply with emission reduction limits. Covered industries will be forced to comply by either reducing overall emissions or purchasing credits to cover emissions.

“AWB and its members are committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions through innovation and private investment,” Johnson said. “Washington is already a low-carbon leader in the nation and in the world. We can and will do more to reduce our state’s carbon emissions. This rule is not the way to accomplish that goal.”

Coalition Partners

  • Industrial Customers of Northwest Utilities
  • Northwest Food Processors Association
  • Northwest Pulp and Paper Association
  • Northwest Industrial Gas Users
  • Washington Trucking Association
  • Washington State Farm Bureau
  • Western States Petroleum Association 

About the Association of Washington Business

Formed in 1904, the Association of Washington Business is Washington’s oldest and largest statewide business association, and includes nearly 8,000 members representing 700,000 employees. AWB serves as both the state’s chamber of commerce and the manufacturing and technology association. While its membership includes major employers like Boeing, Microsoft and Weyerhaeuser, 90 percent of AWB members employ fewer than 100 people. More than half of AWB’s members employ fewer than 10. For more about AWB, visit