Washington Commerce CETA Workshop

Source: Tom Ranken, August 23, 2019.

The Washington State Department of Commerce held their third workshop on implementation of the State’s Clean Energy Transformation Act on Tuesday, September 18, 2019 in Commerce’s offices in Olympia, WA.

The star of the show was Dr. Glenn Blackmon who handled most of the presentations and answered questions from both a physical and online audience.  The room at Commerce was packed with perhaps 75 people.

  • The first part of the discussion was focused in harmonizing the State’s 2006 Energy Independence Act (which has been amended) with new legislation on incremental hydro power generation.  These amendments will be effective on January 1, 2020, so there is urgency in creating new Commerce rules that will be effective in four months.  The Department seeks comments by September 6. 2019.  Background information can be found here.
  • The second, more lengthy discussion was on the topic of establishing the social cost of Green House Gas emissions.  Dr. Blackmon noted that there are numerous and varied estimates of these costs.  The key factors, he said, deal with the timing of the emissions and the future costs as estimated through the discount rate.  The methodology issues are complex and establishing a discount rate is key.  The legislature pointed to a 2.5% discount rate that was part of a 2016 EPA estimate.  Written comments are requested by September 6, 2019.  Background information for the August 22, 2019 discussion of social cost of greenhouse gas emissions can be found here.
  • A third portion of the meeting was devoted to the topic of streamlining the Energy Independence Act with the new Clean Energy Transformation Act.  Dr. Blackmon commented that this was important, but that further development of the CETA rules would be necessary to carry this item forward.

The next meetings of the Commerce CETA workshops, which are open, are planned to be:

  • Monday, October 21, 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm
    Confluence Technology Center, Wenatchee
    Topic: Compliance and reporting requirements.
  • Wednesday, November 13, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
    Commerce headquarters, Olympia. 
    Topics: Additional discussion of planning and reporting requirements.
  • Thursday, December 12, 12:30 pm to 4:00 p.m.
    Pacific Tower, 1200 12th Ave. S, Seattle 
    Topics: To be determined.