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State Senate passes bill to move Washington to 100 percent clean energy

(AP)

The Washington State Senate passed a bill Friday to convert the state to 100 percent clean renewable energy.

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The bill — passed by a 28-19 margin — would mandate that all electrical utilities in Washington state transition to 100 percent, carbon neutral electric supply by 2030, and 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2045.

“It’s simply time to move past the era of carbon into the next generation with modern, 21st-century energy systems using integrated wind, hydro and solar power,” the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Reuven Carlyle said in a news release. “I’m proud that this is the strongest, 100-percent clean energy bill adopted in the nation, and we thank Hawaii and California for paving the way. Now, it’s up to the other states to follow our lead.”

Essentially, it would eliminate all coal-fired electricity in the state. That being so, it might not be quite the tall order it initially seems on paper, given that 75 percent of Washington state’s electricity already comes from hydro-power.

Washington state is also the leading hydro-electric producer in the entire country, produced by 10 total plants, eight of which are placed strategically along the Columbia and Snake Rivers.

Natural gas, coal, and nuclear power make up the other quarter of the state’s power production.

This would mark a major victory of environmental advocates in the state, including Gov. Jay Inslee, who previously had vowed to do away with coal power completely by 2025 back in December as part of his larger, 15-year climate plan.

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