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Washington’s greenhouse gases increased despite Jay Inslee’s policies

Gov. Jay Inslee (D-WA) testifies during a House Energy and Commerce Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill on April 2, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

Jay Inslee is running for president on the singular issue of combating climate change, but new data from the state of Washington shows that greenhouse gas emissions actually got worse despite policies that were supposed to reduce them.

American Conservation Coalition president Benji Backer joined the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH to discuss why Inslee’s policies actually do a disservice to the environment.

“Governor Inslee has not prioritized actual reforms that help climate change in the environment and reducing emissions,” he said. “To reduce emissions you need to have an economically sensible plan that encourages technology and innovation to decrease emissions, and not just feel good proposals that end up backfiring and actually hurting the environment.”

“While the United States has led the world in greenhouse gas emissions reduction in seven of the last 10 years, and many states are decreasing their emissions a really incredible level, Governor Inslee has done the exact opposite,” he added.

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The data shows that 2016 saw a 2 percent increase in greenhouse gas house emissions. While it’s still lower than 2008 and the subsequent recession years, emission rates began gradually increasing after 2012 along with the expanding local economy and population.

As Jason notes, it’s natural to expect some kind of emissions increase to go along with population growth, but Inslee’s team still predicted emissions would go down despite that growth. Why?

“Yeah that’s really difficult to mess up, honestly. Most governors on the left as well as mayors of cities who are who are liberal have signed on this pledge to kind of meet the Paris Accord agreements, and none of them have met it,” Backer said. “It’s because they aren’t proposing these policies that are actually good for the environment, and even though the population growth has happened in Washington state, many other states are facing that same battle and are decreasing their emissions.”

“Because you can decrease emissions more than the population is increasing, and at the very least keep it constant with all the new technology. So it is really hard to screw up.”

Backer says that part of the issue is that the Democratic Party is too far to the left and unwilling to work with the right to embrace things like hydropower, nuclear energy, and other clean energies that are available.

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“We need to embrace nuclear and keep embracing hydropower, which is obviously so important to the state. And we need to figure out how to keep working with companies to reduce the impact that they’re having,” he said. “It doesn’t have to take this this top down government-led approach as much as people think it does.”

“It’s actually the markets and innovation and allowing companies to keep choosing clean energy, because it’s cheaper and more affordable … It’ll take the Democratic Party to be less alarmist and more willing to embrace some of these technologies, and it will also take Republicans to be more open to clean energy and reducing emissions through those in the state.”

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

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