Climate and Energy Polling in Washington:
- The latest Gallup poll reveals that at 64 percent, serious concern for global warming is at an eight-year high across the country.
- 68 percent of Washington adults understand global warming is already happening and more than half recognize that it is caused mostly by humans.
- A strong 79 percent support funding research into renewable energy resources while 78 percent favor regulating CO2 as a pollutant.
Washington’s Energy Profile:
- The Clean Power Plan (CPP) would require Washington to cut 37.2 percent of its power-sector emissions by 2030. Almost 70 percent of Washington’s power comes from hydroelectric sources.
- Washington is a leader in wind energy production. With 3,075 MW of installed capacity, it ranks 9th in the United States.
- About 136 solar companies working in the state provide nearly 2,300 jobs.
- The state does not support the lawsuit against the Clean Power Plan and is continuing to prepare a state compliance plan.
- Washington is part of the Pacific Coast Collaborative, an effort including California, Oregon, Alaska and British Columbia to cooperate on clean energy and a sustainable future.
Washington is Vulnerable to Climate Change:
- The Northwest region is susceptible to water issues due to changing snowmelt pattern and increased wildfire and insect infestation risk.
- In 2014, Washington had the single largest wildfire on record, covering 256,108 acres and burning 300 houses. Due to warmer and drier summers, the Evergreen State could witness wildfires increase from over 494,000 acres at present to over 1.2 million acres by the 2040s.
- The area of drought-hit forests in the state could increase by one-third by the 2020s, reducing forest productivity and making them more vulnerable to pest outbreaks.
- In February, the state Department of Ecology withdrew Gov. Jay Inslee’s Clean Air Rule that aimed to cap carbon emissions. The officials intend to reintroduce the bill later this spring.