Energy & Environment

From the shores of Puget Sound to the majesty of the Palouse, we live in a magnificent state. Part of our responsibility as Washingtonians is to keep our state’s water and air clean for our families and our families’ families. The governor is working with leaders around the state to reduce air and water pollution and keep our neighborhoods great places to work and play.

Current Work

  • Results Washington. Goal 3: Sustainable Energy and a Clean Environment
  • Reduce carbon pollution. 
    • Locally: In April 2014, Gov. Inslee signed an Executive Order to keep the state on track to meet our statutory greenhouse gas limits and create the Carbon Emissions Reduction Taskforce. When the 2015 legislature did not move forward on climate action, he directed the Dept. of Ecology to develop a regulatory cap on carbon emissions. The Clean Air Rule will help our state continue to reduce pollution and clean our air and water. 
    • Globally: Washington is part of the Pacific Coast Collaborative, a West Coast initiative for climate action and leadership. Our state also joined states and regions around the world to sign the Under 2 MOU, a global commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 
  • Reduce toxics. We need a new approach to reduce the impact of toxic chemicals on human health and the environment. The governor proposed legislation to get at the sources of toxics and not simply rely on more stringent permits and standards. After the 2015 legislature did not take action, Gov. Inslee directed the Dept. of Ecology to reconsider its draft water quality standards. The state will continue to move forward on finding the best way to protect the health of Washington’s people, fish and economy. 
  • Strengthen the shellfish industry. Through state, local, federal, non-profit and tribal partnerships, Gov. Inslee is working to reopen shellfish growing areas closed due to pollution, restore native Olympia oysters, and improve coordination and predictability for permitting processes.

Key Successes


  • Electric vehicles. By signing HB 1853, Gov. Inslee increased accessibility and affordability of EVs. This bill helps utilities build out electric vehicle infrastructure and gets us closer to Gov. Inslee’s Results Washington goal of 50,000 EVs on the road by 2020.
  • Safer oil transportation. When it comes to oil moving along our rail lines, Gov. Inslee’s top priority is keeping our communities safe. HB 1449 will improve safety, spill response and preparedness for oil transportation in our state. 
  • Clean water for shellfish. The governor’s office continues to boost the Clean Samish Initiative’s efforts to tackle pollution and reopen shellfish beds in Samish Bay.
  • Clean energy investments. Gov. Inslee secured over $100 million in capital budget funds to invest in clean energy and energy efficiency development and deployment. 


  • Climate action. 
    • Gov. Inslee’s climate Executive Order outlines next steps to reduce pollution in Washington state. The order focuses on seven key areas:
      • The Carbon Emissions Reduction Taskforce (CERT) made recommendations for a carbon pollution reduction program to the 2015 legislature
      • Gov. Inslee is working to assist and support the reduction of coal-fired electricity in an effort being led by electric utilities.
      • Creating a multi modal transit system and accelerating our use of clean cars and clean fuels.
      • Recommending updates to the state’s greenhouse gas emission limits.
      • Focusing on saving costs and reducing emissions from buildings by improving their efficiency.
      • Developing a new state program to support clean technology innovation in the public and private sectors.
      • Leading efforts to reduce carbon and increase energy efficiency throughout state government.
  • Outdoor recreation economy. Gov. Inslee created a blue ribbon task force to transform Washington’s outdoor recreation industry, tourism, and funding support for recreation areas.
  • Shellfish industry. Through the governor’s Shellfish Initiative, a new shellfish restoration hatchery was opened in May 2014 at the NOAA Fisheries Manchester Research Station in Port Orchard. This sets the stage for larger-scale restoration of native species in the future.


  • Climate action. Gov. Inslee brought together a bipartisan group of lawmakers (the Climate Legislative and Executive Workgroup) to develop a plan for the state to meet its greenhouse gas emissions targets (SB 5802). Hundreds of Washingtonians made their voices heard during this planning process, urging the state to take action on climate.
  • Resource management. Gov. Inslee’s Yakima Basin jobs, water and fish bill (SB 5367) works with agencies and local partners to manage water in the Yakima River Basin. Droughts and water shortages have harsh impacts on salmon, crops and homes in the region. The bill enhances stream flows for salmon, provides farmers with water, buys land for habitat restoration and public recreation and secures future water supplies. The legislation also created the Teanaway Community Forest Trust to ensure protection and public access to forest lands in the state.
  • Clean energy investments. 
    • The governor’s Clean Energy Fund invests $40 million (2013-15 capital budget) in clean energy technologies that save energy and cut energy costs, reduce harmful pollution and help create jobs.
    • The 2013–15 operating budget invests $6 million in the creation of UW’s Clean Energy Institute. The Institute focuses on next-generation technology for energy storage and solar energy.