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

2015 Legislative Session

  • Climate action. Gov. Inslee's 2015 climate legislation will help Washington continue its transition toward energy independence, reduce carbon pollution and meet our statutory greenhouse gas limits (SB 5283 / HB 1314). 
  • Electric vehicle incentives. Gov. Inslee requested a suite of legislation to incentivize the use of electric vehicles in Washington state. SB 5444 and HB 1572 create an EV infrastructure bank to give financial assistance to install publically accessible high-speed charging stations. SB 5445 and HB 1925 extend a sales tax exemption on the first $60,000 on the purchase of alternative fuel vehicles. To incentivize electric vehicle readiness in buildings, Gov. Inslee requested SB 5446 and HB 1929 which would require urban cities and counties to adopt high speed EV charging station incentive programs. 
  • Oil transportation safety. When it comes to oil moving along our rail lines, Gov. Inslee’s top priority is keeping our communities safe. The governor requested legislation (SB 5087 / HB 1449) based on a new assessment that recommends steps to improve safety and spill response and preparedness for oil transportation in our state. 
  • Toxics reduction. Gov. Inslee’s toxics reduction bill (SB 5406 / HB 1472) addresses the most problematic chemicals by finding safer alternatives and other ways to reduce toxics at their source. The legislation complements the governor’s proposal to update water quality standards

Key Successes


  • 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.