SB 5126 – Washington Climate Commitment Act

Posted By: Chester Baldwin Legislative Session,

“Cap and Trade” has been resurrected this legislative session in the form of SB 5126.  It would establish a cap and invest program for greenhouse gas emissions to be implemented by the Department of Ecology.  It also directs distribution of auction revenues for the Forward Flexible Account and for specified purposes including clean transportation, natural climate resiliency, clean energy transition and assistance, and energy efficiency projects.

Covered entities are required to register to participate in the program.  At the beginning of the first compliance period, and for all subsequent compliance periods, a covered entity is a person who has reported emissions or provided data that indicates emissions equal or exceed a threshold of 25,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent for:

  • facilities;
  • electricity generated in the state;
  • fuel suppliers other than natural gas; and
  • natural gas supplier to non-covered entities.

Regardless of reporting requirements, the emissions exempt from coverage are from: 

  • the combustion of aviation fuel;
  • watercraft fuels;
  • coal-fired electric generation, exempt from GHG limitations and requirements;
  • carbon dioxide emissions from the combustion of biomass or biofuels that have a 40 percent lower GHG emissions based on a full-life cycle analysis compared to petroleum fuels; and
  • national security facilities

On March 22nd it was voted out of Senate Ways and Means on a party line vote.  It now heads to Senate Rules where it will wait for a pull to the Senate Floor.