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Issues

Energy, Environment, and the Climate Crisis

We must strive to be responsible stewards of the environment, our communities, and our planet. We must proactively address climate change as a crisis. All people, including future generations, have the right to clean air, water, and a healthy natural environment. 

We believe:

  • Both our economic stability and the health of our environment depend on sound policy decisions incorporating the best scientific evidence;
  •  Sustainable energy production and strong environmental protections strengthen our economy and our country;
  • Public discussion and education should occur at all levels of community and government about how and why to reduce resource and energy consumption;
  • Policies must promote biodiversity, ecosystem and watershed protection, and restoration of wild salmon and endangered species;
  • Managing public lands as a public trust benefits us all;
  • Washington State should lead national and international efforts to reduce greenhouse gases and mitigate climate change.

We call for:

  • Aggressive action now to minimize climate change, as global climate change is the foremost threat to survival of Earth as we know it. We must:
    • Require that environmental impact statements consider the full scope of every proposal, avoiding the segmentation of projects to reduce identified impacts;
    • Reduce production of greenhouse gases by imposing stricter emissions and higher fuel efficiency standards for motor vehicles;
    • List greenhouse gases, including CO2, as pollutants under the Clean Air Act;
    • Impose a carbon tax at the source to reduce greenhouse gases by providing economic motivation for reduced fossil fuel use;
    • Refuse to permit the Keystone XL Pipeline;
  • Protection of our communities from any unsafe shipping of coal, oil, bitumen or any fossil fuels;
  • Research and program funding to develop and implement safe, clean alternative energy solutions and to encourage resource conservation;
  • Expanded programs and incentives for consumers and businesses to encourage energy conservation and use of renewable and environmentally responsible energy, use of energy efficient and renewable sources of power and energy distribution technologies;
  • Permitting expansion of nuclear power only with strong environmental protection, when safe, long-term waste management can be guaranteed and projects are shown to be cost effective without public subsidies;
  • The Tri-Party Agreement and other efforts of Washington State to ensure that Hanford Site clean-up is finished and the Columbia River’s water quality is protected from the Hanford Site’s historic contamination;
  • Conserving resources and promoting sustainability through recycling and waste reduction efforts;
  • Limiting sprawl and preserving farmland, wildlife habitat, and natural resources as essential to our economic and environmental well-being;
  • Protecting our critical environmental areas, including wilderness areas, old growth forests, wildlife habitat areas and corridors, wetlands, lakes, streams, riparian areas, the Columbia River, Puget Sound, coastlines, oceans, and other bodies of water through vigilant monitoring and planned growth management;
  • Protecting environmentally sensitive areas by prohibiting oil, gas, and mineral exploration, extraction, and transportation in such areas;
  • Protecting environmentally sensitive areas by prohibiting waste disposal, storage or treatment in such areas;
  • The immediate revision of the 1872 Mining Act to end exploration and extraction in environmentally sensitive public lands and provide compensation to the public for resources that they own;
  • Promoting development of a residential solar energy program to supply electricity to the power grid;
  • A long term national energy policy with realistic and comprehensive planning;
  • Enacting new laws and enforcing current regulations to eliminate pollution to Washington waters at the source;
  • Recognizing the importance of jobs and property values, and consistent with other existing planks, all proposals for export of coal from Washington State must undergo a broad review of all economic, health and ecological impacts, to determine that there are no net negative impacts, prior to approval of such proposal or any alternatives;
  • Strengthening the Magnuson Amendment of the Marine Mammal Protection Act to enhance preservation of marine ecosystems from tanker and cargo vessel collisions, unlawful discharges and spills of petroleum based products, and bilge water pumping operations containing invasive aquatic species from foreign ports.

We oppose:

  • Offshore well-drilling for petroleum, and destructive techniques such as hydraulic fracturing and mountaintop removal;
  • Increasing production of fossil fuels through extreme measures such as tar sands extraction, shale oil extraction and natural gas “fracking.”

Resolutions