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Washington Governor Works To Revive Carbon Reduction Plan

Austin Jenkins
Northwest News Network
Washington Governor Jay Inslee says he’s meeting with House Democrats to try to revive his carbon cap-and-trade program.";

Washington Governor Jay Inslee is working to revive his plan to charge for carbon pollution and use the proceeds to fund schools.

The Democrat met Wednesday behind closed doors with Speaker of the House Frank Chopp to discuss the issue.

Inslee views it as a twofer. Charge industry for carbon emissions. Then take the money generated and put a chunk of it into fully funding public schools.

Inslee unveiled the idea last December, but it died in the Democratic-controlled Washington House.

Now Inslee says he’s talking with House Democrats about ways to refine the proposal.

“I think our state has multiple significant challenges and if you can solve two of them at the same time rather than just one of them in a way that is very significantly supported by the public, that is a good thing,” he said.

Inslee described his talks with fellow Democrats as “substantial.” But he acknowledged Republicans are not part of the conversation yet. They control the Washington Senate.

Lawmakers are in overtime to hammer out a budget deal.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."