Gov. Jay Inslee asks a question during a presentation and overview of Cascade Industrial Center on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Gov. Jay Inslee asks a question during a presentation and overview of Cascade Industrial Center on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

‘It’s just starting’: Inslee champions climate initiatives in Marysville

The Climate Commitment Act funds electric vehicle charging stations and other projects. Inslee is defending against an effort to repeal it.

MARYSVILLE — Ahead of an upcoming ballot measure challenging landmark climate legislation, Gov. Jay Inslee visited Marysville on Tuesday to champion the Climate Commitment Act.

Passed by the state Legislature in 2021, the act established a cap-and-invest program for the state’s largest polluters.

The program sets an annual limit for Washington’s overall carbon emissions. Businesses are then required to buy allowances for every metric ton of pollution they emit at quarterly auctions hosted by the state Department of Ecology.

The program went into effect in January 2023, but Inslee said counties are just starting to roll out new electric vehicle charging stations and other projects that will receive funding from the law. In November, voters could see Initiative 2117 on their ballots, which could repeal the cap-and-trade program.

“If that goes away, that knocks a $5 billion hole into the transportation budget,” Inslee said, after taking a group photo beside two electric vehicle fast-charging stations in Marysville.

Critics of the Climate Commitment Act are concerned the policy has increased prices on fuel, food and energy prices.

“That’s not the job of the government to put this burden on people’s backs,” Brian Heywood, the hedge fund manager who has led the opposition to the act, said in an article published by The Seattle Times in November.

Earlier this month, the state Department of Commerce announced plans to award over $85 million in grants to install nearly 5,000 vehicle charging stations throughout the state. Snohomish County will receive over 400 of the stations, according to the governor’s office.

The charging stations in Marysville on Tuesday were not funded by the Climate Commitment Act, he said. But the location, near the city’s downtown, reflects where the state plans to place future stations.

“We are making sure that many of them are available to people who don’t live in an apartment or house,” Inslee said.

The governor also discussed the expansion of the Cascade Industrial Center with city officials, as it plans to welcome new businesses like Tesla and Amazon that Inslee said are dedicated to the clean energy transition.

Inslee then toured a home in Marysville’s Glenwood neighborhood that participated in Snohomish County’s longstanding weatherization program.

Homeowner Laurel Hage qualified for the Snohomish County Public Utility District’s discount program, allowing her home to receive updates that dramatically lowered her bills.

Contractors reduced air leakage, insulated the attic and improved ventilation, the program’s supervisor Matthew Bell said.

These changes typically save homeowners 25% to 35% on utilities, Bell said.

Last month, Hage’s neighbor paid over $300 in utilities, she said. She paid just over $100.

The Climate Commitment Act provides additional money to the state Department of Commerce that it can allocate to local utilities like Snohomish County PUD for programs like this one.

Inslee said his visit in Marysville exemplified how the Climate Commitment Act will aid residents disproportionately impacted by pollution.

“This act can help the community in a whole bunch of different ways,” Inslee said. “And it’s just starting.”

Ta’Leah Van Sistine: 425-339-3460;; Twitter: @TaLeahRoseV.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

A Cessna 150 crashed north of Paine Field on Friday evening, Feb. 16, 2024, in Mukilteo, Washington. The pilot survived without serious injury. (Courtesy of Richard Newman.)
‘I’m stuck in the trees’: 911 call recounts plane crash near Paine Field

Asad Ali was coming in for a landing in a Cessna 150 when he crashed into woods south of Mukilteo. Then he called 911 — for 48 minutes.

Snohomish County likely to feel more like winter, beginning Monday

Get ready for a mix of rain and snow this week, along with cooler temperatures.

Anthony Boggess
Arlington man sentenced for killing roommate who offered shelter

Anthony Boggess, 33, reported hearing the voices of “demons” the night he strangled James Thrower, 65.

Ryan Rafter appears in court for sentencing Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024, at Snohomish County Superior Court in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Man sentenced to life in prison for murder of Everett father

In April 2022, Ryan Rafter, 42, shot Christopher Buck, 29, to death after breaking in to his home to steal drugs.

Driver strikes, kills Marysville man who was crossing I-5 in Seattle

The man’s car had broken down near Mercer Street. Troopers reported that he was struck when he tried to cross the freeway.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Darrington in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Police: Darrington woman stabbed, buried 5-year-old daughter

The woman reportedly told investigators she was hearing voices before she killed her young daughter on Valentine’s Day.

In this Feb. 5, 2018, file photo a Boeing 737 MAX 7 is displayed during a debut for employees and media of the new jet in Renton, Wash. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
FAA gives Boeing 90 days to develop plan to fix quality, safety issues

The agency’s ultimatum comes a day after a meeting with CEO Dave Calhoun and other top Boeing officials in Washington, D.C.

A view of one of the potential locations of the new Aquasox stadium on Monday, Feb. 26, 2024 in Everett, Washington. The site sits between Hewitt Avenue, Broadway, Pacific Avenue and the railroad. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
20 businesses could be demolished for downtown Everett stadium

Some business owners say the city didn’t tell them of plans for a new AquaSox stadium that could displace their businesses.

A person walks out of the Snohomish County Corrections building on Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Snohomish County Jail review finds no fault in Florida inmate’s death

David Koeppen, 38, was the third inmate in two months to die in the jail. He was being held on murder charges.

Snohomish County pharmacy tech accused of stealing 2,500 opioid pills

Rachel Langdon stole oxycodone while working at a Snohomish County pharmacy, according to state Department of Health allegations.

Sen. John McCoy, D-Tulalip, left, a member of the Tulalip Tribes of Washington, speaks Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017, as Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, right, looks on at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. After the speech, Inslee signed a bill sponsored by McCoy that seeks to improve oral health on Indian reservations in Washington state. The measure is the first bill the governor has signed this legislative session and it allows tribes to use federal funding for dental therapists. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Curriculum on state tribes to be renamed after late Tulalip legislator

On Tuesday, John McCoy’s former colleagues in the Senate honored the late lawmaker by passing House Bill 1879.

Man stabbed, killed inside Lynnwood-area condo

Detectives were looking to identify suspects in a killing Monday night at the Brio Condominiums.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.