Hearing directly from you helps me do my job better

Wenatchee Valley from above e-banner

April 12, 2022

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Over the past several years, the state Legislature and the United States Congress have considered a variety of proposals related to climate change. Recent presidents have issued sweeping executive orders related to the issue. The United Nations defines climate change to be “long-term shifts in temperature and weather patterns attributable to human activities since the 1800s primarily due to the burning of fossil fuels (like coal, oil, and gas) which produces heat-trapping gases.” These heat-trapping considerations have led to these gases being classified as “greenhouse gases.” Both the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Washington State Department of Ecology recognize carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride as greenhouse gasses. Carbon dioxide comprises the largest percentage of greenhouse gas emissions, leading people to sometimes refer to the issue as “carbon emissions” rather than “greenhouse gas emissions.” Advocates for clean energy and climate stabilization policies have argued that global emissions are resulting in increased droughts, more intense storms, larger wildfires, and rising sea levels.

Sen. Hawkins floor speech

Washington state has passed various laws related to climate issues. These policies and new proposals will be debated in the years ahead. Your feedback about our state’s climate policies is important to me.

Washington state greenhouse gas emissions

Greenhouse gas emissions vary across the nation based on the resources and activities of each state. Washington state has long enjoyed a vast amount of hydroelectric and nuclear energy in our electric sector. As a result, only a small portion of Washington state emissions are a result of our electricity. These emissions will phase out by 2045 due to the passage of the Washington State Clean Energy Transformation Act (CETA) of 2019. For more information on CETA and its implementation, click here. The 12th District is already in compliance with this new law, given the emissions-free hydropower resources and extra wind and solar generation that supply our local electric grid. Hydropower-based electricity is largely the source of heating for North Central Washington homes as well. Transportation emissions from passenger, commercial, and heavy-duty vehicles account for nearly half of the overall greenhouse gas emissions in Washington state.

WA emissions pie chart with border

Greenhouse gas emissions vary across the nation based on the activities of each state. Washington has vast non-emitting energy sources, like hydroelectric and nuclear energy, so only a small portion of emissions are currently attributable to the electric sector. Transportation is the largest source of emissions in our state. Given North Central Washington’s hydropower resources used for local electricity and heating, transportation vehicles are the main source of our area’s emissions.

WA total annual emissions chart

According to the most recent data, Washington state’s total emissions are 99.6 million metric tons, which is similar to 2008. Emissions dropped from 2010-2014, likely due to the economic recession and reduced activity in those years. A similar reduction in emissions could be observed in recent years due to the COVID pandemic and less activity.

Please take my five-minute climate survey

There are differing opinions about climate and climate policies throughout the state and country. Hearing from you is always important and helpful to me. As the state implements previously approved laws and considers new legislation, I need to continue to hear directly from you. I am eager to receive your survey responses to reflect upon your thoughts and opinions. Your answers will be anonymous.

Connecting with me during the interim

Sen. Hawkins on Saddle Rock photo

When not in Olympia, I try to enjoy our 12th District’s famous outdoor recreation. This photo is taken at Saddle Rock, one of our area’s favorite hiking locations. For information about my efforts with the Chelan-Douglas Land Trust and the city of Wenatchee to support Saddle Rock, click here.

Listen to my recent local radio interviews

Following the recent legislative session, I participated in interviews with local radio stations to recap the session. If you’d like to hear my most recent interviews, including my full-hour interview with KPQ’s Dave Bernstein, click on these links below:

  • KPQ’s “The Agenda” interview – click here
  • KOHO Radio interview – click here
  • KOZI Radio interview – click here

Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your state senator.



Brad Hawkins

State Senator Brad Hawkins
12th Legislative District

Website: senatorbradhawkins.org

107 Newhouse Building – P.O. Box 40412 | Olympia, WA 98504-0412
(360) 786-7622 or Toll-free: (800) 562-6000

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