As the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) develops the rules necessary to implement the Climate Commitment Act (CCA), frontline communities are sounding the alarm around the potential impacts of this pollution trading scheme, particularly around the free pass given to some of the largest greenhouse gas emissions polluters in our state, including oil refineries, agriculture interests, and aerospace.
In a new report, Exposing False Solutions: How Washington’s Cap and Trade Program Gives Industrial Polluters a Free Pass, Front and Centered highlights that providing “emissions-intensive, trade-exposed” (EITE) industries with allowances will allow at least nine-tenths of total current industrial carbon emissions with a free pass to pollute through 2034, delaying the essential switch to off fossil fuels in key sectors. In addition, the law allows a pathway for industries to increase emissions through changes in production volume, which will prolong and worsen environmental justice impacts here in Washington, especially for frontline communities.
We will also highlight solutions that work for environmental justice communities and help ensure that state climate and environmental justice goals may be achieved. Front and Centered supports direct emissions limits on major polluters, as opposed to pollution trading markets, that promise a cap to carbon emissions, but don’t specifically require polluters to cut emissions. We cannot trade or offset the ability of our communities to breathe.