Fw: [fuelcell-energy] Global_Warming:_What_we are_doing_about_it
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From: "janson2997" <janson1997@...>
Date: Sun, 04 Jul 2004 08:30:15 -0000
Global Warming: What we're doing about it
In the absence of meaningful federal action, we on the West Coast
have a responsibility to act, and act quickly. The following
highlights the initial actions we are taking in Washington:
West Coast Governors' Initiative
In September 2003, the governors of the three West Coast states
committed to a regional greenhouse gas reduction initiative. As an
initial step, we directed our staffs to develop joint policy
recommendations on five reduction strategies that will benefit from
regional cooperation and action: hybrid vehicle procurement, reduced
ports and highway diesel emissions, renewable energy, energy
efficiency, and measurement and reporting. Their recommendations are
due back to us in September 2004.
Low-sulfur diesel fuel � In May 2004, Washington State Ferries
announced that it would shift its entire ferry fleet to low-sulfur
diesel fuel. It will also test both ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel and
biodiesel fuel. The ferry system has also upgraded its vessels with
more-efficient engines and made changes to reduce fuel consumption
and emissions, and will continue seeking new ways to improve fuel
efficiency. As a result of these changes, nearly 10,000 fewer tons of
pollutants will be released into the air by ferry fuel emissions. For
more information about ultra-low sulfur fuel, contact the Puget Sound
Clean Air Agency.
Biodiesel � Washington now grants tax deferrals and exemptions for
biodiesel fuel production and sales, and state agencies are required
to use a minimum of two percent biodiesel fuel in diesel-powered
equipment and vehicles. The Superintendent of Public Instruction is
exploring using biodiesel in the state's school buses. For
information about these bills, visit the Washington State Legislature.
Building efficiency standards
The State Building Code Council has improved energy efficiency
standards for all residential structures. Over the next 15 years
these savings�counting just those from the single-family housing
market�will keep nearly two million metric tons of CO2 from entering
the atmosphere. These efficiency improvements also save homeowners
money from their very first year of home ownership.
On March 31, 2004, I signed Substitute House Bill 3141 (PDF 31k),
which codified our proposal to create America's toughest siting
standards for new fossil-fueled power plants. These plants will have
to offset 20 percent of their expected carbon dioxide emissions by
planting trees, paying for natural-gas transit buses, or finding
other offset opportunities. For a typical 650-megawatt power plant,
this will reduce overall carbon dioxide emissions by almost 2.5
million metric tons over 30 years.
Commute Trip Reduction (CTR)
Through a variety of strategies, including transit passes, carpool
benefits, flexible hours and telework, we actively encourage state
employees to drive less. For others, the Washington Dept. of
Transportation operates a Public Transportation web site with
information about park-and-rides, bus service, passenger rail, and
other helpful links.
Fleet efficiency measures
The Office of State Procurement has two different hybrid electric
sedans available on contract and will soon be adding an SUV hybrid
electric vehicle and a zero emission neighborhood electric vehicle.
State and local government agencies have added over 400 hybrid
vehicles to our fleet in the past five years. Hybrid-electric
vehicles are highly fuel efficient and have been shown to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 33 percent.
Measurement and tracking
Washington citizens and policymakers need sound data about the
sources of greenhouse gas emissions as well as current trends. The
energy policy division of the Dept. of Community, Trade and Economic
Development has been tracking greenhouse gas emissions in Washington
and has just completed an updated report, "Washington State's
Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Sources and Trends." (PDF 342k)
Renewable energy incentives
New legislation exempts Washingtonians who buy fuel cells or
renewable energy equipment such as wind turbines and solar voltaic
panels from sales and use taxes. For information, contact the
Washington Dept. of Revenue.
Washington State and Puget Sound Energy (PSE) have created a
partnership with a common goal of reducing energy use in 30 state
parks. The company provides free "energy audits" identifying
opportunities for utility cost reduction. After each park completes
installation of recommended upgrades, PSE pays back up to 50 percent
of total costs in rebates. The parks save money for use elsewhere and
the company helps reduce energy consumption in its service area, thus
helping reduce global warming.
Washington State Parks are utilizing renewable energy sources on
parklands by installing wind turbines in some of their coastal
facilities. Grayland Beach State Park are purchasing a 10,000-watt
Wind-turbine to provide power to public restrooms. A grant is
covering 80 percent of the project cost. The wind-produced power will
exceed the needs of the restrooms; excess power will go back to the
power grid as "negawatts." Westport Light State Park will install a
smaller 400-watt Wind-turbine to power public restrooms at the beach.
One of my highest air pollution priorities is curbing harmful
emissions from school buses. In 2003, the Legislature provided $25
million that will upgrade up to 90 percent of the state's existing
school buses with emission reduction technology. Meanwhile, the
Office of Superintendent for Public Instruction, the Washington State
Patrol and the Department of Ecology have created a state-wide
emissions testing and maintenance program for school buses. A similar
program in Iowa reduced diesel soot emissions by 27 percent overall.
Other possible actions
Our energy analysts are currently investigating additional strategies
to reduce or avert CO2 emissions. We are considering adopting state
energy efficiency standards for products not covered by the federal
government (where multiple manufacturers deliver products that meet
such new standards). We also plan to explore the adoption of energy
portfolio standards that would guide utilities to invest in energy
efficiency programs and select renewable resources to meet a minimum
percentage of Washington's electricity needs.
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