July 20, 2012
Ms. Linda Whitcher
Department of Ecology
P.O. Box 47600
Olympia, WA 98504-7600
Dear Ms. Whitcher:
The NW Energy Coalition is a 30-year old alliance of 115 Pacific Northwest environmental and civic organizations, clean energy companies, faith communities and utilities working together for clean and affordable energy. Forty-seven of our member organizations call Washington home.
One of the key benefits of our work to increase energy efficiency and the supply of clean, renewable energy resources is reducing our state’s contributions to climate pollution. Consistent with numerous state policies and laws, huge investments in energy conservation and renewable energy have been made across the state, avoiding the need to build five fossil fuel power plants and annual emissions of more than eight million tons of climate pollution.
Given the progress being made by Washington’s energy sector to reduce its carbon footprint, it is extraordinarily frustrating that the Department of Ecology intends to weaken clean air rules and avoid its duty to regulate greenhouse gases from industrial sources including oil refineries. The oil refineries account for six to eight percent of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions; the Department of Ecology has the duty and the obligation to enforce the law to bring these emissions under control.
Under separate cover, the Washington Environmental Council and the Sierra Club have submitted extensive comments urging Ecology to withdraw the proposed revisions to WAC 173-400-030(3) and WAC 173-400-020 and the proposal to submit these revisions to EPA as an amendment to the State Implementation Plan. We fully endorse these comments because the proposals are inconsistent with the law, science and sound public policy.
Sara Patton Executive Director