NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


January 19, 2010

As legislators and the Governor grapple with the economic problems facing Washington state, this is a good time to reassess environmental priorities to ensure that they are really protecting the environment while promoting jobs and prosperity.  Washington Policy Center's (WPC) "2010 Recommendations for Effective Environmental Stewardship" offers proven and innovative ways to help the environment by creating personal incentives to reduce greenhouse gases and harnessing the knowledge of millions of Washington residents to take steps toward sustainability. 

WPC's recommendations include five proposals that are effective and efficient:

  • Develop a personal incentive to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by creating a revenue neutral carbon price and offering investment tax credits to promote creativity and innovation.
  • Give school districts the flexibility to make building improvements by removing the costly and ineffective "green" building mandates.
  • Complete a comprehensive review of the Growth Management Act and two decades of amendments and changes.
  • Ensure the state is receiving the carbon emissions reductions it pays for by requiring audits and accountability of emissions reductions project, as recommended by WPC's proposed Climate Accountability Act.
  • Analyze Washington's environmental priorities with a comprehensive cost/benefit analysis of the state's top environmental expenditures, as recommended by WPC's proposed Environmental Priorities Act. 

These ideas can help ensure that, even as the economy takes center stage in policy priorities, Washington makes progress in improving environmental stewardship.  By tying environmental sustainability to economic sustainability, Washington will continue to create a healthy environment even as the economy and state budgets ebb and flow. 

Washington has an opportunity to set aside the counterproductive policies of the past and choose a direction that will make the best use of the state's scarce resources, says WPC. 

Source: Todd Myers and Brandon Houskeeper, "2010 Recommendations for Effective Environmental Stewardship," Washington Policy Center, January 2010. 


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