Republican state Sens. John Braun, R-Centralia, Curtis King, R-Yakima, and Shelly Short, R-Addy, held a press conference on Tuesday to unveil the Senate Republicans’ comprehensive energy plan called “Power Washington.”
“For too long, Washington families and businesses have been forced to endure the costs of unaffordable and questionable policies that have given us larger energy bills, less energy security and little environmental improvement,” Braun said.
Braun, the Senate Republican leader, said it is time to take a different approach to energy in Washington, claiming the Republicans’ Power Washington plan would help put the state on a path to “reasonable policies and reliable energy.”
“It’s time for our state to create better energy policies,” said King, who serves as the top Republican on both the Senate Labor, Commerce and Tribal Affairs and the Senate Transportation committees. “Our Power Washington plan is the first step in taking a more reasonable approach when it comes to all phases of energy in our state.”
Short, who serves as both the top Republican on the Senate Environment, Energy and Technology Committee and as the Senate Republican Floor Leader, said the Republican energy plan seeks to reduce energy prices and improve Washington state’s power grid.
“I’m excited to get to work with my colleagues across the aisle and the governor’s office addressing these solutions during the 2023 legislative session,” said Short. “Our goal should be to improve and protect our energy systems and infrastructure with innovative technology that is both reliable and cost effective.”
The Power Washington plan includes proposals to address seven goals. Those goals are helping people access different kinds of vehicles, including hybrid and hydrogen-powered cars; preserving, improving and expanding Washington’s hydropower system; supporting carbon capture, including through investing in forest management; cutting high fuel prices through means including changes to tax policy; ensuring an environmentally responsible transition to new energy technology; continuing to provide affordable and reliable electricity by improving Washington’s electric grid; and keeping energy prices low for people’s homes and businesses.
The Power Washington plan comes ahead of the 2023 legislative session that will begin on Jan. 9. The 105 day session will end on April 23.
Sen. Marko Liias, D-Mukilteo, chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, told The Olympian this is the first time as a state lawmaker he’s ever seen a proposal by Republicans that seeks solutions for the climate crisis.
“I think they’ve seen the voters speak repeatedly that they want the Legislature to take action on climate to protect our state from the harm that’s coming and I’m encouraged that while it isn’t a plan that meets the needs I think we have for the state, that they’re at least presenting some alternatives and beginning to acknowledge that there’s a climate crisis,” Liias said.