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The Climate Commitment Act (CCA) passed by a Democratic majority in 2021 creates new funding from energy producers to reduce Washington state’s carbon emissions. The new law puts a “price” on carbon emissions. The rules to implement it are expected to be in place by Jan. 1, 2023. The CCA is expected to raise $4 billion for the state over 10 years.

Democrat plan won’t protect Washington from climate impacts

Under the Democrats’ plan, the $4 billion energy tax will be directed into special accounts to be used for loosely defined purposes to be named later. Fully 76% of funds under the Democrat plan go to non-highway transportation spending that has not been identified.

Republican ORCA Plan:

Invest in Outdoor Recreation and Climate Adaptation

Under the Democrats’ plan, the $4 billion energy tax will be directed into special accounts to be used for loosely defined purposes to be named later. Fully 76% of funds under the Democrat plan go to non-highway transportation spending that has not been identified.

The Republican ORCA Plan directs the $4 billion of Climate Commitment Act (CCA) revenue toward: Outdoor Recreation and Climate Adaptation

The problem: Our state parks are in terrible shape with no leadership for growth and a huge maintenance backlog, even as demand is growing. Since 1990, we have added just 28 campsites while adding 2.7 million new residents. State Park fees are making
camping unaffordable.

The ORCA solution: Invest CCA dollars to eliminate the $425 million maintenance backlog, build new parks and playgrounds, expand recreational trails to connect communities, eliminate the $30 annual Discover Pass, and lower other recreation fees.

The Republican ORCA Plan would meaningfully fund climate adaptation and a healthier environment, using CCA auction proceeds to help the natural environment endure amidst climate impacts. ORCA would address forest health, drought, floods, and Puget Sound recovery.

FOREST HEALTH

The problem: Washington has 2.7 million acres of unhealthy forest and a forest health action plan that has no dedicated funding source.

The ORCA solution: Use CCA auction revenue to fully fund the state forest health action plan and assist small private forest landowners. Invest in communities that support the wood products industry to maintain healthy forests for future generations. This will reduce carbon emissions from wildfire and increase carbon sequestering capacity.

PUGET SOUND RESTORATION

The problem: Puget Sound is unhealthy. Decades of effort and funding have produced little progress toward benchmarks for recovery. Major municipal wastewater treatment plants leak millions of gallons of untreated sewage. Upgrading pollution controls is costly.

The ORCA solution: Use CCA dollars to upgrade public sewage treatment facilities and provide grants for boatyard pollution controls. Clarify roles and responsibilities for Puget Sound recovery among state agencies.

DROUGHT RESILIENCY

The problem: Increased risk of drought from climate change is a direct threat to crops and livestock, and Washington’s agricultural jobs.

The ORCA solution: Set aside CCA dollars for projects that secure a sustainable water supply, and which can be used to leverage federal funding.

FLOOD MITIGATION

The problem: Climate change will result in heavier rainfall events, and earlier, more rapid snowmelt. Floods bring tragic loss of life and disruption to communities.

The ORCA solution: Fund the strategies developed by existing flood authorities to reduce flood damage and improve aquatic habitat in areas most likely to flood.

WASHINGTON HOUSE REPUBLICANS