Public hearing scheduled for Jan. 21 for legislation to promote equity in siting for alternative energy facilities

A public hearing has been scheduled for Friday, Jan. 21 at 10:00 a.m. in the House Environment and Energy Committee on House Bill 1871.

Rep. Mark Klicker introduced the bill this week after seeing the need for equity in the siting process of the clean energy movement.

“Too many rural counties are being forced to house alternative energy facilities, but are seeing nothing in return,” said Klicker, R-Walla Walla.

“It's time to revisit the process to determine where these sites are located and who is benefitting from them,” added Klicker.

The bill would establish a short-term moratorium on the siting of alternative energy facilities that would end Dec. 1, 2023. It would also establish a legislative task force to investigate possible solutions to the current inequity between clean energy producing counties and clean energy consuming counties.

The task force would also consider how that inequity might expand dramatically with the current approval process that considers each project in isolation rather than as part of a cumulative impact that will occur over decades. 

“We need to create a plan that works for our rural counties and the people that live there, and not just the counties that use the energy,” said Klicker. “If these clean energy facilities are not really serving the areas that house them, more thought needs to be put into the site selection process.”

Next Friday's public hearing will be broadcast live online on TVW. Those wishing to submit written comment, testify remotely on the bill, or let their position be noted for the legislative record, may go to: https://app.leg.wa.gov/csi/House. Select “Environment and Energy Committee” with the meeting schedule of 01/21/22 10:00 a.m., and then select “HB 1871 Alt. energy facility siting.”

Those who also wish to provide written comments on the bill directly to representatives in their legislative district may go here: https://app.leg.wa.gov/pbc/bill/1871.

“I highly encourage people to share their input and opinions on this bill,” said Klicker. “I believe it offers a fair and reasonable plan to reevaluate this issue for everyone involved.”

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov