Klicker legislation for equity in alternative energy facilities siting has new life

Policy from Rep. Mark Klicker that would provide a path for more equity between Washington counties producing clean energy and the counties consuming that energy is still alive in the Legislature.

Klicker introduced House Bill 1871 this session, which did receive a public hearing in the House Environment and Energy Committee, but it did not advance to the House floor for a vote. However, much of the policy from that legislation was added as an amendment to House Bill 1812 over the weekend. The House overwhelmingly passed HB 1812 on Sunday.

“This is a big win for the policy in my legislation and for the people of rural Washington,” said Klicker, R-Walla Walla. “Although the amendment does not include a short-term moratorium on the siting of alternative energy facilities, it does bring this issue to the local level and allows the primary stakeholders to be involved.”

The new amendment adds a meaningful consultation process that allows rural communities to have a voice in the clean energy facility siting process. The Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC) must consult with stakeholders from rural communities, agriculture, and forestry to gain a better understanding of the benefits and impacts of anticipated changes in the state’s energy system, including the siting of facilities under the jurisdiction of the EFSEC, and to identify risks and opportunities for rural communities.

“So many people from rural areas in Washington continue to express concerns regarding clean energy facility locations,” said Klicker. “It is time that we let them have a place at the table so they can share those concerns. I’m grateful this amendment was accepted, and I fully support HB 1812.”

The amended version of HB 1812 now heads to the Senate for further consideration.

The 2022 legislative session is scheduled to end on March 10.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov