Utility companies in Washington State required to generate 80% of energy from ‘renewable’ sources by 2030

Mar 29, 2024 | Political News

On Thursday, Washington Democratic Governor Jay Inslee signed a bill that critics say will move one of the state’s largest utility providers away from natural gas, eventually forcing homeowners to spend tens of thousands of dollars converting to electric.

According to Inslee,  Engrossed Substitute House Bill 1589 creates a path for Puget Sound Energy, the state’s largest utility with over 800,000 customers in six counties to “get out of the fossil fuel business,” an approach the foreign-owned utility has supported to help in “meeting our state’s aggressive clean energy goals.”

Under the new law, to speed up PSE’s transition to cleaner energy, the utility company is required to generate 80 percent of its energy from renewable energy sources by 2030 and 100 percent by 2045 leading many critics to label the legislation a “natural gas ban.”

Residents opposing the bill found unlikely allies in environmental and progressive organizations, including the Sierra Club, urging Inslee to veto language in the bill that would lead to “significant short-term rate increases which will disproportionately impact low- and moderate-income households,” as the company spends to upgrade its infrastructure for the transition.

HB 1589 was passed at 2 am during the legislative session by a vote of 27-22 in the Senate and 50-45 in the House of Representatives. Because it is labeled as emergency legislation, it goes into effect immediately.

In August, it was revealed that Puget Sound Energy jacked its rates on residents as a result of the Democrat-passed cap-and-trade program, but was prohibited from informing its customers as to the reason why based on a recommendation from the office of Washington's Democratic Attorney General Bob Ferguson who is currently running for governor.