An Evergreen Economy for America

Investing in Good Jobs, Clean Energy & Modern Infrastructure

Eighty-six years ago this month, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt laid out the details of the New Deal in a radio address. President Roosevelt called for sweeping changes to invest in job creation, rebuild infrastructure, and strengthen workers’ rights, saying: “We are working toward a definite goal, which is to prevent the return of conditions which came very close to destroying what we call modern civilization.”

Today, America faces a new threat to our modern civilization: climate change. This challenge also presents an unprecedented economic opportunity, to lead the world in building a clean energy future. Just as it did in the 20th century, America must rise to this 21st century challenge with a bold plan to: create jobs; protect workers’ rights; repower the economy; rebuild our infrastructure; and reinvest in innovation.

Governor Jay Inslee’s Evergreen Economy Plan is a comprehensive vision to build a clean energy economy that will create 8 million good jobs during the next 10 years. The plan catalyzes roughly $9 trillion of investment — with at least $300 billion in average annual federal spending leveraging approximately $600 billion more each year — in American industries and manufacturing, infrastructure, skilled labor, and new technology deployment.

Igniting America’s Clean Energy Economy
Building Sustainable & Climate-Smart Infrastructure
Leading the World in Clean Manufacturing
Investing in Innovation & Scientific Research
Ensuring Good Jobs with Family Supporting Wages & Benefits

The Evergreen Economy Plan is built on the model that has led Washington state to become the fastest-growing economy in America — making historic investments in clean energy research and deployment, creating good jobs in 21st century manufacturing, building green transportation infrastructure, supporting modern job-training programs, raising wages, and protecting workers’ rights and families.

This plan is the second major policy announcement from Governor Inslee’s Climate Mission agenda, a 10-year national mobilization to defeat climate change and build a just, innovative, and inclusive clean energy future. Inslee’s Climate Mission will put America on a path to achieving net-zero climate pollution before 2045, to meet the clear demands of climate science.

On May 3, Governor Inslee announced his 100% Clean Energy for America Plan, which set 100% clean standards for electricity, new vehicles and new buildings. The Evergreen Economy Plan provides the robust public investments necessary to match these strong standards and meet the goal of 100% clean energy. This plan will create millions of family wage jobs, and place the rights of workers at the center of the American economy once again.

Governor Inslee’s Evergreen Economy Plan is a forward-looking approach that will revitalize America’s economy for the 21st century. This comprehensive suite of 28 policy initiatives will put Americans to work in every community. It is based on an expansive approach to the clean energy economy: It will create jobs for technicians installing solar panels, electricians upgrading buildings, engineers designing smart grid solutions, and pipefitters upgrading water infrastructure. Governor Inslee’s plan includes programs to spur growth and build infrastructure in rural communities — from agricultural innovation to rural electrification. And this plan also includes investments in affordable housing and municipal infrastructure, which will be especially important to revitalizing urban communities and creating jobs across the country.

Inherent throughout Governor Inslee’s Evergreen Economy Plan — and to the entirety of the Climate Mission agenda he has outlined for America — is the urgent need to support frontline, low-income, and Indigenous communities, and communities of color. These communities are being impacted first and worst by the accelerating damages of climate change, and have endured a legacy of air, water, toxics and climate pollution, along with a deficit of public investment and support. Through an assertive agenda of reinvestment that is guided by strong local input, Governor Inslee’s plan seizes the opportunity to build a clean energy economy that provides inclusive prosperity — upon a foundation of economic, environmental, racial and social justice.

And, importantly, the Evergreen Economy Plan includes new protections for American workers to ensure fair wages, safety and organizing rights. After decades of erosion of workers’ rights, America must reset the balance that has disadvantaged working people for too long. The Evergreen Economy Plan creates a foundation of strong unions, fair wages, and good benefits that lifts up every worker at every step of their career, in every corner of the economy. This includes vital support for resource dependent communities and energy workers who are today experiencing disruption in their lives as the world transitions toward more sustainable energy systems.

The Evergreen Economy Plan focuses on 5 key strategies for economic growth:

  1. Igniting America’s Clean Energy Economy: Governor Inslee will make historic investments as part of an unprecedented nationwide effort to deploy clean energy in every community in the country. This effort includes: establishing a ReBuild America Initiative to upgrade millions of buildings over the next two-plus decades; a $90 billion Green Bank for clean energy deployment; a Next Generation Rural Electrification Initiative; programs to support energy democracy and community-led energy transformation; and grants in lieu of tax incentives for clean energy installation. Collectively, this effort will massively increase clean energy deployment, create millions of jobs, and achieve the goals laid out in Governor Inslee’s 100% Clean Energy for America Plan.
  2. Building Sustainable & Climate-Smart Infrastructure: Governor Inslee’s Evergreen Economy Plan makes the largest investment in American infrastructure in generations — creating sustainable transportation, water, affordable housing, sustainable communities, and smart grid systems. Governor Inslee will double investment in public transit, dramatically expand electric car-charging infrastructure, and launch a Clean Water for All Initiative to close the $82 billion annual funding gap in critical drinking water, stormwater and wastewater infrastructure. This plan for climate-safe infrastructure investment will put Americans to work in every community to achieve a state of good repair; protect public health; and improve resilience to devastating floods, droughts, fires, and storms.
  3. Leading the World in Clean Manufacturing: The Evergreen Economy Plan creates incentives and programs to grow good American jobs and keep U.S. manufacturing on the cutting-edge of the 21st century global economy. Through Governor Inslee’s plan, the federal government will partner with industry to increase efficiency, cut costs and waste, and deploy new technologies and fuels to reduce climate pollution. That includes: making major investments in domestic manufacturing of electric vehicles and batteries; establishing a federal “Buy Clean” Program to help close the carbon loophole and support domestic industries and workers; creating a new Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit; and utilizing entities such as the Export-Import Bank to increase exports of made-in-America clean energy solutions. These initiatives will allow workers and businesses to revitalize America’s economic competitiveness in existing manufacturing industries, while taking the lead in emerging clean technologies and growth markets.
  4. Investing in Innovation & Scientific Research: To defeat climate change and fully capture the clean energy opportunity of the 21st century, Governor Inslee’s plan also invests in transformative research and development in next-generation clean technology and climate solutions, and in scientific discovery and STEM education. Governor Inslee’s plan will increase U.S. clean energy and climate solutions research investment to $35 billion each year, more than 5 times the current funding. This investment boost will marshal the resources of the federal government, states, universities and private sector innovators to confront the climate challenge. The plan also supports innovation in the agricultural sector through a new ARPA-Ag effort and a Next Generation Rural Clean Energy Extension Service.
  5. Ensuring Good Jobs with Family Supporting Wages & Benefits: Governor Inslee puts reinvestment in American workers at the heart of his plan to build an Evergreen Economy — ensuring high-paying, high-skilled jobs building a stronger, healthier, more just, inclusive and sustainable future. This plan will reunionize and empower workers in every industry with new tools to collectively bargain, challenge racial and gender inequality, and close the gap in wealth and prosperity. It includes: enacting a “G.I. Bill” for impacted fossil fuel workers and communities; repealing the Taft-Hartley Act provisions that allow so-called “Right-to-Work” laws; redoubling commitment to national apprenticeship programs and creating and enforcing protections for gender pay equity.

During the coming weeks, Governor Inslee will continue to introduce additional major policies as part of a national Climate Mission agenda, including: advancing environmental justice; supporting rural communities and sustainable, thriving American agriculture; ensuring resilient communities and disaster recovery; ending all manner of fossil fuel giveaways; and protecting public lands.

Igniting America’s Clean Energy Economy

The American clean energy industry employs more than 3 million people in virtually every county in the country, and two-thirds of those jobs are in construction and manufacturing. By infusing clean energy-led economic development in communities throughout the country, Governor Inslee's plan will create millions of jobs, reduce pollution and lower energy bills. Governor Inslee’s 100% Clean Energy for America Plan calls for 100% carbon-neutral electricity by 2030, and a fully clean, renewable and zero-emission electricity sector by 2035 — a new standard that could alone catalyze more than $600 billion in additional clean energy investment between 2020-2030, as part of approximately $3.25 trillion in overall additional investment in Igniting America’s Clean Energy Economy. Smart public investment by the federal government will efficiently leverage enormous private capital to meet that spending level in a way that creates millions more good clean-energy jobs.

To capitalize on these opportunities, Governor Inslee’s plan includes the following key policies to accelerate clean energy deployment: 

  • “ReBuild America” National Building Energy Upgrade Initiative: Jay Inslee’s Evergreen Economy Plan will put millions of Americans to work cutting pollution and energy bills for households and businesses through energy efficiency and electrification upgrades in millions of existing residential and commercial buildings throughout the country. This focus on existing buildings complements Governor Inslee’s vision for 100% of all new buildings to achieve zero-carbon energy by 2030.When operating at scale, ReBuild America will reach 4% of the nation’s building stock each year, on average; that means upgrading approximately one in every 25 buildings every year for 25 years. Driven by strong consumer incentives, this will result massive economic development, while achieving long-term cost savings for American homeowners, renters and business owners through reduced energy bills. The Rebuild America program is a win-win-win-win: It will: reduce pollution; save customers on their energy bills; put millions of construction workers, electricians and mechanical contractors to work; and result in a large economic boon for local businesses and domestic manufacturers. And it will prioritize its investment in frontline and low-income communities. Further, because federal funding is involved, it will ensure prevailing wages and worker protections are provided to ensure job quality. Among the incentives and policy measures driving energy upgrades in more buildings will be the following:
    • Driving private sector investment into energy efficiency by setting a national Energy Efficiency Resource Standard (EERS) for utilities to achieve all cost-effective energy efficiency measures. This is similar to standards set in the Washington state I-937 ballot initiative led by then-Rep. Inslee and adopted by voters in 2006. Now a majority of the states have EERS policies in place, and the federal EERS in this plan will strengthen utilities’ performance targets by expanding the definition of “cost-effective” energy conservation to include the costs that climate pollution imposes on society.
    • Establishing targeted refundable tax credits for installing in existing buildings efficiency upgrades such as HVAC systems, water heaters (including solar water heaters), envelope improvements, and systems solutions like underground thermal energy storage and district heating/cooling systems, as well as transitioning from heating oil to speed reduction in fossil fuel use. The credits will extend to commercial equipment, as well, including advanced boilers and chillers.
    • Establishing a reserve fund for inclusive financing through utility on-bill investments in cost-effective energy efficiency upgrades for all customers, regardless of income, credit score, or renter status.
    • Expanding and updating the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) and the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to streamline eligibility verification across federal and state programs and also to allow low-income consumers the option to pay energy bills that include efficiency, solar energy, and beneficial electrification.
    • Partnering with labor unions, building managers and the U.S. Green Building Council to create a national training program for building operations and maintenance staff to reduce energy use. This program will be modeled after the successful “Green Supers” training programs that have helped lower climate emissions in major metropolitan areas across the country.
    • Providing significant federal funding for retrofitting and upgrading schools and public building stock for federal, state, local and tribal governments — putting Americans to work making schools cleaner and healthier, and cutting taxpayer energy costs and pollution in public buildings.
  • Clean Energy Deployment Authority (CEDA or “Green Bank”): Governor Inslee’s plan will charter a new federal financing authority to catalyze increased and swifter investment into clean energy projects and other initiatives that reduce climate pollution; put Americans to work; and ensure affordable energy. Green Bank financing can accelerate deployment of proven technology, and lower costs for ratepayers and families. The CEDA is modeled on the Clean Energy Deployment Administration first proposed in 2009 by then-Rep. Jay Inslee and the late Rep. John Dingell (D-MI). It is also built on the proven model of the Washington state Clean Energy Fund (CEF) established by Governor Inslee in 2013, which has catalyzed a more than $100 million investment in job-creating renewable energy, efficiency, energy storage and smart grid projects. This effort will include:
    • Capitalizing the CEDA with an initial $90 billion federal investment that will provide low-cost investment for projects in market segments where the private sector is underinvesting. This financing will be deployed as low-cost loans and loan guarantees that will earn a return for CEDA, allowing it to cost-effectively support clean energy transformation on an ongoing basis.
    • Establishing CEDA as an independent, non-profit organization governed by an appointed board of directors that includes representatives from government, the private sector, labor unions, frontline community organizations, and academia. With this independent structure CEDA will move swiftly enough to integrate with capital markets.
    • Working directly with clean energy funds (e.g. Washington state’s CEF), state and local green banks (e.g. Connecticut, New York, and Washington, D.C.), infrastructure finance authorities (e.g. Rhode Island and Hawaii), and community development financial institutions, port authorities, and others. CEDA will extend the capability of existing institutions to invest in new projects of mutual interest on a voluntary basis.
    • Including as projects eligible for CEDA financing all technologies that enable clean energy deployment. And CEDA will support the expedited retirement of fossil fueled infrastructure, including all coal plants retired consistent with Governor Inslee’s 100% Clean Energy for America Plan.
  • Next-Generation Rural Electrification: During the New Deal, visionary policies fueled rapid expansion of rural economic development through the Rural Development Administration in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The New Deal assured sustained federal financing for modern infrastructure in communities that had been passed over by private industry due to the relatively high cost of serving users in rural areas. Today many of these same programs still exist within the federal government, and we can rely on them once again to ensure that vibrant rural economies thrive in a new clean energy revolution. For example, the Rural Utility Service (RUS) offers low-cost financing to several hundred rural utilities, which lowers the cost of repowering with locally sourced clean energy and investing in beneficial electrification and building energy upgrades. In this way, the same tools that originally enabled electrification to span from coast to coast can once again bring modern, clean, smart and affordable energy and communications infrastructure to thriving rural communities. This will include:
    • Doubling annual finance authority for the Rural Utility Service (RUS) to provide low-cost financing for zero-carbon generation, transmission and distribution of electricity, including distributed renewable energy assets as well as broadband infrastructure for smart grid solutions, and other technologies.
    • Offering debt relief to allow rural electric cooperatives to write down or restructure loans for stranded coal plants and other fossil fuel assets in order to redirect billions of dollars from cooperative members’ bills toward modern clean energy assets, both in front of and behind customer meters.
    • The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will support electric cooperatives with technical assistance to make full use of financing available through the RUS.
    • Expanding funding and financing through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Housing and Rural Business Service to fund energy-efficiency upgrades and on-site solar energy investments that lower utility bills and expand economic opportunity, including access to affordable housing.
    • Increasing federal investment in regional authorities -- like the Appalachian Regional Commission, Tennessee Valley Authority, and Delta Regional Authority -- to coordinate federal, state and local initiatives and fund sustainable regional economic development. These efforts will target energy transition and climate preparedness, critical infrastructure resilience, workforce development, investment in environmental remediation, re-industrialization, and the expansion of local supply chains.
  • Energy Democracy & Community-Led Energy Transformation: To build a more just, innovative and inclusive clean-energy economy, Governor Inslee’s plan includes support for bottom-up, community-driven economic development strategies that give individuals and communities the opportunity to fully own and control their clean energy assets as part of the path to 100% clean power. Governor Inslee’s plan to empower energy democracy will include the following measures:
    • Creating a new DOE Solar Communities Initiative that sets by 2040 a national goal to meet 10% of total electricity demand (for buildings, transport and industry) through distributed solar energy generation. This program would drive approximately $150 billion in additional investment over the next ten years, through a mix of refundable federal tax credits and direct grants, helping fulfill Governor Inslee’s proposed 100% Clean Electricity Standard with more local, distributed and resilient power. This initiative will focus federal resources to support personal and community solar ownership, and public power — especially in front-line and low-income communities, as well as communities of color.  DOE will support research that substantiates the full value of these distributed assets and will aid the development of strong utility net-metering programs.
    • Creating Energy Districts, modeled on the Soil Conservation Districts established as part of the New Deal, and on the Energy Districts that have taken root today. Energy Districts involve voluntary participation and promote locally driven plans in rural communities for renewable energy, smart grid, broadband telecommunications, and energy efficiency projects.  They also support economic development and diversification, agricultural productivity and sustainability, and pollution reductions. Today, the Winneshiek Energy District in Iowa is a collaborative community that aims for 100% locally owned, efficient, renewable energy by midcentury.
    • Creating a new “Clean Community Energy Grant” Program as part of the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund to offer direct grants for clean energy projects developed by community-based non-profit organizations. These grants will provide equivalent incentives to clean energy tax credits, but will be available to qualifying entities without tax liability, including non-profit and community-based organizations, local governments, and academic institutions. This incentive will also provide additional federal investment for front-line and low-income communities, with priority placed on comprehensive community-developed projects with multiple benefits.
    • Relaunching and funding the DOE’s Better Communities Alliance, which provides advice and access to packaged clean energy solutions while also giving local governments better access to DOE funding and support.
    • Investing in additional staff capacity at federal agencies that interact and operate within local communities in every state — such as the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Small Business Administration (SBA), DOE Weatherization Assistance Program, and the Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) — with the explicit charge to partner with governors, mayors, tribal governments, community leaders, and non-profit organizations to support locally driven strategies to build an inclusive clean energy economic future.
  • Increased Private Financial Incentives for Clean Energy Deployment: The federal government can support increased private investment in building and construction projects through the tax code, direct spending, and regulatory tools. Utilizing tax incentives - and grants in-lieu of tax credits - will greatly expand employment opportunities in renewable energy, energy-efficiency, battery storage, smart grids, and utility transmission and distribution projects. Further, the strong induced demand for building products and value added manufactured products will benefit domestic manufacturers and local supply chains. To support Governor Inslee’s 100% clean energy goals, this effort includes:
    • Establishing a program of grants in-lieu of tax credits for clean energy electricity generation projects, supporting a broad array of clean, renewable and zero-emission energy technologies (e.g. solar, wind, and geothermal), as well as energy storage, and with expanded incentives for less-mature domestic industries like offshore wind power. Amidst the looming expiration of the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind energy and the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for solar energy, continued incentives for zero-emission energy will help accelerate their deployment.
    • Providing clear policy guidance on the use of Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) for portfolio-scale green building retrofits and the deployment of REIT funds into portfolios of distributed energy assets within the built environment will further increase the scale and velocity of private investment institutional capital within green buildings and clean energy.
    • Expanding use of Energy Saving Performance Contracts (ESPCs) in public and institutional buildings will further promote both portfolio-scale green building upgrades and new net-zero energy construction to crowd-in new private investment within public and institutional properties, and engage large-building managers and energy services companies in this undertaking.
    • Prioritizing green and clean energy assets in awarding competitive HUD grants and loans and in setting Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) incentives for banks will further engage private capital markets in rapidly meeting the 100% clean energy standards that are central to America’s Climate Mission.
  • 100% Clean Energy in Federal Agencies: Governor Inslee’s Evergreen Economy Plan will quickly unleash massive investment in clean energy projects by requiring federal agencies to achieve 100% clean energy in their domestic power purchases by 2024, and by deploying renewable energy, transmission, and other clean energy technologies on federal lands and facilities that will help power the nation toward Governor Inslee’s 100% Clean Electricity Standard. These projects will utilize union labor via Project Labor Agreements. Federal government actions to lead-by example on clean energy deployment will include:
    • Taking executive action to require 100% of federal government vehicle purchases to be zero-emission vehicles by 2024, as technologically and operationally feasible. And directing the USDA, Department of Defense (DOD), and other federal agencies to procure increasing levels of advanced low-carbon renewable fuels for heavy-duty transportation.
    • Significantly expanding procurement of renewable energy and energy storage at federal agencies’ domestic facilities, which will power federal buildings and also their surrounding communities, where appropriate.
    • Immediately directing federal financing agencies to work with states, local governments, tribes, utilities, nonprofits and businesses to unlock additional financing in service of Governor Inslee’s 100% Clean Energy for America Plan.
    • Directing the Department of Interior (DOI) and USDA to prioritize permitting for low-impact renewable energy and transmission development on public lands and offshore waters.
    • Providing dedicated assistance to the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and the four Power Marketing Agencies through the DOE to help their regions plan and execute a transition to 100% clean power.
    • Issuing a presidential determination for any industrial resources or technologies essential to critical infrastructure protection and restoration that our domestic industry cannot provide in a reasonable time frame to activate assistance from the Defense Production Act Fund.

Building Sustainable & Climate-Smart Infrastructure

To defeat climate change, we must invest in rebuilding America’s crumbling infrastructure to make it stronger, cleaner, more resilient, and climate-safe. The federal government has a unique and indispensable role in this effort: to restore American competitiveness by investing in vibrant and state-of-the-art infrastructure upon which the entire economy depends. In addition to being a major source of climate pollution, our infrastructure is in a state of disrepair. In 2017, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) once again gave it an overall “D+” grade. Furthermore, even as we mobilize America to defeat climate change, we must simultaneously act to build community resilience in the face of its worsening impacts.

Governor Inslee’s Evergreen Economy Plan will address key climate and infrastructure challenges by investing in: sustainable transportation, clean water, power transmission networks, affordable housing, public school buildings and smart communities; and efforts to maintain healthy green and natural infrastructure. This plan for 21st century climate-safe infrastructure will require approximately $3 trillion in additional federal and non-federal investment during the next decade. And these investments will simultaneously provide an enormous opportunity for creating good-paying jobs and local economic development. Federal investments in infrastructure must be accompanied by strong Buy American and Davis-Bacon requirements, as well as the utilization of project labor agreements. As he has done in Washington state, Governor Inslee’s plan will also ensure, through the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), evaluations of lifecycle climate pollution and vulnerability to climate impacts associated with all major infrastructure projects. As our nation builds more American infrastructure to sustain the clean energy economy, it must reject projects that are inconsistent with a safe climate.

Key initiatives to build more vibrant and modern infrastructure include:

  • Twenty-First Century Transportation: The transportation sector is now the largest source of America’s climate pollution. To begin addressing this, Governor Inslee has outlined a plan to achieve 100% clean, zero-emission new vehicles by 2030 as part of his 100% Clean Energy for America Plan. And, to further slash greenhouse gases across the transportation sector, the Evergreen Economy Plan will: significantly increase federal investment in clean, sustainable and climate-smart transportation infrastructure; and provide local, state and tribal governments with much-needed resources to invest in expanding public transit and connecting people in communities through safe, multi-modal transportation options. It will also focus on expanding charging networks for electric vehicles in order to support Governor Inslee’s bold 100% agenda for zero-emission vehicles. Finally, this plan supports the development and use of advanced, low-carbon renewable fuels for increasing use in powering heavy-duty vehicles, aviation, marine shipping and other transportation needs. And through each of these strategies, renewal of America’s transportation infrastructure will realize the potential to create good-paying jobs by:
    • More than doubling annual federal investment in public transit systems to meet and exceed the funding need identified by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) and incentivize expansion of transit networks throughout America. According to APTA, these investments themselves would catalyze nearly $1 trillion in economic activity during the next 20 years, and support millions of construction and operations jobs.
    • Taking executive action to establish U.S. Department of Transportation performance management rules requiring that federal transportation investment be accompanied by life-cycle analysis and reduction strategies for climate and other pollution — to help build more sustainable systems.
    • Providing major new federal investment in electrifying passenger and freight rail throughout the country, and offering federal investment to states and regional partnerships to expand ultra-high-speed rail. This will create jobs and connect population hubs with more convenient, less-polluting inter-regional transportation.
    • Investing billions in federal matching funds to states, tribal nations, local governments and utilities to deploy charging infrastructure for electric vehicles and buses — to help meet the clean car goals in Governor Inslee’s 100% Clean Energy for America Plan. States are moving forward in the clean car revolution; in Washington state, Governor Inslee has created an Electric Vehicle (EV) Infrastructure Bank and the state is among the top three national leaders in EV penetration. But charging infrastructure will remain a national challenge that the federal government must help address. The Evergreen Economy Plan will ensure that every federal Interstate Highway rest stop hosts a fast-charging station, by the end of 2024. Furthermore, this plan will lay the groundwork to electrify long-haul trucking by supporting clean energy-powered truck stop charging stations located along key routes.
    • Committing to international goals to hold climate pollution from civil aviation at 2020 levels and reduce them over time. And partnering with U.S. industries to tackle innovation in aviation, the fastest-growing segment of transportation-sector climate pollution.
    • Increasing federal investments that enable ports to deploy zero-emission solutions to eliminate air emissions from ground operations and facilitate clean energy solutions for freight and shipping industries that use those facilities — many of which are located within and near urban corridors and adversely impact public health. This approach builds on efforts like those at the Port of Seattle, which hails itself as the “greenest gateway” and is deploying a suite of alternative energy and pollution-reduction strategies aimed at cutting climate pollution in half by 2030, and to net-zero by mid-century.
  • Transmission & Smart Grid Modernization:  Governor Inslee’s plan for sustainable infrastructure will ensure regional electricity transmission and local distribution grid networks can open new economic development opportunities, and be made more reliable and resilient through new investments and improved planning, siting and permitting processes. These investments in state-of-the-art and technology-enabled electricity transmission and distribution infrastructure will enable deep renewable energy deployment and rapid decarbonization of the energy grid, while enhancing the security, reliability, and affordability of energy access. Key initiatives include:
    • Providing states, utilities and local communities with competitive opportunities to secure matching dollars for smart grid local power distribution networks, including demand-response, storage, micro-grids, and tools to improve cyber-security.
    • Expanding the Authorized Equipment List eligible in FEMA’s grant programs for preparedness to ensure that local response centers and critical facilities such as schools and community shelters have access to all the power components needed for micro-grids as well as access to grant funds to help deploy them.
    • Establishing a new Transmission Investment Tax Credit, and providing low-cost financing through new and existing federal financing programs, to leverage public and private capital to meet an approximate $15 billion annual transmission infrastructure investment need between 2020-2030 — to help the nation meet Governor Inslee’s ambitious clean electricity standard proposal. This includes investment in anticipatory construction of transmission capacity to areas with significant queues of clean-energy generation capacity awaiting transmission, such as federal lands throughout the West that are ripe for clean energy development.
    • Appointing a Secretary of Energy and a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Chairman who will pursue national development of clean energy resources that: enhance utilization of existing transmission and distribution assets; improve and expedite inter-regional transmission planning and development; and promote new sensors and controls and non-wires alternatives to boost electricity delivery capacity.
  • Clean Water for All: All Americans deserve the right to clean water, regardless of their ZIP code. Yet, in part due to climate change, our nation faces three simultaneous water crises: a drinking water crisis, a flooding crisis, and a drought crisis. First, America’s aging drinking water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure is failing communities across the country; faulty systems have resulted in lead-poisoned communities, and are estimated to waste 6 billion gallons of treated drinking water each day. Second, weather events made more severe by climate change are straining our nation’s aging inland and coastal flood control infrastructure. Third, more frequent and severe droughts caused by climate change threaten the water resources that support American families, farms and wildlife — especially throughout the West. From lead-poisoned drinking water in Flint, Michigan, to broken levees and widespread flooding in Davenport, Iowa, to frequent drought in California’s Central Valley, water infrastructure all around us is failing or inadequate. To address this triple crisis, Governor Inslee’s plan invests in infrastructure that meets 21st century climate-safe standards, and does it in a way that ensures access and affordability for all. This effort will require a massive increase in federal clean water infrastructure investment, which will support good-paying jobs throughout the country. Key strategies include:
    • Launching a national Clean Water for All Initiative to rebuild critical drinking water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure and to close the $82 billion annual funding gap in water infrastructure. The initiative will fully fund the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund and the Clean Water State Revolving Fund to finance billions of new investments each year. Communities impacted by and at risk of contaminated drinking water will be the first priority in Governor Inslee's plan.
    • Focusing new federal investments in addressing a deficit in coastal and inland water infrastructure needs, such as culverts, dams, levees, seawalls and locks. For example, the American Society of Civil Engineers has given the nation’s inland levee system, which protects an estimated $1.3 trillion in property, a “D” grade in its infrastructure report card. Meanwhile, flooding, storms, and erosion associated with climate change-driven sea-level rise now threaten an additional $1 trillion in coastal property. Governor Inslee’s plan will provide major investments to confront these challenges every year during the next decade as part of a nationwide mobilization against climate change, including approximately $7.8 billion for inland waterway infrastructure improvements requested by 88 Midwestern communities as a part of their “Bold Plan to Revive and Reinforce the Infrastructure of the Mississippi River Corridor” — a plan that is also estimated to create more than 147,000 jobs.
    • Increasing federal funding to chronically under-resourced programs at the U.S. Departments of Interior and Agriculture — in particular the Bureau of Reclamation and the NRCS among others — that help secure drought-resistant water supplies in river basins throughout the West. This includes support for unique partnerships and locally driven strategies, such as the $4 billion Yakima Basin Integrated Plan supported by Governor Inslee in the very first bill he put before the Washington state Legislature: a “collaborative plan to build resilience for the river basin as climate change strains the water resources on which its farms, families and fish all depend.”
  • Smart Growth, Affordable Housing, Public Schools & Community Development: How far Americans commute from home to work and the way they travel has tremendous impact on the climate, local air quality, and public health. Adding the cost of transportation to the combined burden of mortgage or rent and utility payments today means that energy costs too often can make home ownership or quality rental housing inaccessible for many of America’s working families. The Evergreen Economy Plan will pair clean and efficient transportation infrastructure with policies that promote vibrant communities, more healthy and walkable neighborhoods, and both the preservation of existing affordable housing and construction of new affordable units. Specifically it will invest federal moneys and expand effective public policies linking community-based economic development to housing affordability and mobility. These federal investments will leverage combined public and private investment to transform communities and address the growing housing crisis around this country with better, greener, safer places to live, learn, work and raise a family. Governor Inslee’s plan will also build healthier communities by confronting the legacy of pollution and its adverse health effects, especially on communities of color, and will take on the growing challenge of gentrification by stabilizing neighborhoods for working families.  These investments provide an enormous opportunity for creating good-paying jobs, local economic growth, and climate resilience through urban density, mobility, and housing affordability. To do this, Governor Inslee’s plan will increase investment in proven programs, including:
    • Relaunching and expanding the HUD-EPA-USDOT Sustainable Communities Initiative, with a focus on locally driven bottom-up community development plans that promote climate pollution reductions, smart transportation, affordable and accessible housing, and job creation.
    • Increasing financial incentives for private investment in publicly beneficial green affordable housing and transit-oriented development projects by increasing per-capita allocations for Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) and state and local tax exempt Private Activity Bond (PAB) capacity, supporting projects that advance 100% clean energy goals through community based economic development and affordable housing preservation.
    • Expanding funding in green building and climate-resilient smart-growth infrastructure, including building integrated advanced energy projects, through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, and renewing funding for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program.
    • Increasing funding for HUD programs such as HOME, project-based Section 8, and Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) programs, with additional proceeds dedicated to attainment of clean energy and green building goals.
    • Providing local, state and tribal governments with increased resources for transit-oriented development, smart growth land use planning, intermodal transportation, commute trip reduction programs, and pedestrian-friendly public spaces. This includes local transportation plans that promote biking, walking and micro-mobility such as electric scooters and e-bikes.
    • Increasing investment in Brownfields redevelopment, Superfund cleanup, and “Brightfields” reuse of polluted lands for clean energy projects, to promote denser and more sustainable approaches to local land use. There are already examples of this kind of program in the U.S.. In South Carolina, the ReGenesis program has revitalized former Brownfields in Spartanburg, using a combination of federal and local funds from public and private sources to create energy efficient housing, a community center, and healthcare infrastructure that directly serves the community. ReGenesis is a model for the country and a symbol that hard work and strategic investment can meet these goals today. 
    • Investing in and retrofitting America’s crumbling neighborhood public schools infrastructure to build learning environments that are clean, safe and modern. Specific resources will focus on energy efficiency, creating clean water systems, and digital upgrades to build the workforce that will help usher in the clean energy and technology of tomorrow. In addition, because climate change is impacting environmental health risks around schools, resources will go toward addressing exposure to things such as lead and asthma triggers.
  • Green Infrastructure & America’s Public Lands: America’s green infrastructure, working landscapes and public lands are America’s best defense system against the most extreme effects of climate change. When Hurricane Sandy struck the East Coast, barrier islands from Virginia to Long Island absorbed the initial force of the storm. If not for this natural defense system, Americans up and down the East Coast would have been hit harder, with even less time to evacuate their homes and communities. In addition to the natural security provided by these resources, conservation of healthy American forests and wildlands, productive farmland, streams, wetlands, and estuaries, are our most efficient and cost effective strategy to sequester carbon pollution from the atmosphere. Preserving and restoring public lands and natural ecosystems is also a tremendous opportunity for domestic job creation at a wide range of skill levels, including opportunities for career development. To support our most precious defense systems in nature, Governor Inslee’s plan will invest in:
    • Preserving healthy forests and wildlands and preventing wildfires by significantly expanding the operations and maintenance budgets for the U.S. Forest Service. This includes major investments in federal forest land and in state and local collaboratives to capture the full carbon storage potential for reforestation during the next 25 years, as well as additional major investment to address the million acres of forest not yet under best management practices.
    • Addressing the backlog of projects on America’s public lands — including those managed by the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Fish & Wildlife Service, the Forest Service, and also lands managed by tribal nations and state and local governments, and land trusts. These lands contain tremendous opportunity for habitat restoration, and they also underpin the robust American outdoor recreation economy, which in 2017 generated $887 billion in consumer spending, $59.2 billion in state and local tax revenue, and supported 7.6 million American jobs nationwide.
    • Expanding Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) programs — such as EPA Geographic Programs and NOAA Coastal Zone Management Act funding — that: improve the health of our marine and freshwater ecosystems; promote blue carbon; and restore wetlands, mangroves, and marine coastal ecosystems.
    • Redoubling wildlife and marine species conservation efforts that focus on rebuilding the economies and sustainability of rural and coastal resource-dependent communities and industries.
    • Giving the USDA a leading role in driving both innovation in: enhancing ecosystem services; and developing and deploying innovative business models that put these systems to work to create new revenue streams to support the livelihood of farming communities. Enhancing agricultural ecosystem services will become increasingly important to preserve environmental health and welfare. Stormwater retention, water filtration, air quality improvements, and preservation of biodiversity can all uniquely be enhanced through sound farming practices.

Leading the World in Clean Manufacturing

Under Governor Inslee’s plan to strengthen and restore America’s domestic manufacturing industries, the federal government will work with manufacturers to: increase their production and energy efficiency; cut costs and waste; deploy new leading-edge technologies and harness new energy sources; and reduce climate pollution. Its efforts to accomplish these things will go hand in hand with investing in the skills of American workers and establishing U.S. leadership in emerging industries that revitalize our nation’s productive capacity and enhance our global economic competitiveness. Innovating to achieve energy and resource efficiency will position America at the forefront of emerging global trends, and we cannot afford to give ground in this urgent call to leadership.

Governor Inslee’s Evergreen Economy Plan will invest approximately $2 trillion in public and private capital during the next decade to deploy existing technologies and proven strategies to make emission reductions now,  even as we invest in the innovation necessary to support America’s continued manufacturing leadership. This plan includes strategies to: bolster American manufacturing leadership; use of the federal government’s purchasing power to drive sustainability into industry supply chains; and new standards — for climate pollution as well as highly dangerous super-pollutants such as methane — that will drive emissions reductions throughout the industrial sector and position U.S. workers for global leadership.

A committed federal government can be a partner in building cleaner, more competitive industries that allow manufacturing workers and communities to thrive as the global economy shifts to a clean energy future. Under Governor Inslee’s plan, this includes:

  • American Advanced Manufacturing Leadership: To meet Governor Inslee’s vision for a sustainable and prosperous U.S. clean energy economy, and the creation of good-paying American jobs, we must rapidly scale domestic manufacturing. In addition to direct investment, tax incentives, clear and stable market rules, the federal government can provide real benefits in the form of strategic planning, public-private partnerships, and technical assistance using new and existing agency expertise and resources. This plan includes:
    • Establishing a new, uncapped Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit to incentivize investment and growth in domestic manufacturing capacity for rapidly expanding clean energy industries, such as wind turbines and batteries. Under this plan, credits will be conditioned on employers offering family supporting wages and benefits, enforced through Project Labor and Community Benefits Agreements, Prevailing Wage laws, re-established federal overtime requirements, and other strong worker protections.
    • Expanding federal support for technical assistance and skills-training programs for businesses, states, and local governments, including the Department of Commerce’s Manufacturing Extension Service, and Advanced Manufacturing Partnerships, and related efforts.
    • Proposing legislation to Congress to provide massive investment into domestic manufacturing of zero-emission vehicles and component parts - especially advanced battery technologies. This includes tripling and making more accessible the financing authority in the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) program. While serving in Congress in 2009, then-Rep. Inslee played a critical role in shaping and passing the clean energy investments contained in the Recovery Act, including investments in American advanced battery manufacturing.
    • Establishing a new “Clean Cars for Clunkers” program to incentivize additional zero-emission vehicle sales to spur manufacturing, and to help get the highest-polluting vehicles off the road. This new program will be designed to build on the successes and learn from the shortcomings of the 2009 Cash for Clunkers program, which succeeded in removing high-polluting cars from the road and in promoting sales and manufacturing of automobiles, but that could have further improved climate pollution reductions and adoption of the cleanest alternatives.
    • Establishing a Quadrennial Industrial Review (QIR) to be conducted by the U.S. Department of Commerce, working with the DOE and DOD, to map strategic industries and identify sound industrial policies — including critical materials and rare-earth elements, global demands, and domestic production capacities — to support sustained American competitiveness and industrial growth that will support a safe climate.
  • Federal “Buy Clean” Program: The federal government is one of the nation’s largest owners of real estate and developers of land and infrastructure; that also makes it one of the largest purchasers of energy-intensive building materials, such as steel and cement. In this capacity federal policy can make a tremendous difference in pushing materials producers to lower their carbon footprints. And, this can give domestic manufacturers a leg up — because they are often among the lowest-carbon producers. Currently, the U.S. is the largest importer of “embodied” climate pollution — meaning the goods it imports are produced with more climate pollution than any other nation’s imports (twice as many, in fact). Governor Inslee will launch a national “Buy Clean” program to direct federal procurement of low-carbon materials in a manner that simultaneously reduces climate pollution and closes this “carbon loophole” — making reducing climate pollution a business advantage for American manufacturing enterprises. Governor Inslee’s powerful new tool for investing in American jobs includes plans for:
    • Immediately launching a federal Buy Clean program that incorporates emissions intensity standards for procurement decisions for energy-intensive materials used in federally funded infrastructure, including cement, steel, concrete, glass, iron, mineral wool, and other products. This program will incentivize reductions in those emissions through efficiency and fuel-switching driven through transparency and competition.
    • Building the Buy Clean program upon the program being implemented statewide in California, and on a pilot basis in Washington state — leadership initiatives that have been supported by the BlueGreen Alliance.
    • Establishing additional incentives for corporate buyers to match the federal government’s Buy Clean commitment.
  • Cracking Down on Super-Pollutants: Climate “super-pollutants” such as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and methane have tens to thousands of times more warming impact per ton of emissions than carbon pollution, and largely stem from industrial and agricultural sources. Thanks to Governor Inslee’s leadership, Washington was just the second state to pass comprehensive legislation to phase-out HFCs. The Evergreen Economy Plan will pursue similar strategies to slash: HFC pollution across the country; and slashing methane pollution, which has been on the rise domestically as a byproduct of fracked gas production. Governor Inslee’s plan will tackle these super-pollutants, and enhance job creation and competitiveness in America’s existing manufacturing industries  — saving consumers money and catalyzing business innovation. This includes:
    • Taking immediate executive action to phase-out HFCs, in accordance with the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol. HFCs are found in appliances such as refrigerators, heat pumps, air conditioning systems and in some aerosols;  safer alternatives are available. Because American manufacturing industries have already invested more than $1 billion in manufacturing technologies that slash HFCs, this action will give domestic manufacturers a competitive advantage — one that has been estimated to support 30,000 American jobs and increase U.S. exports by $5 billion.
    • Using executive authority to require oil and gas companies and utilities to find and stop methane leaks in pipelines delivering gas to power plants and industry, and taking action to incentivize the removal or repurposing of gas distribution pipelines to buildings. This commitment will be accompanied by further action to crack down on fossil fuel production that drives domestic methane pollution. Governor Inslee’s plan will require methane pollution reductions throughout industrial activities — striving to achieve the full domestic technical potential for methane capture and destruction from extractive industries. According to estimates, U.S. oil and gas industries leak 13 million metric tons of methane pollution into the atmosphere each year — causing enormous climate damage, along with directly costing American energy consumers $2 billion annually. Stopping this abuse by oil and gas companies is an integral part of Governor Inslee’s call to end fossil subsidies, throughout his Climate Mission agenda.
    • Supporting the deployment of biogas methane capture and utilization technology in wastewater treatment, livestock operations, and landfills, which will be used in specific applications that cannot be easily or cost-effectively electrified — provide on-site power (e.g. such as through co-generation), and provide value for farmers and local governments.
  • “Top Runner” Industrial Efficiency & Carbon Intensity Standards: Our nation has the opportunity to place U.S. industries at the forefront of emerging global clean technology innovation. American manufacturing offers tremendous capacity to benefit the climate through meeting higher standards of efficiency, pollution abatement, and fuel switching in the near term. Steadily increasing industrial standards tied to technology leadership offers greater market certainty and cost competitiveness, and a program that sets new output-based standards every few years based on top industry performers will drive a race to the top and encourage continuous improvement in America’s factories. This includes:
    • Directing federal agencies to implement new standards for carbon intensity of domestic manufacturing processes and equipment (e.g. motors, fans, air compressors, boilers) while encouraging the production and sale of super-efficient equipment, appliances, and electronics. DOE has identified the potential to double the business-as-usual rates of energy efficiency improvement across the cement, chemicals, iron and steel, and natural gas and petroleum industries, using current industry trends and technologies. And the potential for boiler electrification is limited but offers additional emissions reductions.
    • Establishing strong tax incentives for industrial waste-heat recovery and carbon capture, to help capture a further decrease in energy demand from domestic industries, and for performance improvement and fuel-switching - all of which can help businesses meet carbon-intensity reduction targets.
  • Clean Energy Exports & Green Global Development:  American manufacturing can power the world's transition to clean energy, and help create millions of good jobs in the U.S. The International Finance Corporation estimates that the initial commitments to the Paris Climate Agreement offered by just the 21 largest developing countries has created a $23 trillion investment opportunity between now and 2030. Governor Inslee’s plan takes advantage of this opportunity by focusing on domestic technology development and manufacturing exports by:
    • Focusing attention on federal international trade and finance agencies, such as the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im), the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), and the Foreign Agricultural Service, to accelerate American clean energy and sustainable products exports, and to cease all support for new fossil energy projects.
    • Working with global development and investment institutions, such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), and other multilateral development banks, to develop clean energy, clean water, and sustainable infrastructure in developing nations around the world. It will be a primary goal of the Inslee Administration to accelerate and feed those projects with American-made clean energy exports that displace fossil fuel infrastructure.
    • Re-instituting bilateral programs for enhanced clean energy development and deployment with key strategic partners, such as India, including the Partnership to Advance Clean Energy (PACE) programs.
    • Ensuring that America’s trading policies support, and do not undermine, the global transition toward clean energy, endeavor to close the carbon loophole, and promote continuous climate pollution reductions across nations. This could include potential enforcement of trade policies against certain imports from nations that are not committed to reciprocal restraints on their climate pollution.

Investing in Innovation & Scientific Research

Under the Trump Administration, the federal government has abandoned our country’s historic role as a leader in scientific research and pragmatic public investment in research and development to spur the growth of new industries. From Mission to the Moon, to the early beginnings of the Internet and broadband technologies in DARPA labs, to the mapping of the human genome, federal investments in research have often created transformative new economic opportunities. Furthermore, while technology exists today to capture significant reductions in climate pollution aimed at achieving safe and healthy climate, additional technological developments will be necessary to reach Governor Inslee’s goal of net-zero U.S. emissions by 2045.

Therefore, Governor Inslee’s plan for transformative energy investment in jobs and infrastructure also makes historic investments in innovation for clean energy and climate solutions. These policy initiatives include:

  • Clean Energy Research & Development: Current federal spending on research and development for clean energy technologies is well below what is needed to catalyze the next generation of new energy technologies necessary for meeting America’s Climate Mission and capturing the economic opportunity before us. Governor Inslee’s plan will increase federal investments into research and development of clean technologies and climate solutions by to approximately $35 billion annually over the next decade. These clean tech R&D investments will include:
    • Growing existing programs at the DOE, such as the the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency, Office of Science, and Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), as well as National Labs. And also partnering with states to invest in ongoing clean energy innovation work at state research institutions throughout the country such as  the University of Washington Clean Energy Research Institute that Governor Inslee created in 2013, which is making advancements in next-generation solar and energy storage technologies.
    • Targeting research, development, demonstration and deployment in a broad range of technological needs, including: advanced renewable energy, energy efficiency, high-voltage transmission, grid modernization, next-generation battery storage; as well as exploration of potential solutions, such as advanced small modular reactors, hydrogen, enhanced geothermal, and more.
    • Investing in hard-to-reach climate pollution reductions, especially in the industrial, transportation and agriculture sectors.
    • Re-engaging with international innovation partnerships on clean energy, including the Clean Energy Ministerial and Mission Innovation. This will also re-engage American industry and scientific communities within the community of nations to benefit from leading edge research globally.
  • “ARPA-Ag” & Agricultural Innovations to Tackle Climate Change: American agriculture has long been a world leader in innovating scaled efficiency in food production and there is an immediate need to preserve this global leadership. The treatment of our lands and soils will increasingly become central to restoring a carbon balance to the planet’s atmosphere because climate stabilization requires that all carbon emissions — both natural and human caused —  are balanced by carbon storage, including through an increase in the fertility and productive capacity of both cultivated and wild lands. That places farming communities and agricultural workers at the epicenter, once again, of America’s economic promise. Under Governor Inslee’s R&D agenda, America’s farmers will do again what they have always done: provide feed, fuel, and fiber to a thriving global economy. Two key initiatives in an Inslee Administration will be central to this task: ARPA-Ag and the addition of innovation to the practice of Agricultural Extension Services. These policy initiatives, and others contained in the Evergreen Economy Plan, foreground Governor Inslee’s plan for economic development in America’s rural communities, and for sustainable and thriving American agriculture. Together, these efforts will promote sustainable economic development in rural America  through research, development and deployment in the following ways:
    • Building on the success of the U.S. Department of Defense’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) — which incubated the invention of supercomputers and the internet — and the subsequent scaling of ARPA-E at the DOE, it is time to bring systematic government research and deployment to rural America by launching ARPA-Ag to promote innovation and advanced research in farming and agriculture. Governor Inslee’s plan will ensure that farming practices maximize the potential to provide long-term natural carbon storage that makes a lasting contribution to cleaning the atmosphere, this initiative will look at expanded federal investment in research, development, demonstration and deployment of persistent soil-based sequestration processes. It will also include harnessing the promise of bio-energy in deployment of farm-based district energy services and new zero-net energy and zero-water waste agricultural practices. As large consumers of energy in pumping and moving water through agricultural equipment, farms can become hubs of locally generated distributed energy, from solar, wind and plant matter.
    • Further promoting deployment of agricultural innovation, a Next-Generation Clean Energy Extension Service will ensure that leading edge in farming practices, on-farm district energy systems,  and new plant-based products can be rapidly disseminated to bring economic opportunity and renewed prosperity to farm communities.
  • Next-Generation Transportation Technologies: A further priority area for ongoing R&D to ensure viable deep decarbonization is in long-distance transportation, including shipping, freight hauling, air travel, and other persistent and large-scale sources of climate pollution. To fully decarbonize the U.S. economy and reach zero-net climate pollution by 2045, a focused and sustained effort will be required in the coming decade to advance low-carbon transportation and fuel technologies. This effort will include the following strategies and R&D commitments:
    • Continuing technology and recycling development for advanced batteries to power transportation, including heavy-duty trucks and short-haul aviation, and in making zero-emission marine shipping a reality in the U.S. in the next 10 years.
    • Investing in research for energy efficiency gains in aviation and shipping — which according to the Energy Transitions Commission (ETC), could be improved by 35-40%, leading to significant climate pollution reductions.
    • Developing and deploying advanced low-carbon biofuels and synthetic fuels, in partnership with industry leaders, to reduce domestic climate pollution and accelerate U.S. compliance with international agreements, and help position U.S. airlines as world leaders.
  • Advanced Industrial Climate Solutions: Eliminating climate pollution from industrial sources is an enormous challenge. But doing so provides an opportunity to place U.S. industries at the forefront of emerging global clean technology innovation. American manufacturers have tremendous capacity to benefit the climate through meeting higher standards of efficiency, pollution abatement, and fuel switching (including electrification of certain processes) in the near term. But in the decades ahead the hardest and most costly emission reductions will be those associated with combustion in industrial processes. Even as we endeavor to switch use of fossil fuels to alternative feedstocks, the federal government has a role to play exploring opportunities for industrial-sector carbon capture technologies. According to a recent report on deep-decarbonization: “achieving net-zero CO2 emissions in the harder-to-abate industrial sectors will probably be impossible, and certainly more expensive, without a role for carbon capture and sequestration: it is likely to be the only route to achieve total decarbonization of cement production … and, in some locations, is likely to be the most cost-effective route to decarbonization of steel, chemicals, and hydrogen production.” And, related to carbon removal from industrial processes, the federal government also has a role to play in the pursuit of atmospheric carbon removal technologies, and the demonstration and deployment of carbon-based building materials, both of which may be necessary to achieve full global decarbonization. Crucially, however, it must be understood that climate pollution is not the only adverse consequence of fossil fuel production, transportation, and use, and Governor Inslee’s plan is wholly committed to a complete transition to sustainable energy resources. Under this plan, carbon capture or removal technologies shall not empower the continuation of the costly, harmful and unnecessary uses of fossil fuels. This part of a federal climate innovation agenda will include:
    • Transforming the DOE Office of Fossil Energy into the Office of Industrial Decarbonization, and through it, funding advanced technology research, development and demonstration of innovative materials science and industrial-use carbon capture.
    • Launching a new federal initiative focusing specifically on carbon removal technologies to pull climate pollution from the atmosphere and strive toward climate restoration and healthy and sustainable global levels.
  • Understanding Climate Science & the Impacts & Dangers: Efforts to defeat climate change succeed only if our nation and the community of nations are fully aware of the challenge and its associated dangers, as well as the efficacy of our initiatives. And, even as the U.S. pursues climate pollution reduction and the transition to a clean energy future, it must also brace our economy and especially our vulnerable populations to weather the impacts of the climate crisis that can no longer be avoided. Unfortunately, President Trump has sought to undermine America’s climate science and its scientific community, in general. Governor Inslee’s plan will undo the Trump Administration’s damage and set a commitment to the gathering of advanced research and building next-generation tools for decision support and planning. Furthermore, it will ensure this information is provided to and made operational for governments and communities throughout the U.S. — as called for by the 2014 recommendations of President Obama’s Task Force on Climate Resilience & Preparedness, on which Governor Inslee served as a member. The plan includes:
    • Increasing investment in Earth System Sciences, GIS mapping, and planetary observation systems, which will ensure that American scientists, researchers and engineers are empowered with the best, most accurate data on the planet and its changes.
    • Integrating this scientific data into new management tools and stewarding the integration of data assets will be enhanced by recognizing our environmental information resources as a vital asset across all agencies of the federal government to maximize its value through integration and systematic data stewardship.
    • Increasing investment in NOAA, USDA, the U.S. Geological Survey, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and in states’ climatologist and natural resources and emergency management offices, to understand the regional and localized impacts of a changing climate — including short term response, long term forecasts, and strategic planning to minimize environmental disruption from climate disruption — will put these new data to work.
  • Climate & STEM Education: One additional element of America’s deepened commitment to leading-edge research and development will be a stronger commitment to feeding the front end of our scientific R&D and skilled labor pipelines. By investing in STEM and climate science education, we will  prepare today’s students to understand and confront the local and global environmental challenges their generation will face in the 21st century. Governor Inslee’s plan increases federal support for STEM education, particularly for schools in low-income and historically under-resourced communities, and launches new climate science educational initiatives to prepare the next generation of climate scientists to carry forward the critical work of America’s Climate Mission. Governor Inslee’s plan for a renewed commitment to scientific education includes:
    • Increasing investment in K-12 STEM and climate change education, especially for all students to understand the changing world around them and its causes and solutions.
    • Increasing funding for higher education in STEM and scientific research, including further investment at Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic-serving institutions, Tribal Colleges and Universities, and other “minority-serving institutions” – through increased assistance via the Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program and other proactive educational efforts.
    • Supporting STEM education and scientific and technical career paths through a student loan debt-forgiveness program for graduates entering clean energy, sustainability, and climate science-related jobs in the non-profit and public sectors.
    • Further strengthening school-to-work pipelines through greater support and promotion of technical and trade-skill certification programs, apprenticeship programs, community and technical colleges, and AmeriCorp, as well as participation in the Climate Conservation Corps (“Climate Corps”) proposed by Governor Inslee will also be a central gateway into lifelong commitments to careers in professions that restore the health and balance of our earth’s natural systems.

Ensuring Good Jobs with Family Supporting Wages & Benefits

American workers built history’s largest middle class and unprecedented opportunity through generations of sacrifice and labor to create a better future for themselves, their families, and the entire country. A determined and strong movement of workers, organized through labor unions, transformed industries defined by sweatshops and child labor into an economic engine that provided family-supporting wages, strong benefits, and job security. Labor remains the backbone of American economic and industrial might. But for the past several decades, workers and unions have been squeezed by stagnant wages and relentless attacks by increasingly powerful corporations and right-wing special interests. Governor Inslee’s plan firmly establishes the American worker at the heart of our economy once again by creating millions of high-paying, high-skilled union jobs building a stronger, greener, and more sustainable economy, and empowering workers in every industry with new tools to collectively bargain, challenge racial and gender inequality, and close the gap between wealth and poverty.

The Evergreen Economy Plan creates a foundation of strong unions, fair wages, and family supporting benefits that lifts up every worker at every step of the way. And when we lift up workers, we lift up the economy. Key policies include:

  • A “G.I. Bill” for Impacted Workers & Coal Community Reinvestment: After our country’s national mobilization in World War II, America guaranteed those who served access to — and funding for — secure medical care, educational training, and meaningful retirement benefits. Today, workers in fossil fuel industries face dislocation driven by market forces as industry shifts to cleaner, cheaper and more efficient energy. Coal miners and workers in coal-fired power plants — whose labor fueled generations of our nation’s wealth and prosperity — have been particularly hard hit, facing layoffs as employers move to ever greater automation through strip mining and mountaintop removal practices, and as utilities repower away from fossil fuels. Faced by these mounting economic pressures, fossil fuel companies, and coal companies in particular, have abused weak national bankruptcy laws to make workers and mining communities bear the risks and costs of a contracting industry.
    • Coal companies have been the worst actors: shedding pension obligations and limiting responsibility for long-term health care, life insurance, and the Black Lung expenses of their miners, retirees, and surviving family. All this, while rewarding top executives with compensation bonuses. As mines and power plants have closed, entire communities have been left to foot the bill, with abandoned infrastructure, neglected health and environmental hazards, a torn social safety net, and decimated local economies. This problem is only made worse by President Trump’s cynical lies about the resurgence of coal, even as 40% of the U.S. fleet of coal fired power plants has closed its gates since 2010, with gigawatts more retirements projected during the Trump presidency.
    • America can and must do better for coal workers, and all energy workers, and for their communities. Our nation must act and invest to show we value these skills, this infrastructure, and this tradition of hard work as the precious assets they are.
    • For this reason, Governor Inslee’s Evergreen Economy Plan focuses centrally on renewing our nation’s commitment to energy workers and their communities within the transition to a clean economy. The plan recognizes that deeper patterns of injustice too often intersect with economic dislocation; it supports all impacted workers — regardless of race, gender, or regional geography. Governor Inslee’s efforts will be modeled on the precedent of the solemn promise of the “G.I Bill” to our nation’s veterans. And it will further draw upon and improve scalable policies and previous federal and local efforts to provide economic security to workers facing plant closures and industrial transition.
    • Across the country, communities are enacting model policies to protect workers during this economic transition. Key examples include: the $55 million Coal Transition Fund at the TransAlta coal plant in Centralia, Washington;the Obama Administration’s POWER Initiative; and the DOE Worker and Community Transition program, which operated between 1994 and 2004 in support of 13 different U.S. communities experiencing hardship amidst the closure of nuclear power facilities. Governor Inslee’s plan recognizes that these workers and communities are vital resources for our future growth, and commits that they will never be left behind. Governor Inslee’s “G.I. Bill” policy proposal includes:
    • Providing impacted workers, their families, and their communities with financial security by shoring up retirement benefits through federal backstops to our troubled pension system to safeguard a lifetime of deferred wages for retirees. As a centerpiece of building a clean energy economy, Governor Inslee will work with the Pension Benefits Guarantee Corporation (PBGC) and key stakeholders including labor unions, to stabilize our nation’s troubled retirement system, and protect the deferred wages of retired workers. As of September 30, 2018, the PGBC multi-employer program had a deficit of $53.9 billion and was threatened with insolvency by 2025. Under the Evergreen Economy Plan, the federal government will ensure that United Mineworkers Association (UMWA) Health and Retirement Funds continue for the 87,000 Americans who depend upon them. More broadly, the U.S. government will dedicate itself to shoring up and standing behind the solvency of all defined benefits pension funds to guarantee that all workers can retire in dignity with economic security.
    • Granting qualifying employees and their families continued access to their historic health insurance coverage. This starts with backstopping the solvency of the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund — which is already $6 billion in debt.Further, any energy workers losing health benefits as a result of layoffs or corporate bankruptcies will be guaranteed access to health care, with their former employers still required to meet historic coverage obligations as well as retiree or survivor benefits.
    • Providing income support and educational training stipends for all workers seeking to move into new or related professions. All employees and contractors of companies directly involved in the extraction and processing of fossil fuels will be eligible for the program. Training programs can be run through local unions that have the relationships and the training expertise to quickly support workers as they transition to future employment.
    • Creating a community “Re-Power Fund” to invest in communities impacted by changes in fossil fuel industries. These investments will support bottom-up, locally driven economic and workforce development strategies, subsidize and incentivize economic diversification and “re-development corridors” — including advanced manufacturing and clean-energy business growth, infrastructure, and supplements to any foregone local tax revenue. The Re-Power Fund will prioritize development of energy-related industries that can access existing energy utility and transportation and shipping infrastructure that is frequently abundant and of high quality in these communities — ensuring that new job creation is centered on growing, high wage and high value-added industries that draw on the existing skills of workers and strong local supply chains. The Re-Power Fund will build on the heritage of energy producing regions as an asset, focusing on re-industrialization built around growing and globally competitive new energy industries, while ensuring strong worker protections.
    • Establishing a dedicated “Restoration Fund” to create new skilled union jobs in environmental reconstruction. Fossil fuel companies will be held accountable to pay for the environmental, health and community damages caused by coal, oil and gas extraction by supporting a comprehensive reclamation program through the Restoration Fund. This program will hire local workers for reclamation and restoration projects in areas where mining, drilling and fracking have damaged natural resources, harmed water tables, and polluted fields, riverbeds, and valleys. The Restoration Fund will supplement, and not replace, existing resources like the Abandoned Mine Fund. Jobs for reclamation and restoration will be required to pay prevailing wages and to allow workers the opportunity to organize, and they will be administered in a manner that prioritizes community hiring for transitioning workers. The opportunities available through this restoration, which will take years to complete, would be available to fossil fuel employees in addition to other “G.I. Bill” training programs that allow workers remain fully employed.
  • Right to Organize & Collectively Bargain: Strong unions level the economic playing field for workers and empower them in an economy that has been increasingly tilted in the favor of CEOs and corporations. The right to organize a union is an essential part of ensuring that public investments in a clean energy-powered economy create good jobs with family-supporting wages for everyone — regardless of race, gender or geographic location. Washington state has enjoyed the best wage growth and best average GDP growth during Governor Inslee’s term in large part because it has invested in expanding unions and building worker power, and now has the country’s third highest share of unionized workers. That is why Governor Inslee’s Evergreen Economy Plan makes worker organizing in every sector an essential part of America’s economic success in a clean energy future. The plan includes:
    • Repealing the provisions of the federal Taft-Hartley Act that permit so-called “right-to-work” (RTW) laws in states. RTW laws: result in lower wages for workers living in states that have them relative to their counterparts living in non-RTW states; limit workers’ rights to collectively bargain or protect themselves from predatory employers; and are purposefully designed to eviscerate union membership. Eliminating these laws will ensure that everyone who benefits from union representation pays their fair share of that representation.
    • Expanding union organizing by amending the National Labor Relations Act to recognize the establishment of a represented collective bargaining unit when a majority of workers vote to form a union or a majority of workers sign authorization cards to join a union, and to set standards for swiftly establishing first contracts between employers and bargaining units.
    • Incentivizing municipalities to co-enforce labor laws and standards, such as wage laws, by contracting with labor unions and community organizations for that purpose. Seattle is one among a growing number of cities that partners with local community organizations to inform and assist workers in understanding and exercising their labor rights, including the $15/hour minimum wage, paid sick and safe leave, and more.
    • Robustly protecting the rights of workers when employers break existing labor law by discouraging or preventing workers from collectively bargaining or otherwise retaliate against workers, through swift and consistent enforcement of federal law to force changes in corporate behavior and give worker-organizing efforts the opportunity to succeed. This will include increasing fines on illegal corporate activity, broadening strike rights, giving workers a private right of action when their rights are violated, and expanding misclassification and joint-employer protections. The Protecting the Right to Organize Act proposed by Rep. Bobby Scott and Sens. Patty Murray and Sherrod Brown, provides a detailed road map of the specific actions needed. Finally, as president, Governor Inslee would appoint members of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) who would enforce the 2015 Browning-Ferris ruling on Joint Enforcement Standards.
    • Giving workers and employers alike fair, predictable, and timely adjudication of cases before the NLRB. Chronic delays in processing of elections and other matters have, for years, left workers exposed to persistent anti-organizing efforts by employers. The commitment to expand workers’ right to organize will include evaluating potential improvements to the National Labor Relations Act, such as: expanding opportunities for industry-wide collective bargaining; reforming the NLRB adjudication process; and reviewing the impact of federal preemption of local labor law.
    • Proposing new protections that would end forced arbitration clauses in employment contracts. This comes in response to the Epic Systems v. Lewis decision and is similar to the approach taken by Reps. Nadler and Scott and Sen. Murray in their Restoring Justice for Workers Act.
  • Community Benefits & Project Labor Agreements: A strong economy is one in which not only workers enjoy good wages and benefits, but families and communities enjoy increased economic security as well. That is why federal investments and grants to state, local, and tribal government under the Evergreen Economy Plan will require Community Benefits Agreements, Project Labor Agreements, and strong Prevailing Wage laws. The plan includes:
    • Requiring Community Benefits Agreements (CBAs) to ensure that the benefits of new investment in economic development creates broadly shared public value. CBAs have been effective in supporting green building development, making affordable housing available, and providing job training in major programs around the country, including the development of San Francisco’s Bayview-Hunter’s Point neighborhood that Governor Inslee visited May 3.
    • Requiring that federally funded construction and infrastructure projects sign Project Labor Agreements to ensure fair wages for all jobs. Project Labor Agreements are essential because they ensure competition based on quality and efficiency rather than a race to the bottom on wages and employment standards.
    • Strengthening Prevailing Wage Laws by extending Davis-Bacon Act requirements to all federally funded projects, regardless of source of funds, and to all federal contractors. In addition, he will work to raise prevailing wages to meet contract-bargained wages in specific sectors in a geographic area.
  • Career Ladders through Apprenticeships & Skills Training: Building a new economy based on clean energy demands an historic investment in training and workforce development to nearly triple the number of people participating in apprenticeships by 2030 to 1.5 million. Apprenticeships have been expanding in the U.S. in recent years, but they still under-serve potential workers and potential employers. With an historic investment in creating clean energy jobs, skilled workers will be in high demand, meaning that worker training and apprenticeship programs will be essential in training the next generation of American workers. The Evergreen Economy Plan calls for the creation of a new White House-led national partnership with labor unions, community and technical colleges, and K-12 schools, along with educators from both education sectors, to develop programs that bring workers from school or jobsite, to training facility, to new jobsite with skills that improve work product and expertise while raising pay and benefits. Apprenticeship and training programs connect workers with jobs and unions so they can get the skills and support they need to have a career in clean energy.  In addition, Governor Inslee’s Evergreen Economy Plan calls for the creation of a Climate Corps  that will help mobilize the American people to rise to the defining challenge of our time: defeating climate change. The plan includes:
    • Ensuring that federal agency resources are coordinated to link the growth of clean energy sectors to investments in job training, job placement, and strong career ladders to allow for professional advancement. This will be led by the U.S. Department of Labor in partnership with the Department of Education; it also includes partnership with America’s labor unions to support union-led apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs that support secure, family-wage jobs that turn into careers.
    • Establishing dedicated programs for green industrial and construction job training and placement under the Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (WIOA).
    • Linking apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship training commitments to public investments in clean energy infrastructure, and using apprenticeship utilization requirements to ensure that these training programs are backed by strong hiring and retention commitments by employers.
    • Creating a Climate Corps that puts America’s greatest resources — its young people — to work together in the domestic and global effort to secure a healthy future, and providing Americans of all ages and backgrounds with education, skills, job-training and employment opportunities to thrive in building our new clean energy economy. The Climate Corps, based on the Clean Energy Service Corps concept Governor Inslee helped create while in Congress, will put young people to work locally and globally learning the skills of the clean energy economy, providing climate resilience to vulnerable communities, and new skills trainings and apprenticeship programs that build career ladders for long-term employment. The Climate Corps will partner with labor unions, businesses, technical schools and their faculty, non-profit organizations, career technical student organizations and community development institutions — working with existing infrastructure for training and placement to connect Americans with new jobs and lifelong careers.
    • Partnering with union experts and federally funded workforce providers to create labor-management training and certificate programs that improve worker safety, expand worker skill, and allow for and protect opportunities for workers to join unions. Governor Inslee has helped to create the model for this type of training program in Washington state through the SEIU Healthcare NW Training Partnership — the nation’s largest training provider serving home health care workers who provide long-term care for home care recipients.
  • Family-Supporting Wages & Benefits: Investing in employee wages and benefits is not only good for working families, but for the economy as a whole. That’s how Washington state has built an economy that has been ranked #1 in the country while raising the minimum wage and providing basic benefits like paid family leave and paid sick leave. That’s why the jobs created in Governor Inslee’s Evergreen Economy Plan an average of $25 an hour. A wage of $25/hour provides an annual salary of more than $50,000 a year for a 40-hour work week, and in most places in the country that pay rate means you can afford to raise your family. A wage of $25/hour for employees in the clean energy economy will only happen if federal, state, local and tribal governments commit to basic worker standards, and agree to require all publicly funded projects, regardless of source, pay prevailing wages and more. The plan calls for:
    • Creating a federal clean energy wage that averages $25/hour for skilled workers for clean energy jobs created and supported with federal funds, including all the programs and projects described in the Evergreen Economy Plan.. This rate matches the current rate for skilled, trained workers in the field today and will be set by requiring that all projects funded through the Evergreen Economy Plan pay prevailing wages.
    • Conditioning new federal investments and grants to state, local, and tribal governments on employers offering family supporting wages and benefits — enforced through Project Labor Agreements, Prevailing Wage laws, federal overtime requirements, and other strong worker protections. These fundamental worker protections prevent a race to the bottom on wages and employment standards.
    • Raising the federal minimum wage to $15/hour by 2024, pegged to the median hourly wage thereafter, as well as a national paid sick leave. This is a crucial step in raising pay for all workers.
    • Modernizing the nation’s overtime rules to protect and adequately compensate millions of workers who put in more than 40 hours a week, but receive no overtime pay. The Obama Administration advanced overtime rules that expanded the overtime threshold to $47,476, but the Trump Administration reversed those rules, essentially cutting overtime pay for an estimated 4 million workers. Washington state is currently completing a rule-making process to update its overtime rules to adequately compensate those who work well past 9 to 5, another example of Washington state leadership to create a fair economy in the face of the Trump Administration’s constant assault on worker wages and benefits.
    • Setting standards for high road wages and benefits for all the growing economies, not just those in the clean energy sector. Governor Inslee will work with other major industrial sectors such as health care and education to ensure wage standards are set so all employees and sectors benefit.
  • Pay Equity, Employer Enforcement & Transparency:  Every employee deserves to be fairly compensated for their work, regardless of their race, gender, or any other factor. The best way to ensure this is achieved is to expand the rights of workers to organize and collectively bargain, as attacks on workers disproportionately impact women and workers of color. New laws and standards are needed to curb a growing force of corporate power that is artificially keeping wages low. Governor Inslee’s Evergreen Economy Plan improves labor law to enforce basic wage and labor law, requires transparency and equity in pay and benefits, and shifts power in the workplace back to employees by:
    • Establishing protections for workers who decide to share salary and benefit information to strengthen their ability to bargain for better pay. In 2018, Governor Inslee signed the first pay equity legislation in Washington state in nearly 70 years, allowing employees to exchange information about compensation without fear of retaliation.
    • Creating strong provisions for compensation transparency and worker mobility. This year, Washington state passed legislation requiring disclosure of salary information by employers for listed positions, and barring employers from asking for salary history, as well as legislation heavily restricting the use of non-competition agreements and “no-poach” agreements that limit a worker’s ability to move to different jobs or seek better wages. These policies are a model for the nation.
    • Utilizing the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs to increase enforcement and transparency by requiring companies that apply for federal funds to report on their compliance to workplace laws. The plan further requires that companies fix compliance problems before they receive federal funds.
    • Prohibiting employers on federally funded projects from trying to persuade workers against joining a union. The decision whether workers should form a union should be left to workers.

Click here to download the full plan.

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